Richardson to coordinate youth activities


The Rev. John Richardson wants to help young people find out who God created them to be.

Richardson, the new conference youth coordinator, believes conference youth ministry can play an important part in young people’s faith development.

“Youth ministry is not about the church tomorrow; it’s about helping young people figure out who God created them to be and how to live their lives.” Citing a Barna study, he underscored that 80 percent of people reach a decision about faith by age 18.

“Conference youth was a huge part of growing up in Mississippi for me, so I’m excited to be involved at the conference level and give my energy to doing the best youth ministry we can,” he said.

The Cabinet named Richardson to succeed Roger Shock as conference youth coordinator.

Shock left the conference March 1 to join the staff of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church in Little Rock.

At Annual Conference, Richardson will be formally nominated for the coordinator role. The search to fill the paid conference youth staff position continues.

In his second year as associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in New Albany, Richardson will be ordained as an elder in June.

As a youth at Parkway Heights UMC in Hattiesburg, Richardson grew up attending Convo and Spiritual Life Retreat, two longstanding conference youth events. He served on the conference Council on Youth Ministries in grades 7-12.

The following are upcoming youth events:

  • The Calling — May 20 at Christ UMC, Jackson. A retreat for high school juniors and seniors and adults who may be sensing a call to ministry in the United Methodist Church. Registration deadline is April 30.
  • Celebration of Youth Ministries Banquet — June 12 at Madison UMC. Tickets required.
  • UMY Leadership Conference (formerly MYAC) — June 22-24 at Millsaps College. Two youth per church/charge may participate.
  • Convo in Mission — July 12-14 on the Gulf Coast
  • Youth Day at Geyser Falls — Aug. 5 at Geyser Falls Water Park, Choctaw
  • Dare 2 Lead — Sept. 15-17 at Camp Lake Stephens, Oxford
  • Jubilee in Exile — Nov. 4-5 at Wood Institute, Mathiston
  • Overflow — Dec. 30- Jan. 1 at Camp Lake Stephens, Oxford