Teen Challenge’s Open House event at May Street Church on Friday January 15 proved to be a most uplifting and successful evening. Around 150 people packed into the sanctuary for an evening of music, testimony, fellowship and refreshments.
Stewards from TC, in their bright yellow t-shirts, welcomed everyone. Among those present were representatives of Teen Challenge in Ballymena and Carrickfergus, plus members of May Street congregation.
Arthur Acheson, Clerk of May Street, said he was proud to be able to officially welcome Teen Challenge to the church. He commended TC for its work and said May St looked forward to great things.
Pastor Lee McClelland from Teen Challenge expressed gratitude to May Street Church for providing the organisation with a city centre base, something it had long aspired to.
Pastor McClelland then introduced the musicians – singer Donna Kerr, drummer Aaron Trimble and guitarist Mark Johnston, who usually play at their church in Abbots Cross, Newtownabbey. With the words of items of praise projected onto a large screen, the trio then led the meeting in praise.
Next up were four TC volunteers – Kerry, Glen, Nichola and Darren, who all gave personal testimonies as to how the organisation had helped them turn their lives around. Then Ruth, a parent, explained how TC had helped her daughter to refocus and rebuild her life. And finally Keiran gave an account of how he had come to TC broken and lost but had had his life transformed by TC.
In his address, Pastor McClelland stressed that while Teen Challenge was the vehicle, Jesus was the answer and it was Jesus who was transforming lives. Together, he said, they could win people for Christ and he appealed for prayerful and practical support.
Teen Challenge, which was established in New York in 1958, will next year celebrate its 10th anniversary of activity in Northern Ireland.
At present, Teen Challenge runs three events a week in May Street:
Monday: coffee morning for women.
Wednesday: lunch for clients and supporters.
Friday evening: Drop-in café.
Following the service, all present were invited downstairs to Urban Soul Venue, the church’s newly restored basement conference room, where TC served refreshments.
Teen Challenge’s objective is to relieve suffering caused to people by addictions and difficult social conditions. It is part of a national charity which is linked to an international organisation.
Teen Challenge’s next rally in May Street will be Extravagent Love at 7.45pm on Thursday February 25. The rally will feature Nikola Bustead, who will share her story of how she broke free from a drug addiction, and Pastor Lee McClelland. Praise will be led by Simple Faith, a quartet who have been together for 10 years.