Illuminate and Glow Kids: November Update

by Ryan Haddox

The month of November always brings about great things in my mind. The leaves are changing to all the vibrant, beautiful colors that make Fall time what it is in our great state. Along with the leaves changing, another wonderful memory and tradition is Thanksgiving dinner! You may not be able to tell from mine or Anna’s size, but we both LOVE to eat and will put ourselves into a food coma at Thanksgiving.

This year though, as I sit back and ponder on the months and days flying past, I think about everything that I’m thankful for. So much has changed in my life this past year and one of those many things has been coming to this church. This has possibly been, beside getting married, the greatest thing to be thankful for. Anna and I have felt and experienced more outpouring of love from this church then we could have ever imagined. We receive support when we need it and direction/words of wisdom when we need it and that means the world to us.

We have so much to be thankful for in our lives, but so many times we just pass by them and take them for granted. I challenge you, this Thanksgiving season, to acknowledge all that you have to be thankful for. But don’t stop there…Carry that thankfulness into Advent season as we focus on the birth of our Savior and learning just how much we have to be thankful for in Him.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Ryan

School is back in full swing!

by Ryan Haddox

School is back in full swing and the leaves are starting to change! Fall is upon us and we have A LOT of things planned for this season!

On October 7th, Illuminate Ministries will be representing the church for the annual Chili Night! We will be meeting at the church at 3pm on Saturday, October 7th to get things ready and prepped for the big night! Everyone is welcome to come and spend time in fellowship with friends and the community!

October 25th is our Trek-or-Treat Halloween Party for the Glow Kids! This is an exciting time as the children make their way to the top of the church, collecting candy along the way! Ages 5-5th grade are welcome!

Illuminate Ministries will also be having a “haunted house” on the 4th floor for the children and we are welcoming all donations of Halloween decorations and help in putting it on!

October 28th…THERE’S A LOCK-IN! That’s right…our second lock-in is planned and ready to go down! Our goal is to double the amount we had last time and I’m needing some chaperons to help with the madness! If you would like to hang out with the youth for the evening and spend time getting to know our students, then please let me know so I can get your name down!

Both student ministries are so very blessed to have a loving church family that pray for them and encourage them, as well as giving them positive role models to take after! Thank you for all you do, big or small, for the student ministries!

Youth and Children’s Ministry – September

The time has come once again for the students to sharpen their pencils, as well as their minds, and head back to school! As a Youth Pastor, that’s music to my ears! Vacations are over, kids are consistent, and schools are a mission field! As I look at this upcoming school year and the opportunity it brings for our Youth and Children’s ministries, there’s two words that come to my mind; sustainability and growth.

Sustainability is needed in our walk with Christ in many ways. We need sustainability in the ups and downs of life. When things get hard and we need to have that faith that, no matter what may come, God is for us. Sometimes life might feel like a desert and you can’t “feel God” and you feel alone, but the sustaining faith in Christ Jesus can hold you in those dry times. Sustaining faith is something I pray for in the lives of our youth, as well as my own. God is enough, in ANY situation.

Growth is something that comes with time put in. As Christians, we are to serve as if we are serving the Lord and give Him our very best. We have to be willing to put in the footwork in order to reach people for Christ. Youth Ministry is all about meeting kids where they are. You have to be a part of their world before they will become a part of yours. Growth is also a gift from God. We put in our best and God puts in the rest and makes it happen!

As our students go throughout their new school year, be praying for them. Be praying for the strength to bear the name of God no matter what is said, be praying for uplifting groups of friends surrounding them, and be praying    for students that need to know Jesus. There are so many hurting students that need to know Christ and the gift of eternal life.


Ryan Haddox

Off to a Great Start – Youth and Children

by Ryan Haddox

Summer is upon us and we’re off to a great start at Illuminate Ministries and Glow Kids. At Illuminate, we’re all recuperated from the big trip to Carowinds and now have our sites on camp at Cowen and one more outing before it gets cold…STAY TUNED FOR THAT! Glow Kids is growing in numbers and we’re EXCITED about that! With the summer in full swing and vacations being taken, I wanted to stop for a moment and encourage everyone to rest from the business that summer can bring!

