Youth Rally: “Two are better than one.”

Friday evening at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church (GLBBC) hosted a Youth Rally attended by more than 300 (not a typo) participants… so where to begin? Wow. Let’s cut straight to the chase; four lost souls came forward during the invitation and accepted the saving grace of Jesus, proclaiming Him to be their Lord and Savior. Praise God! The rest of the evening was small potatoes in comparison; the end.

Well OK, quite a bit happened over the course of the evening that deserves mention, all of which was gladdening to the heart and inspiring to the flock(s).  Speaking of flocks, many Baptist churches from all over western NY were in attendance, being represented by their pastors and teens. Among the guest churches joining our Gospel Light family were (in no particular order) Calvary Bible Baptist, Temple Baptist, Chili Bible Baptist, Old Paths Bible Baptist, Trinity Baptist, Emmanuel Baptist, Hunters Creek Bible Baptist, Fellowship Baptist, Sempronius Baptist, Calvary Heights Baptist, Lighthouse Baptist, Southeast Bible Baptist, and Grace Baptist church. If any were missed, this blogger apologizes. (Pastor Giardino, did I name them all?)

Of particular note was the small contingent from Sempronius, NY, among which was teen Hannah Grimes (that church’s pastor’s daughter – no fair). This amazing girl (sitting right in front of this blogger) was the quickest to answer three verses during a close and hard fought Swords Drill game, leading her church to victory. (I thought we had someone at the door looking for ringers?) Gospel Light’s favorite master-of-ceremonies, brother Gabriel Gonzalez, skillfully conducted this highly entertaining game, which was kept score by two volunteers on a giant scoreboard to the right of the sanctuary.

In a church that was decorated all around with yellow road signs and cones, and workers in construction crew helmets, all that was missing was Pastor Giardino’s blinding highway lamp (inside joke).  Co-host Vince Giardino, pastor of GLBBC, led the introductions and explained the absence of the originally scheduled preacher, C.T. Townsend, who is deeply committed to a 6-week old revival meeting in Georgia. In his place, evangelist Nathan Beam of North Carolina (and nephew to Pastor Dickson Beam of Grace Baptist Church in Medina, NY) was the newly chosen main preacher for the evening.

As co-host to the Youth Rally, Pastor Beam described the vision of the evening, based on Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, that if “Two are better than one”, then independent Baptist churches should come together to see what God can do in their midst. As a reflection of Psalm 34:3, Pastor Beam reminded us that we, as many churches, are tonight “one voice singing together.”

The major means of glorifying Our Lord on this most musical of nights, was just that, through music and singing.  The number of participants was far too many to name them all in the small space of this blog. Nevertheless, we were treated to a duet with piano, a men’s trio, a quartet of women, a child’s choir (led by Bonnie Vasquez), a mixed trio with piano, and a large mixed choir (led by Pastor Beam). The musical talents of the host church were displayed to praise our God. Of course, mention is needed of brother Mateo Vazquez, who enthusiastically led the congregation in impassioned singing of hymns throughout the service. During the invitation, Pastor Giardino would later mention the “spiritual songs and hymns to soften the heart” that helped lead souls to Christ.

With the lights turned down, a skit was put on by Luke and Jesenia. The skit was centered on the life of a woman who had just passed on.  She reviewed the episodes of her life as represented by cards placed in filing cabinets, which were the backdrop on stage. While feeling ashamed at the contents of the cards, the women was horrified to see Jesus arrive and read the cards, his eyes filled with pity. However, Jesus blots out her name on each card by signing his name in blood over hers. Jesus took upon himself her sins at the cross, saying, “It is finished.” At its conclusion, Pastor Beam emphasized the meaning of the skit. He had the congregation recite the words to John 3:16, having each of us replace “whosoever” with our names.

