Cardell Patillo, its youth pastor, sits in the sanctuary at Grove Church in Portsmouth, where an event for girls Friday will feature a concert by Jamie Grace, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, and Phoenix, formerly Galatia Rose, a vocal artist from Hampton. The church will host a boys’ event on Saturday.
Cardell Patillo, its youth pastor, sits in the sanctuary at Grove Church in Portsmouth, where an event for girls Friday will feature a concert by Jamie Grace, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, and Phoenix, formerly Galatia Rose, a vocal artist from Hampton. The church will host a boys’ event on Saturday.

Archived Story

Grove builds self-esteem

Published 8:37pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Some big names in music and sport will feature at youth events this weekend at a Portsmouth church attended by many North Suffolk families.

Grove Church, 5910 W. Norfolk Road, will target 8- to 18-year-olds, first on Friday with a concert for girls.

From 7 to 9 p.m., dubbed Beautiful, the event will include two live performances. For her debut single “Hold Me” — featuring Toby Mac — 22-year-old Atlanta, Ga. singer-songwriter Jamie Grace was the 2012 Grammy Awards’ youngest nominee.

The concert’s second performer, Phoenix, formerly Galatia Rose, resides in Hampton, by way of Mobile, Ala., and lists Carrie Underwood and Mary J. Blige among musical influences.

The girls’ event will also feature motivational speaker Lakeisha Carey, an attorney and author of books for children.

“It is to inspire and encourage the girls as they struggle with issues of low self-esteem,” said Cardell Patillo, youth pastor at Grove.

Low self-esteem is prevalent in the communities Grove serves, Partillo said, stemming from single-parent homes, brand-focused consumerism and media manipulation.

“Because of that, it makes the girls afraid to show and use the gifts they have been blessed with,” he said.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, a second youth event will focus on boys in the same age group.

The highlight of The Locker Room Experience will be a talk by NFL’s Don Carey, strong safety with the Detroit Lions and Lakeisha Carey’s husband.

In fact, the newlyweds cut short their honeymoon in Paris to support the Grove event, Patillo said.

“In many cases, the locker room can be a safe haven,” Patillo explained of the event’s name.

“You can share your thoughts and feelings; what’s said in the locker room stays in the locker room.”

Being an intern with the NFL Players Association, where he conducts workshops and clinics for the league’s new players, Carey will bring valuable mentoring skills, Patillo pointed out.

The boys’ event will also include grilling, inflatables, three-on-three basketball, Madden NFL on the PlayStation 3 and other games.

The boys’ event, too, is about building self-esteem, Patillo said; but it’s also to promote staying in school and learning to value one another.

Both events are being held for the first time, he said. “We have in that age group 650 (church members),” Patillo added. “We have a little over 900 in the ages of 3 and 20.”

Grove Church draws about 30 percent of its congregation from Suffolk, according to Patillo. Another 30 percent come from Chesapeake, he said, while the remainder is from Portsmouth.

The youth pastor hopes the twin events have a big impact. “I definitely want them to come away encouraged, with a higher self-esteem (and) knowing who they are in God, and recognizing their gifts and abilities and how valuable they are to society,” he said.

Those interested in the events can register at www.grovechurchVA.com, or from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday or Friday at the church reception desk.

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