'Ignite' youth praise event on tap
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on September 5, 2013 1:46 PM
A youth movement that started in Wayne County three years ago has grown from a one-night event to an overnight one.
Ignite, a praise and worship event, had been held at the Paramount Theatre, but will be at the Wayne County Fairgrounds this year.
It will start Friday night and run through noon Saturday.
It was the brainchild of pastor Joe Strouse of Coker Memorial Church.
"Ignite started as a vision that the Lord just laid upon my heart about five years ago," he said. "It's something that laid dormant inside me for a while."
Strouse talked with local pastors and pulled the first event together with their help. He came up with the name Ignite, likening it to a wildfire.
"A wildfire doesn't start out as a wildfire," he said. "A wildfire starts out as either somebody throws out a match or cigarette butt. It's just a little spark that can start something humongous. When you start anything new, you look at it as starting out small and growing into what you want it to become.
"We figured if we could light a spark in our county, if we could light a spark with our young people, that it would eventually grow into something huge."
Strouse targeted Wayne County's youths because he believes God is using them to reach their own generation today.
The first two years, Ignite was a one-night event. But this year, Strouse wanted something different, something that would make it even more exciting to attract more youths.
He said God led him to make it an overnight camping event and have it at the fairgrounds.
"So many times when we take our young people somewhere, we go, we come home," Strouse said. "Our young people have a great time, and we're excited because they had a great time. But we get them back and never sit down and talk to them about what they experienced, what God talked to them about."
And that's the reasoning behind camping out overnight at Ignite.
This year, there will be three praise and worship bands, who are volunteering their time for the event. The Tyler Mooring Band will kick it off at 7 p.m. for about 45 minutes. The Matt Bartlett Band will play from 8:15 to 9:30 p.m. The last band to take the stage will be Gateway Worship.
During the event, Strouse will speak to those attending about how Jacob wrestled with God all night long and would not turn him loose until God blessed him.
"We're going to stay all night long and we're not going to turn loose until God blesses us," he said. "That's what it's all about."
Admission is a donation of $5 per person at the gate.
"But we're not going to turn anyone away who can't pay," Strouse said.