Thousands of high school students and youth leaders banded together during a faith-based conference outside Atlanta, raising $57,000 for abused women and homeless across the United States.
Some 12,600 students, from 32 states and five countries, came to Forward Conference 2019 from Thursday to Saturday at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, hosted by Jentezen Franklin's Free Chapel for the 14th year now.
“When students are given more than just rules and regulations and given the opportunity to really make a difference in the world, I have found time after time they rise to the occasion,” Franklin told Fox News.
“What we’re doing stretches far beyond these walls,” said Reggie Dabbs, the emcee for the weekend and an influential Christian leader who speaks to high school assemblies around the world.
Throughout the conference, the thousands of students and youth leaders were encouraged to give generously to those in need.
Forward Conference partnered with New Beginnings, a ministry for women in inner-city Atlanta. Many of the women who have received help from addiction and abuse attended the conference and were able to share their stories with students so they could see the real-life impact their generosity is having.
Students also raised money for the Dream Center, a faith-based organization that provides assistance to homeless families and specializes in addiction recovery across the United States.
Celebrity pastors Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC and DawnChere Wilkerson of VOUS Church in Miami were among the speakers who fired up the students.
“Why not use what has been provided for you? Why do we do things on our own?" Lentz asked the students. "The next chapter of your faith starts with a renewed desire to get to know the Holy Spirit. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to refresh us every day.”
Throughout the conference, the students were led by several different leading worship leaders from Hillsong Worship, Passion Music, Bethel Music, and Free Chapel Music.
"Forward Conference is dedicated to teaching, equipping, and empowering students to live out their greatest potential, and to move Forward in their relationship with Christ," according to the website. "Our focus is worship, self-growth, and having the best times of our lives. It's an experience you'll never forget."
Forward Conference 2020 is set for June 25-27, 2020 once again at the Infinite Energy Center.