Pre-Em1WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis.—As high school students across the country attend prom, Calvary Baptist Church hosts a formal event that aims to be “a healthy atmosphere for fellowship among Christian teens.”

For the past 25 years, Calvary Baptist has been hosting a prom alternative called PreEm, short for “Preeminence of Christ.” Pastor Jon Jenks says, “You can have a great time at events like this without the many negative things that happen at some high school events around the country.”

The goal of Calvary Baptist Church is to have its youth practice the “preeminence of Christ” in their lives. So PreEm is a great way for the leadership to encourage high school students to put Christ first in how the teens dress, how the guys treat the girls, how the teens interact with each other, and how they interact with their parents.

A second-year intern, Zack Tornow, led the event May 5 and 6. Zack was a member of Calvary Baptist Church’s youth group before attending Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, Pa.

Pre-Em3Along with Zack, other leaders and parents assisted the church’s seniors in planning and funding the entire event.

On the night of PreEm, teens arrived at the church at 5:30 for a welcome, appetizers, fellowship with parents, and many photo opportunities using various backgrounds in the foyer. When their parents left, the young people ate dinner, served by the church’s eighth-graders, in a decorated room and heard a short message by Matt Hoffland, a singer, songwriter, and dramatist. Seniors led in worship and presented a slideshow featuring images of the graduating teens. After everyone pitched in to clean up, the guys and girls separated to spend the night in different locations.

The next morning started with brunch. Then the group enjoyed fun and fellowship at a water park in Wausau. The day ended with everyone returning to the church at 4:00 p.m., ready to depart for home, but not before being reminded one more time about the preeminence of Christ in everything they do.