LIMA — As Teens for Christ President Buck Sutton looked over the crowd gathered in Lima’s Town Square, he began his address to them with one simple statement.
“We’re going to dance on Main Street for Jesus.”
The crowd roared in approval as Christian musician Chris Tomlin’s song “God’s Great Dance Floor” then began to pulsate through the speakers.
That scene marked the beginning of a massive prayer rally held Saturday in Lima’s Town Square, which brought together more than 1,000 people, including more than 700 teenagers from throughout Ohio and beyond, all seeking divine intervention for their schools, the city and the nation.
“We have over 100 churches represented,” Sutton said. “We have people here from Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana and all over the state of Ohio.”
This gathering was part of the Converge youth conference, which began Friday at the Elida Fieldhouse with performances from Christian artists Tenth Avenue North, Hawk Nelson and I Am They. Along with seeking to help young people grow in their faith through workshops, fun and fellowship, conference organizers also wanted to spread that message to the Lima community through service, as exemplified in Operation Love Lima, a prayer walk and food distribution that saw participants distribute nearly 80,000 pounds of food to soup kitchens like Our Daily Bread as well as directly to low-income families.
“Our drive is to be a blessing to this community,” Sutton said. “The drive is to show them that there is hope in Christ, that God loves them and also to bring the body of Christ together, to bring people together as one.”
During the rally, participants spent five minutes praying privately and corporately for Lima or their own community, the United States, their schools and churches. For 14-year-old Carol Smith, of Lima, the experience was one she will never forget.
“I am speechless,” she said. “I’m so happy that we all got to come here and pray for this city because this city desperately needs the Lord.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.