Reviving hope: Youth Awakening 2024 led by passionate pastors

Published 12:10 pm Sunday, June 9, 2024

Beginning June 12 and running through June 14, Mt. Olive M. B. Church will host a Youth Awakening Revival. Host pastor, the Rev. Adrian L. Clark, has teamed up with three young pastors from area churches to strengthen, encourage and embolden local youth in their spiritual lives.

The Rev. Johnny Gibson III, of Unity Full Gospel Church, the Rev. Marcus James of Greater Grove St. M. B. Church and the Rev. Kendarion Jones of Travelers Rest M. B. Church will preach at the revival.

Clark has been the pastor at Mt. Olive for six months. Like many pastors of small churches, he also holds a full-time job. Clark works as a student advisor at Hinds Community College. Prior to that, he taught in the Vicksburg Warren School District for many years. When he isn’t working at the church or the college, he enjoys spending time with his family.

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Clark recalled the Sunday service when the pull to become a preacher finally became unavoidable. He had resisted a call to ministry for many years. He began focusing on the pastor and listening to his words carefully. He heard the voice of the Holy Spirit say to him, “That’s what you’re supposed to be doing.” His journey to becoming a clergy member had begun.

“I have a genuine love for people, caring for people, more so for serving people. I’m just blessed to serve Him,” Clark said.

Clark has a master’s degree in theology and is currently working on a doctorate. He attended Slidell Baptist Seminary in Louisiana. Even though he lives in Mississippi, he has been able to work with the seminary via correspondence.

“Before I started going to school, the little bit I did know, I realized I didn’t know when I got to school. School has really helped my ministry and me to grow.” 

But with an extensive background in teaching and advising students, Clark said he is in a unique position to appeal to youth.

He said the idea for the Youth Revival was inspired by God. 

“The children are our future,” he said. “And what we instill in them will determine what kind of future we have. I know the word of God is the foundation for everything, and as long as we stand on the side of that foundation, our children can do some great things in the future.”

Clark has big visions for the youth in churches. He is hoping to expand the youth ministry at Mt. Olive. 

“We are developing our youth ministry,” he said. “With this revival, this will be a good start to getting our youth ministry off the ground.”

The collaboration with other pastors came about through the church community. Clark has known Gibson’s family for many years, and he grew up with James’s mother. Jones is a newer acquaintance, but came on board with enthusiasm, Clark said.

Although all four pastors have felt the call to preach from a young age, they each admit they shied away from it until the pull became undeniable. Gibson and James reported they are “preacher’s kids,” and had observed firsthand in their fathers the pressures exclusive to leading a church. Jones and Clark had family members with strong faith, although they are the first in their immediate families to become pastors.

Preparation for the revival at Mt. Olive has mostly come about through prayer. Social media and word of mouth have both played a big role in publicizing the revival.

“The Holy Spirit will come in like a rushing, mighty wind and fill His people with His glory. Our main purpose is to, number one, please God, and number two, to help save a youth’s soul,” Clark said. He added with a smile, “Or a grown-up’s soul!”

Clark said he feels young people will be able to relate to the three charismatic preachers. 

“They have a special anointing on their life,” he said.

The revival is casual, and youth should dress comfortably, he said. 

“We’re not in the business of selling clothes; we’re in the business of saving souls,” Clark said.

All youth are encouraged to attend the revival at Mt. Olive M. B. Church, located at 1925 Baldwin Ferry Rd. The revival begins at 7 p.m. nightly.