Talents For Christ has a unique way of bringing families—organic and church—together. Especially when the pastor is also your dad.
And there’s something about the way this bonding works with a dad’s heart. Patrick Odle, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Elyria, Ohio, quickly found that out. The emotions of the day caught up to him as he recounted coaching his daughter, Victoria, 17, in the TFC female public speaking competition.
“We sat down and prayed, and kept our focus on the fact that this is a spiritual thing, a serving-the-Lord thing,” Patrick says. “I told her, ‘This is really a ministry and you need God to help you do this.’ There were some precious times of prayer together.”
Thirty-four national competitors spent the day around the conference, seeing that perspective. They participated in categories such as art, oral interpretation, and music.
The relationship works with big families, too. Churches come together in a special way to support and mentor the next generation. Dale Williams, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Naperville, Ill., came not for the GARBC conference, but to support four of his youth group teens at TFC.
“I don’t believe that youth are the church of tomorrow. They’re the church of today, and they should serve today,” Dale says. “TFC is a way to get them active in church. It creates an enthusiasm for serving the Lord, and attaches it to the much wider perspective of the association.”
First place winners receive $5,000 and second place winners receive $2,500 towards their next educational step. Baptist Bible College also offers an extra $1000 for Talents for Christ winners. Five different colleges honor the scholarships:
- Appalachain Bible College, Mt. Hope, West Virginia
- Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
- Faith Baptist Bible College, Ankeny, Iowa
- Piedmont International University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- Shasta Bible College, Redding, California