Before I get to the sermon of the evening, I’d like to mention the many other highlights of the evening’s rally.  Pastor Dickson Beam, after telling about the day he was saved, asked members of congregation to call out their dates of salvation. Many did so. Pastor Willie O’Dell, of Hunters Creek Bible Baptist church, opened the evening with a touching and memorable prayer. After the announcement that David Spurgeon would soon be a guest at GLBBC, brother Jeremiah Rodell changed gears on the evening by performing an uproarious impression of brother Spurgeon.  Raffle prizes were given out at several points in the evening. After the sermon, it was announced that, hidden under the church seats were five envelopes. Those teens with the envelopes stood up front, opened them, with one being the winner of a mini iPod (it being so mini that Pastor Giardino had a hard time finding it). Continuing with the hard times for Pastor Giardino, he had promised to shave off his moustache if more than 100 first-time visitors arrived for the evening.  Needless to say, our poor pastor was required to submit to a shave at the pulpit. He was given one last request, which he made by choosing his wife to do the dastardly deed. It can be said that Pastor Giardino’s mustache died for his transgression, that sin being his bad guess at the number of visitors. (Lori, is it true you’ve never see your husband without a mustache? Inquiring minds want to know.)

With evangelist Nathan Beam stepping in front of the pulpit, we prepared to be fed the Word.  Brother Nathan did not disappoint, directing us to Amos 4:6-12. These verses describe the stubborn nature of the 10 wandering tribes of Israel and God’s continued efforts to get their attention through the preaching of Amos. Despite poverty, drought, famine, and disease, the call to repentance fell on deaf ears. Thus, the people ran out of chances and God did finally say, “prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.”

These verses in Amos, we were told, have “special application to us today.” Brother Nathan related a story of when, at 7 years of age, he was given the chore of raking leaves by his father. Rather than just doing what he was told, brother Nathan made a mess by scattering the bagged leaves in a pretend football game. Upon his father’s return, he was caught unprepared and received a “whooping”. His lesson learned was, “When my father comes home, I will be prepared.” Likewise, said brother Nathan, “one day we will all stand before our heavenly Father.”

Nathan Beam then expanded on his point by saying we need to “prepare to meet our God at death.” “We all have an appointment with death” and because life is so short, we need to ask ourselves what we are doing with our “one chance at life.” Next, he said we need to “prepare to meet your God at the judgement.” Those who are saved “will stand and give an account of their lives” before the seat of Christ in the first judgement. They will not be judged for their sins, but their “works will be tried by fire.” Brother Nathan warned of the second judgment at the great white throne for those who have died in their sins. They will be judged by three books: the Word of God, the book of your works, and the book of life, from which their names have been “blotted out.” Their destiny, we were told, is “nothing but torment for eternity” in the lake of fire. Brother Nathan then spoke of a man saved just one day before his death and a child who died unsaved. That child’s advice, brother Nathan surmised, would be to “prepare to meet your God.”

The sermon was concluded by the invitation to come forward. Pastor Giardino called upon the unsaved to raise their hands, that the church was the “place to get right with God” and was a “spiritual hospital”.  As stated earlier, four souls were saved.

At 10PM, this blogger needed to head off to work and would miss the buffet dinner that had been prepared by Gospel Light’s head chef, brother Jeremiah Rodell, and a hard working kitchen staff of many. I am told that on the menu was: chili-cheese dogs, potato salad, roasted potatoes, taco and salsa dip with chips, soda, potato chips, and as dessert, ice cream sandwiches. I sincerely hope that everyone had a great time of fellowship and fun at the dinner.  Just prior to dinner, Pastor Giardino announced a follow-up church service tomorrow morning at 10AM here at GLBBC. All who would still be in the area were invited for breakfast pizzas, preaching by Pastor Beam, games, and other fun activities.

On behalf of all who serve the Lord at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church, we thank our many guests (teens, parents, and pastors) from throughout upstate New York for visiting and worshipping with us. Our Most High, Jesus Christ the Lord has seen his flock gathered together for the high calling of evangelizing our younger generation. The commitment from all of us at GLBBC toward cooperation and unity among independent Baptist churches remains firm. “Two” or more “are better than one.” God bless.

