Local teens organize The Wake Conference

"This is going to be a fantastic opportunity to refocus on Christ."
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 8:55 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - During a “normal” summer, many middle and high school students attend camps. But we all know this year has been anything but normal and camps are no longer an option. However, two local teenagers have found a way for Bay County youth to attend church camp and stay safe while doing it.

“Because all of our church camps were canceled due to the virus, we still wanted to do an outreach for our students,” said one of the organizers Abby Gayle Gregory. “We wanted to do a conference so it’s still in the word and we still get that kind of the camp-like feeling, but it’s here in Bay County and it’s with all of our peers from school.”

Gregory, along with another local teenager Jacob Pickle, joined forces with many others in the community to organize what they call the Wake Conference.

“The theme of Wake is coming out of a time of kind of a lukewarm faith and wanting to step out and say you know what I want to take this seriously now. This is going to be a fantastic opportunity to refocus on Christ. It just kind of came out of that wanting to step out of our comfort zone in faith and wanting to do more for the glory of God and bring Bay County with us,” said Gregory.

“So we’ll have three days and it’s like a Thursday night and a Friday afternoon and a Saturday afternoon and night,” said Pickle. “We have a local worhip band that does college worship to come in and do that for us and then we’ve got a few different youth pastors from a few different churches that will lead our main sessions.”

The event will be held at First Baptist Church Panama City on July 9th and go through the 11th, and is open to 8th graders through college students.

“We’ll have dinner and worship the first night and then like a session and then break-out speakers on topics students really want to hear about, and then we’ll have some rec, of course, some fun games and tournaments and stuff like that, and then we’ll do dinner and worship every night,” said Pickle.

One reason for choosing First Baptist to host the event is it’s big enough to allow for social distancing.

“We’ve got a good space, so as long as we’re about 200 students or around that number or below we’ll have plenty of space to space everybody out,” said Pickle.

They say after being away from each other for so long students need something like this.

“It’s more of a time of fellowship with one another and I think that this in itself is going to be so much fun and kind of life-saving for each student,” said Gregory.

The cost for the conference is $10 and you will need to pre-register so they can plan for the food.

“We’re keeping it low so that we can have as many people attend as possible,” said Pickle. “We’ve had a lot of great community donors that have helped us out and partnered with us on this to really bring this together.”

They've made it easy to sign up.

“We actually have a Wake conference website on goggle forum and that links with First Baptist Panama City Website for students and you just click on the link that says WAKE CONFERENCE and it will take you to it,” said Pickle.

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