Mount Pleasant Baptist Church is launching a crusade. Although there won't be knights on horseback, there will be plenty of young people rapping, stepping and generally just expressing their praise of God.
The aim of the third annual Teen Crusade is to show teens ways of worship better suited to the youth cultural.
"The focus is on praise and worship and how to use different forms to it do," said the Rev. Weaver Blondin, the Mount Pleasant children and youth minister. "It doesn't have to be the 'old-fashioned' ways of praise."
The crusade will actually be a day-and-a-half of workshops, guest speakers and musical performances, beginning Friday evening and carrying through all day Saturday.
THE CHRISTIAN GO-GO GROUP, Youthful Spirits, will kick the event off with their version of gospel-based street music infused with jazz, rap and percussion Friday night. Afterwards the Rev. Stephen Dial of Decatur, Ga., will present "True Love Waits."
The bulk of the event takes place Saturday when the teens get to sign up for one of five workshops: rap, dance, drama, step — a rhythmic movement of the hands and feet to make sound — and song.
"Sometimes, without compromising the message, you can capture the youth," Blondin said of the worship workshop selections.
There will be a performance from a Christian step team and another guest speaker, Kevin Lee of Stone Mountain, Ga. In addition, the participants will have a continental breakfast, lunch and dinner during the course of the all-day event. A separate workshop, "Jump Starting Your Youth Ministry," will be available for adults and parents.
AFTERWARDS, all participants will give presentations in the genres they spent the day learning about.
Friday night's program begins at 7 p.m., with Saturday's program beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing through the evening. The cost for walk-ins is $5 for groups and $10 for individuals, and includes the three meals. The crusade is open to the public. Mount Pleasant Baptist Church is located at 2516 Squirrel Hill Road.