by Office of Marketing | Apr 25, 2013
At REFRESH Philly, youth students from all over the Delaware Valley gathered at New Covenant Church of Philadelphia to hear the Gospel and worship the Lord on February 16, 2013. Over 500 teenagers from the Philadelphia area watched in awe as Valley Forge Christian College students lit up the stage with worship, step dance, rap music and human video performances. 
REFRESH Philly was an event spawned in the mind of VFCC Professor of Church Ministries Phil Baker. The mission was to encourage, train and inspire youth leaders all over the Northeast. As a result, VFCC decided to sponsor multiple REFRESH events during the month of February – including a session on the VFCC campus.
REFRESH Philly was an expansion of the initial idea – seeking to make an impact on a greater number of people in the community. Rather than solely training leaders locally here at VFCC, there was a desire to proclaim the Gospel to teenage students. In light of this, REFRESH Philly was arranged to be a two-part rally; the morning session was held to train and revitalize youth leaders (at Germantown Church of the Brethren, Pastor Richard Cherry Martin), and the evening youth rally was hosted to engage teenagers with the good news of Jesus Christ (at New Covenant Church of Philadelphia, Bishop C. Milton Grannum). According to VFCC Admissions Counselor Tim Latiff '06, “We wanted to be a blessing to the leaders, and their groups.”
Latiff played a major role in REFRESH Philly, connecting with Philadelphia-area congregations and pastors; he essentially built a network of Church leaders that were committed to making this event happen. His faithful service proved to be successful, as a trans-denominational group of nearly 15 churches gathered for REFRESH Philly. In total, about 100 youth leaders attended the morning session, while the evening rally reached over 500 youth!
The rally attendees witnessed the skill of VFCC student ministries such as XPLOSIVE CRE8TIONS and Audience of One. Local congregational leaders and teenagers were able to see the impact of VFCC, as current students from the Philadelphia area acted as role models by using their time and talent to glorify the Lord.
In addition, Reggie Dabbs, a well-known youth evangelist and motivational speaker, addressed the crowd with a powerful Gospel presentation.
However, the impact of REFRESH Philly did not stop on February 16. After the event, multiple radio stations reached out to VFCC for interviews and features. Latiff was interviewed on two radio programs – the Sunday Morning Show with Warren Cooper (90.1 WRTI-FM) and On Solid Rock with Carl Ashton (860 WWDB-AM). VFCC student rapper Byron Purnell accompanied Latiff on the 860 WWDB-AM program; the two were invited to participate in the entire hour-long broadcast, which provided a wonderful opportunity to share testimonies about REFRESH Philly and VFCC.
“We were thankful for the space and opportunity,” said Latiff in reference to both the event itself and the ensuing publicity. He also extended special recognition to Phil Baker, Reggie Dabbs, Pastor Martin, Bishop Grannum and Hans Nelson (a member of New Covenant Church of Philadelphia who was instrumental in coordinating the event).
Thanks to the faithful service of these people, over 500 teenagers and 100 youth leaders from the Delaware Valley experienced a truly refreshing encounter with the Lord.