Home Local News Freedom Baptist Church to Host Student Conference “Fearless 2017”

Freedom Baptist Church to Host Student Conference “Fearless 2017”

Fearless 2017 will take place this weekend, September 15 and 16, at Freedom Baptist Church in Rockingham.
Photo courtesy of Fearless 2017 Facebook page.

ROCKINGHAM – As Richmond County is nestled in the heart of the Southern Baptist Bible belt, Freedom Baptist Church in Rockingham, is excited to announce it will be hosting “Fearless,” an annual youth conference.

The two-day youth retreat is set to take place this weekend, Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Freedom’s location at 987 US Highway 1 in Rockingham. FBC’s youth pastor Jeff James is excited to host the event, and expects this year to be another major success.

According to local worship leader Arthur Gilliam, Fearless began when he and C.J. Smith, a local youth pastor at Mount Olive Baptist Church, were eating together at their favorite restaurant. Smith had the idea of gathering middle school and high school students from different denominations, cultures and backgrounds to worship together.

Little did they imagine at that time that 300 students would attend the inaugural gathering, which thus has become known as the Fearless student retreat.

Entering its fourth year of operation. Fearless’ purpose is to empower Richmond County’s youth to live out their faith in a society where so many young people are afraid to do so.

“Fearless was developed to challenge and inspire students to live out their faith fearlessly,” Gilliam said. “Our hope is that they also live out their faith radically in such a way that it may inspire others, as well.”

This year, students in attendance will welcome in guest keynote speaker Zach Kelley, who is a Bible teacher at Fayetteville Christian School. Kelley is also a student pastor at Breezewood Church in Hope Mills, N.C. Freedom Baptist Church’s praise team will provide the retreat’s entertainment, and a meal will be served each night at 6 p.m., followed by worship services at 7 p.m.


Student leaders and youth pastors created Fearless as an event that crosses denominational, cultural and background barriers, with involvement from several churches across the county.  This year’s bible verse is 2 Timothy 1:7, which states, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

“We believe that we can do so much more together than we can apart,” Gilliam stated. “This year, we have seven different churches planning the event, but additional churches will also attend.”

The event is hosted by a different church each year, with Freedom Baptist Church hosting this year. Gilliam predicted that they will have about 400 youth attending this year’s event, which is a noteworthy number. Normally a two-night event, Gilliam Fearless will switch things up this year and end its conference at Twisted Treats.

“Because of all the positive feedback we received last year, we will be offering an extra gathering this year on Saturday afternoon at Twisted Treats.”

Fearless also partners with the Pee Dee Pregnancy Center, a local nonprofit in Richmond County. A portion of the offering each night, as well as money given by churches, goes directly to the Pregnancy Center. The youth groups contribute baby items as well.

To learn more about Fearless, or how to attend, visit its Facebook page (Fearless 2017) or contact FBC youth pastor Jeff James at (704) 244-1714.


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