The Best Night of the Week

Staff Writer: Mayson Cambron

High school students from across the county gather together to grow in their friendships and in their faith at an event called Epicenter. From 6:30-8 p.m. every Wednesday, the First Baptist Church of Woodstock Warehouse overflows with young people eager to worship and dive into the Word.

Aug 1

Students are pictured gathering together just moments before the doors open. Photo Courtesy of: Bryan Fandrey

A typical night looks like this: students begin to arrive around 6 p.m. and are ecstatic for the night to begin. They walk into the Warehouse and are met with pool tables, ping pong, foosball, a café, and tons of smiling faces to greet them.

 

After socializing and/ or beating friends in an intense game of ping pong, students crowd around the doors of the auditorium in anticipation. The moment the doors open, students rush in to “fight for the front row” as Eric Fuller, the High School Pastor describes it.

Aug 2

With hands in the air, students are dancing and worshiping along with the Epicenter Band. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Fandrey

As seats are snatched, the band begins to kick off the night with an upbeat song that gets everyone jumping on their feet. With hands in the air, students across the auditorium lift up their voices and bust out their best dance moves.

After a song to get everyone moving, the band slows the pace down for a few relaxed worship songs. While dance parties are fun, the slower songs allow each individual to focus on the lyrics and reflect on who God is to them and how He is working in their lives.

“I love how close and intimate I can be with Jesus when I’m worshipping,” stated Cassie Peterson, a student who attends Epicenter weekly.

Worship lasts for multiple songs, and then students head back to their seats to dig into God’s word.

Eric Fuller is the High School Ministry’s Youth Pastor. With rare exception, he is the speaker every Wednesday.

Aug 3

Eric Fuller is bringing a powerful message and passionately reminding students that “THIS IS YOURS!” Photo Courtesy of: Bryan Fandrey

The series that the ministry is currently going through together is “THIS IS YOURS,” encouraging students to take ownership of their faith. Fuller is passionate about helping students understand that their faith can be so much more than just a Sunday morning and Wednesday night ordeal, but that if they want to see a work of God in their life, they must then lean in and dig deeper.

“Each and every message is full of wisdom and is breathed by God,” student Lizzy Smith said, “I love how all of them seem to speak to each person individually and in a different way.”

“You belong” is another saying that the leaders of FBCWHS Ministry have coined. Their goal is for every student in the Warehouse to feel welcomed and loved, regardless of what they have done, where they have been, or what they have said. Feeling welcomed enough to allow Jesus to work in their hearts on a deep and personal level is the student’s first step towards taking ownership of their faith.

At the end of every message, Fuller extends an invitation for a response. He always challenges believers to pray about the message and think about how it can apply to their lives. For those who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, he encourages them to surrender their lives to Him during this time.

Aug 4

Students gather and pray over one another at the altar during the response time. Photo Courtesy of: Bryan Fandrey

Pictured on the right are students flooding the altar and praying with one another, asking God to help them use their influence.

“The response time is a time of surrender to whatever the Lord has placed on your heart; a time to reflect on your own heart and be completely open to wherever the Spirit leads,” says Rebekah Douglas, a student on the ministry’s prayer team, “It is a very humbling and eye-opening part of the night.”

This part of the night provides students with the opportunity to act on their faith. If they feel led to go pray about something or with someone, this is where the decision is theirs, and they either make their faith their own or leave their convictions behind. The chance to make a difference in someone else’s life or their own is always present, and many leaders say this is the best part of the night.

Aug 5

Hands are raised again in praise as the band closes out the night with worship. Photo Courtesy of: Bryan Fandrey

As the response time comes to a close, it transitions into another time of worship. These songs tend to be slower, allowing students to continue to pray or to stand and sing in light of how God is moving in their hearts after the message.

The atmosphere of the Warehouse is welcoming. It is a place that students from all kinds of different backgrounds are able to gather and escape the worries of the world.

“Epicenter is a great way to get involved with our local community and grow in unity for a purpose greater than ourselves,” as Woodstock High School student Chloe Price explains. Price is convinced that everyone is welcome at Epicenter, and she wants to see more students from Woodstock experience the joy she knows. For the reason, Price is constantly inviting her peers at WHS to join her for “the Best Night of the Week.”

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