The faculty and staff in the Music and Worship Division at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) combined with worship leaders from across Florida to lead the fourth annual “Elevate” Worship Arts Camp July 9-13 on the Graceville campus. Over forty motivated campers from across the state participated in this year’s camp designed for students sixth grade through the twelfth grade.
The campers engaged in multiple worship experiences to “elevate” and strengthen their abilities to lead and participate in worship through singing and playing instruments, and other creative expressions such as sign language, drama, puppets, and photography. The incredible faculty, alumni, and other talented clinicians provided instruction during the breakout sessions and encouraged students to reach the next level in their areas of interest.
Back for the fourth year, Rev. Ryan Shipp, Pastor of Worship and Missions at Mandarin Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., served as the camp pastor. BCF graduate Shawn Smith, Music and Worship Pastor at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., led the group in praise and worship. Both men demonstrated a genuine heart for worship as they shared their hearts during times of worship, group sessions, and devotionals.
The overall camp experience provided participants with opportunities for spiritual development through Bible study, youth-oriented worship services, and daily devotional times. Students were shown the importance of their God-given gifts and abilities, and the joy of using those talents to honor the One who created them. “We are confident that these young people will take the knowledge and ability they have gained during Elevate back home and make a significant contribution to the worship life of their churches,” stated BCF Music and Worship Division Chair Bill Davis. “We hope many of them will come back and study with us as full-fledged BCF students!”
In addition to the inspirational worship experiences and class instruction, the campers enjoyed times of fellowship getting to know other Christians their age from around the state. Recreation proved to be yet another important opportunity for fellowship, with events that included a trip to a Blue Springs, a water park, and plenty of fun on the BCF campus led by BCF graduate and Minister of Music at First Baptist Church Graceville, Buddy Goodman. His unique flair with competitive team sports inside and outside kept campers on their toes, engaged, and challenged.
The camp concluded with a combined choir concert and presentations from the various worship classes. “A few days ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a great musical celebration,” stated BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen. “The joy of the occasion was not determined by whether the content was anthems or choruses. It was not dependent upon whether the musicians were well-seasoned professionals or middle school choir members. The occasion was joyous because of the content of the music and the spirit in which it was presented. The closing concert at Elevate, the Worship Arts Camp at The Baptist College of Florida, was a wonderful time of entertainment and worship. Someone might have missed a note, but then what do I know? I know that I saw students and staff, trained and novices all worshipping our Lord, and, for me, that was abundant joy.”
Four students received a $1000 scholarship to attend The Baptist College of Florida and continue studying worship arts or one of the other degree fields where the Lord may be leading them. For more information on the music and worship degrees offered at The Baptist College of Florida or information on next year’s “Elevate” Worship Arts Camp, please contact 850-263-3261 ext. 427.