5 replies
  1. Pastor G
    Pastor G says:

    Hello Gospel Light,
    It is my delight to serve with such extraordinary
    saints in… striving together for the faith of the gospel,
    Phil 1:27. Your hospitality shown to 300 young people
    and adults is a testimony of a sensational spirit that
    is present here at Gospel Light. I salute you as your
    pastor! Love, Pastor G

  2. Lori G
    Lori G says:

    Great job of recapping the evening, Joe! It was a lot of work to get ready but we have so many great folks to help out that it was no real big deal. Worth all the effort to see four souls come to Christ. Praise the Lord! and thanks to all who made it happen! ;o}
    To answer your question about the mustache…yes! It’s true that I had never seen my husband without a hairy lip (unless it was in pictures.) I find that he really does look different! I’m so used to the mustache that I have to get adjust to this new look.

  3. apostle43
    apostle43 says:

    Pastor G. and Lori,

    What a powerful, wonderful, delightful evening for me and everyone I
    met. Thank you Pastor G. for your vision, your planning, and your
    wisdom. You conducted the evening so very well, knowing when to back
    out of the spot light to let others shine, all the while steering the
    proceedings like the capable sea captain you are!

    Thank you for the comments on the blog. I just now “approved” the
    comments; I wish I had seen & approved them earlier. The night was a
    wonderful success. If pride is a sin, then I’m guilty of being very,
    very proud of my church family. It is astonishing to see the talent and
    resourcefulness of our small little church. I do feel ashamed at having
    not contributed to the work of the past week. My excuses are poor.
    Seeing the children of other families singing on stage made me sad that
    Emily was not up there also.

    About the review I posted, it has seen the most “hits” (by far) that the
    blog has seen since I started writing. Obviously many people who were
    there last night are finding the GLBBC web site. Regarding the local
    efforts of the Baptist churches to unite, maybe Gospel Light (and the
    web site) will be a central point for people to continue to “rally”.
    GLBBC is becoming the hub around which the effort is revolving.

  4. Pearl Caletz
    Pearl Caletz says:

    Praise God for our Youth Rally. I had an opportunity to hear Evangelist Nate Beam speak at our youth rally on Friday evening. What a blessing to hear powerful preaching from such a young man as Brother Beam. The Lord allowed him to share a wealth of wisdom to all who attended our rally. To see all of the people in attendance and to feel the Lord in our midst. We can’t go back but we can continue forward with the truth that was shared that night. Thank you Pastor Giardino and Pastor Beam for your vision. Thank you Bro. Nate Beam.

    I also would like to give a shout out for street preaching. The Lord graciously gave us fruit for our labor. Yay team!! A sweet couple was handed a tract this past Thursday night and visited our church this morning. The both accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. Now 2 more names are written down in glory. My husband, Rey and I had the honor of sharing the gospel with them. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice… A nice culmination of our week!

    What an awesome God and Creator we have.

    Joshua 24:15
    “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” The bible contains the word of God, I read it to know God.

  5. Mateo Vazquez
    Mateo Vazquez says:

    Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!

    It is a joy and a priviledge to serve with the wonderful folks at Gospel Light and everyone involved this weekend. It was especially nice to come back from vacation and to jump right into the YOUTH RALLY. I really want to thank you Joe for your diligence, humility and dedication to this website and blog. I was literally able to “stay in touch” by simply going to this website and reading the blog when I was at my brother’s house in Virginia. I an sooooo thankful and appreciate the talent God has given you and your willing obedience to be used by God in this capacity. I have grown to depend on this blog. Please, please… don’t ‘grow weary in well doing’

    Love you all!!

    Mateo V.

    (ps. this was my first post … AMEN!! )

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