Religious Young Adults Working With Area Youth

June 19, 2003
Posted at: 10:12 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- While some twenty-somethings are giving their generation a bad name, others are using their faith to help others. In Region 8, two college students are following the call they received when they were teens.

Brandon Emerson and Brenna Holland decided at 17 years of age to give their lives to preaching the Gospel. It was something that, they say, was an easy choice.

For Emerson, the call came while talking with a youth group about an umpcoming mission trip.

"As I was giving that message," Emerson said. "I just knew that's what the Lord wanted me to do."

More than three years later, Emerson has widened his preaching duties to include youth ministry, as well as filling in for other pastors at South Caraway Baptist Church.

"I'm not one who would be one to stand up in front of public very often, but it's the Lord that gives me strength to be able to proclaim the message that he wants the people to hear," Emerson said.

Emerson spends about 10 hours a week working with 7th through 12th graders in addition to college studies and working. Meanwhile, Holland works anywhere from 60 to 80 hours a week helping teens at Cornerstone United Methodist Church.

"Just spending time with the kids," Holland said. "And just letting them know that Jesus loves them, and I do too. And anything they need, you know, will be provided for them as long as they rely on Christ."

Holland began her work in the church just out of high school, but never regrets using most of her free time to recruit kids to come to worship.

"I've always had a desire to really teach people about Christ," Holland said.

Emerson never thought his profession would be professing passages.

"I thought I'd be in business or something."

But in the eyes of his church, he is. The important business of guiding youth with the Bible, and thoughts of retiring are far down the road.

"I just felt like I was being called, and I went with it, and everything since then has just worked out perfectly for me," Emerson said.