Originally created 12/30/00

Watch Night services will welcome the New Year



On New Year's Eve 20 years ago, Bryan Cockrell launched the Alpha Youth Group at New Hope Worship Center in Grovetown.

The congregation will celebrate the youth ministry's anniversary and welcome in 2001 with Christian comedians Hicks and Cohagan, several contemporary bands and soloist Paula Lambert at the church, 715 Old Belair Road, from 9 p.m. until midnight Sunday.It is one of several Augusta-area churches that will ring in the New Year with music, prayer and fellowship.

The action at New Hope is not just for young people and not just for the congregation - the Alpha youth anniversary is only part of the festivities, Pastor Cockrell said. "Christians are looking for something to do on New Year's."

The same year Alpha started gathering, Kansas City, Mo.-based Hicks and Cohagan introduced their Christian comedy and drama. They traveled with the Bill Gaither Vocal Band for five years and appeared with recording artists Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patty.

Christian-contemporary groups Whitmans Mold, Red Sea Experience and the Alpha Youth Band will also perform.

At least Eight students from the original Alpha are in full-time ministry today, and three of those - Brad Bowen, Ricky Coule and Scott Franklin - are on staff at New Hope, said Pastor Cockrell. "Those guys were 10 and 11 years old then."

For more information, call 868-6410.

AFTER SOME PRAISE and worship at 9 p.m. Sunday, members of Whole Life Ministries, 2621 Washington Road, will kick back and get "quiet with God," said member Clesie Adams.

Rather than setting their own goals and making resolutions, they try to be open to what God wants for them and commit to pray for that during the coming year, she said. The "real challenge is to keep them before you all year."

For more information, call 737-4530.

CONGREGATIONS FROM Springhill Baptist Training Center and Crawford Baptist Church will hold a joint Watch Night observance at Crawford, 955 Florence St., at 10 p.m.

The Rev. Gary T. Reese, Springhill pastor, will deliver the message. The youth ministry will provide a drummer and step show.

RECORDING ARTIST Fred Prophet will perform during a buffet breakfast at the Integrity Center, 2517 Milledgeville Road, from 1 to 3 a.m. Monday. The buffet includes salmon croquettes, bacon, sausage, grits, eggs, breads and pastries, hash browns and drinks and costs $5.99.

For more information or to make reservations, call 737-1116.

Reach Virginia Norton at (706) 823-3336 or vanorton@augustachronicle.com.



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