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By Brian Blackwell, editor of the Baptist Message

DEVILLE, La. (LBM) – Two hundred and sixty students kicked off the new school year with worship and a color powder war at the Philadelphia Baptist Church, Deville. Importantly, the “Color Clash” evangelistic event was a catalyst for the salvation decisions of 23 students. Student pastor Andrew Barber said the event strengthened his students’ passion to reach their classmates for Christ.

“The students were just willing to go out of their way to bring their friends,” Barber told The Baptist Message. “They were excited for the ‘stuff’, but we were clear that we were going to share Jesus with everyone in this room; and they bought.

Color Clash is Philadelphia’s biggest student outreach event of the year and features a gospel presentation, giveaways, and a chance for attendees to engage in friendly battle using colored powder.

The church prepared for the event with months of prayer and a mass distribution of flyers by Philadelphia students to their classmates.

The outreach effort proved successful as 125 first-time visitors attended.

“When God responded, he responded in an incredible, intentional way,” Barber explained. “Many students have come to me after being overjoyed that the friend they had invited had given his life to Christ. My favorite comment was from a freshman basketball player who said, “Two of my teammates got saved tonight.”

Junior Gabe Lewis, the son of Louisiana Baptist youth strategist Brandon Lewis, said he was overwhelmed with joy after seeing three people he had invited to the event.

“It was great to see so many invitations coming together in so many areas of our school,” Lewis said. “I was jumping for joy knowing they had come and also seeing some of my classmates accepting Christ. I look forward to seeing what God will do with our youth group the rest of the year.

PBC Pastor Philip Robertson believes the event is just the start of a powerful move of the Holy Spirit in the church and community.

“It was amazing service for young people on Wednesday night,” he said. “What a Savior. I am grateful to Andrew Barber and all of our adult volunteers who serve and guide our students.

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