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Valentine’s Day dinner one of many upcoming events planned by First Baptist Church youth group

Contributed Photo • Members of the First Baptist Church of Erwin’s Youth Group include Markus Strawser, Amillo Garcia, Joshua Smith, Samuel Christensen, Paytience Smith, Zoey Austin, Mya Marcelo, Nancy Diaz, Jayden Fitzpatrick, Alasia Garcia, Mary Catherine Holley and Natalia Mendoza. The group plans on hosting a special Valentine’s Day for the public on Saturday, Feb. 12.

By Richard Rourk

A local youth group has been working hard to finalize plans for making Valentine’s Day special for local couples and families.

The First Baptist Church of Erwin Youth Group will host a special Valentine’s Day dinner on Saturday, Feb. 12. 

“This is the first of many dinners we hope to host for Erwin and Unicoi County,” said Chasity Strawser, First Baptist’s Interim Minister to Students.

“Our menu for the evening will include pasta, salad, bread and dessert,” she added. “Love is the overall theme of our dinner; loving one another as Christ has loved us.”

Strawser noted that the youth group’s members are very excited to serve.”

Strawser has been working hard herself to grow the youth group at First Baptist Church of Erwin. 

“We currently have 16 active members of our youth group ranging from sixth grade to 11th grade,” Strawser said. 

She noted that First Baptist Church of Erwin is committed to giving the youth of Unicoi County a safe place to grow as community leaders. 

“At FBCE we value the leadership of our youth and children’s departments,” Strawser said. “We want them to have a voice in the community and willing hearts to serve those around them.”

She noted that the group’s members see the need in Unicoi County and have a desire to help. 

“Fulfilling our mission statement, ‘In Christ for Community, In Community for Christ’ is something we take seriously as a youth group,” Strawser added. “As a church, we know that the children and youth we pour into now will be those leading our churches and those outside our church walls someday. We want to be a group of service in every way we can.”

Strawser and company are busy planning future events beyond the upcoming Valentine’s Day dinner.

 “We are currently doing a few different projects,” Strawser said. “We are serving an elderly Unicoi County resident with light housekeeping and pre-made meals while awaiting a move.”

In addition, she said the group is working together with Main Street Market to supply families of Unicoi County with food. 

“Starting in mid-February we will be taking meals to shut-ins and having a devotional with them during our Wednesday night meetings,” Strawser said.

“We are beginning to film a ‘Get to know You’ campaign for each of our youth members,” she added. “This is being done by our youth group videographer, Natalia Mendoza.”

Strawser said that Natalia is a current East Tennessee State University student working towards her bachelors in digital media with a concentration in visual effects

“She has been a long-time member of FBCE,” Strawser said. “She has a servant’s heart and I am so grateful for her willingness to use her talents to showcase our wonderful kids.”

Strawser invites the public to subscribe to the group’s Youtube page in order to learn more about First Baptist Church in Erwin and to meet the youth group’s kids. 

“Over the next few months, we have several outings we are doing,” she added. The public is welcome to come join them on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings to find out where FBCE youth will turn up next.

For the latest from First Baptist Church, follow the church’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages or join the congregation on Sunday mornings at 9:45 and 11 a.m. or Wednesday evenings at 5:30 p.m. 

“We do have a van pickup for anyone who needs a ride,” Strawser said. “Anyone interested can call the church office at (423) 743-9156 and leave a message or contact us through social media pages.”

The inaugural First Baptist Church Youth Groups Join Valentine’s Day Dinner is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. Plate prices are $15 for individuals and $25 per couple. Child care will be provided.

“We want to welcome everyone to an evening of dinner and music,” Strawser said.