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Banquet marks Young Life's first year
Group growing, but needs adult volunteers
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Forsyth County News

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Anyone interested in learning more about Forsyth County Young Life or how to get involved, should contact Chris Ashburn at (770) 687-8122 or visit

A Christian program for young people will celebrate its first year back in Forsyth County with a fundraising celebration Monday night.

Young Life, an interdenominational nonprofit that shares the message of Jesus Christ with middle and high school students, had been closed in the county for about three years due to staffing issues.

However, Chris Ashburn and a board of volunteers restarted the program a year ago.

Ashburn, the area director of Forsyth County Young Life, said the organization has received quite a bit of support over the past year but still needs help.

He said he’s anticipating about 250 guests for Monday’s event, which will be held at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

“It has been really great,” he said. “It’s been amazing to see where God has brought us in just a year’s time.”

He said Young Life meetings are currently being held only at Lambert High, but his goal is to eventually see club meetings at all high schools in the county.

“Our biggest struggle is just finding leaders that are willing to go and volunteer and be at the schools,” he said.

“We have the capacity and the ability and it’s certainly our vision to be in all the schools, but right now we only have three adult volunteer leaders for our high school ministry, so it’s confined us to doing Young Life just at Lambert right now.”

Ashburn did note, however, that last semester the organization began large group meetings on Monday nights at a south Forsyth eatery.

“We started holding club, which is our weekly meeting where kids can come, last [school] year in February,” he said. “We meet on Monday evenings at Fagan’s Biscuit Barn and it’s been fun to see that grow.”

Ashburn said the gatherings drew as many as 70 students last year, and the first of this school year is set for 7:47 p.m. Sept. 24 at Fagan’s, which is on Hwy. 141, near Sharon Road.

In addition, last school year Young Life offered several “campaigners” groups, which Ashburn described as “small Bible study groups.”

“We had as many as 40 kids coming to the small groups,” he said.

Also last school year, Young Life began a WyldLife program, which is for middle school students.

Ashburn said the WyldLife meetings, which are held at a volunteer’s home, drew students primarily from Lakeside, Piney Grove and South Forsyth middle schools.

The first of those meetings for the 2012-13 year will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 22 at 1040 Ballington Drive. It’s open to all middle school students in the county.

Ashburn said Young Life’s main need continues to be adult volunteers.

“If there’s one thing that we really need, we just need people that would be willing to volunteer and go pursue kids for Jesus so that we can start going into more schools,” he said.