This summer, for me personally, is the busiest one yet! I’ve got two camps, vacation bible school, and I’M GETTING MARRIED!!! All of that is going to make an old man out of me by the end, but in all of the business that I’m surrounded with I have to make sure to center myself with God’s word and peace and sustainability. With sports, tournaments, vacations, reunions, and whatever else you and yours do, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun of it and put God on the back burner. It’s easy to “play tardy” at church because you simply don’t have time or need to pack. All of that is so simple for us to do, but also so dangerous. You see…we all must be connected to God in order to know what direction to go in life. Just like my GPS got us down and back from Carowinds safety, so also does the Word of God carry me and sustain my every move. We must also speak with God. In order for friendships and relationships to flourish there must be communication and listening, so also is our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We must have excellent communication and listening skills in order to grow our relationship with God.

These are two aspects of growing closer to God that our students will hear and learn about at Camp, as well as Sunday Nights. My prayer for our students, and all students that attend Camp, is that they would be filled up with Christ while there and not pull the plug on Him when they get home. Just like a sink filled with water, that water only stays in if you don’t pull the plug. My prayer is that they continue to fill themselves up with goodness (through the use of the two aspects above) and let it overflow into their outward lives and their schools.

VBS Super Saturday

by Addie Gilkerson

We are so excited to announce the return of the “Super Saturday” VBS. We have found in previous years we get a better turnout for a one day VBS extravaganza! So this year we will be hosting it on Saturday, August 12 from 5:00-7:00 PM. The theme is “Wide Open Spaces.” We are pleased to be using the YMCA’s Paul Cline Soccer Complex for this event. We will be using the great outdoors to teach the children about the wonders of God’s creation. While there, we will be grilling out and food will be plentiful.  Fun games and activities will also be abundant! All children between the ages of 5-12 are welcome to come and join us! Please tell your friends and neighbors; bring the grandkids; or offer someone less fortunate a ride! Should there be rain, there will be someone at the Complex to direct you to the alternate indoor location. But let’s pray for beautiful weather! We also ask you pray for a good turnout. We really want to see a lot of kids come out for this exciting event!

Glow Kids Ministries Happenings


  • Sunday School@9:45am! (3rd Floor)
  • Children’s Church every Sunday morning after Sunday School! (3rd Floor)
  • Glow Night every Wednesday@6pm! (4th Floor)


  • Sunday School@9:45am! (3rd Floor)
  • Children’s Church every Sunday morning after Sunday School! (3rd Floor)
  • Glow Night every Wednesday@6pm! (4th Floor)

Illuminate Ministries Happenings


  • Youth Group Sunday Night@6pm 4th Floor.
  • Sunday School @9:45am! (4th Floor)
  • May 20th OPEN GYM Crescent Elementary School!
  • NO CHURCH May 28th on Sunday Night!


  • Youth Group Sunday Night @6pm 4th Floor.
  • Sunday School @9:45am! (4th Floor)
  • NO CHURCH June 18th on Sunday Night!
  • Carowinds Trip – Date To Be Announced

Dare2Share and Glow Kids

by Ryan Haddox

Illuminate Ministries will be traveling to Washington D.C. on March 10-12 for the Dare2Share Conference. This is a high school and middle school aged event that has been changing lives all over the world for years and our kids get to take part in it!   The cost is $75 and that covers hotels, travel, and meals. Students will only need to bring money for personal stuff that they want to buy.

The Glow Kids Children’s Ministry is meeting EVERY WEDNESDAY at 6pm on the 4th floor for Glow Night! We’ll be discovering what God has in store for us and why we need to stay rooted in Him in order to do great things!

Please plan on bringing your children. It’s so important that we get children involved in stuff like this when they’re young so they can grow up in middle school and high school knowing God’s word and carry it to whatever college campus they attend