Young director leading youths this summer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 6, 2002

West End Baptist Church had a desire to strengthen its youth department and saw a need to hire a director, so it did.

James Pearson, 21, a rising senior at George Mason University in Fairfax, was the student selected to head the summer program from June 15 to Aug. 10.

&uot;When I heard about the union and its program, I thought that it would be a good thing to do something of this nature for the summer,&uot; said Pearson. &uot;I’m very thankful for both the church and the McBrides for having me at this time.&uot;

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Pearson, who is majoring in history, government and international politics, arrived in Suffolk on June 15, and is the guest of Julie and Bennett McBride while he is employed at the church. McBride said that she and her husband thought that having a youth minister was going to help the church in a positive way and that they were glad to help by having him in their home.

Rev. T. Floyd &uot;Skip&uot; Irby Jr., pastor of the church, said he is delighted that Pearson is with them for these eight weeks.

&uot;He is very enthusiastic and delighted with working with young people,&uot; Irby said.

Irby also explained how West End and Pearson came in contact with each other.

&uot;Through our mission board in Richmond the Baptist Student Union Mission has a program for students for the summer at George Mason University to do mission work. He was available to be employed with churches in this area that otherwise don’t have a summer worker. His time is funded through the state budget and we are making sure that he doesn’t lose any money.&uot;

Teens are experiencing different activities during the period that will make things very interesting. Under the Pearson’s direction from June 24-28, youths worked out at day camp near Smithfield with the Blackwater Baptist Association. On July 4, a cookout, completed with an ice cream dessert, was held at Murphys Mill Cabin on Murphys Mill Rd.

On July 20, a trip to Merchants Mill Pond State Park in North Carolina will take place; A Video Scavenger Hunt will also take place at an unknown date in July, and from July 22-26, the youth group will take a trip to Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg.

Pearson also said that he wanted the youths to have plenty of fun. He hopes that his being here will keep the youth group going, would encourage more young people to come to church, and the ones who are there to remain.