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Wake Conference kicks off at First Baptist Church

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 9:46 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Thursday kicked off the first day of the Wake Conference at First Baptist Church in downtown Panama City as a way for kids to have a summer church camp amid the pandemic.

“I think honestly with high school students and college students that are still involved with their churches and they go to those youth camps over the summer that is something that truly refocuses you on Christ,” said organizer Abby Gayle Gregory. “It brings you back to the main reason of why we walk through life and why we do what we do.”

Gregory along with fellow organizer Jacob Pickle welcomed in 8th graders through college students and the conference features worships bands as well as youth pastors from area churches.

But Pickle says they had to make a few last-minute changes.

“We had a few speakers this week who had been potentially exposed [to the virus] or their churches had asked them to not speak. We totally understand and [had] no hard feelings at all,” said Pickle. “It just shows how good God is that within a day we were able to fill each spot that we needed just like that.”

Organizers say they chose First Baptist because it gave enough space for individuals and groups to social distance and are encouraging those participating to wear masks.

As the pandemic continues, organizers say their faith has grown stronger and they hope those participating feel closer together even when six feet apart.

“I think that being together and the togetherness of the church and the body of Christ is such a big deal too and knowing you aren’t walking it alone,” said Gregory.

“The idea of Wake, it kind of refocused me on God. It’s like you don’t have these things but I’m going to give you something better and God’s consistently done that every time but especially now, even more so with the pandemic,” said Pickle.

The conference runs through July 11 and organizers say to stop by First Baptist Church if you’d like to register.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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