ULTRA Teen Choice and the Pilgram Baptist Church youth ministry teamed up to provide an accountability partner matching dinner at Hunan Dynasty restaurant on Nov. 5. The purpose of the dinner, according the Richard Urban, ULTRA Teen Choice executive director, is for youth to be matched with an accountability partner, a mentor who will guide the youth and hold them accountable for their pledges of abstinence.
The dinner’s program began with remarks by Sarah Urban of ULTRA Teen Choice who encouraged the youth to be abstinent and make the right choices so they will be able to tell their future husbands or wives that they are pure. She told the youth they could be a role model for their brothers and sisters and future children.
Rev. Herbert Bruce, Pilgram Baptist Church youth minister, gave advice on friendship, saying being selective in those individuals who accompany you will make a difference in your life. He said one of his married friends told him he wished he could have presented himself to his wife as a virgin. You young people, he said, have an opportunity to present yourselves as virgins.
The program included a recitation of a pledge of abstinence and the offering of a non-alcoholic toast of commitment to abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in marriage. Also, parents were given a chance to offer encouragement.
“I appreciate that you’re pure and I hope you keep that commitment,” Mr. Urban told his daughter Sarah.
“I’d like to see her encourage more of her friends to get involved in this group because it’s needed, said Yvonne McKie of her granddaughter Brieana Jones.
“I think it’s a wonderful organization and I’m glad my daughter Arminta is in it. I didn’t have such an organization when I was growing up,” said Pamela Smith.
Michelle Hinnant-Spencer, mother of Daryn Hinnant, thanked ULTRA Teen Choice for involving her daughter and wished there had been something like it when she was growing up. She.said her daughter has an opportunity to make things right as an adult.
“I’m proud of her for making the choice to be part of this group,” she added.
Regina Wells, Daryn’s grandmother, spoke of her grandmother staying behind her, and, as a result, she was abstinent until she was married. I’m going to stay behind her, she said of Daryn.
“I’m glad she’s being encouraged to stay on the right track,” said Rhonda Willingham, Danyale Shepard’s aunt.
Wearing a Barack Obama T-shirt, Brenda Arnold, the mother of Jonathan Colbert who also wore an Obama T-shirt, spoke of history being made on the occasion of Mr. Obama’s winning the presidential election and said we have hope.
“I hope that each and every one of you can develop and be the person you want to be,” she added.
Zachary Miles’ mother La’Wanda Miles said she was opening herself and availing herself so the youth could talk to her. You have to be friends and learn to communicate and build relationships, she told the youth.
Three young people - Shera’e Smith, Daryn Hinnant, and Alexis Kemp - expressed their gratitude for the program and the youth leaders.
Rev. Bruce saluted Diane Sims-Moore for working behind the scenes to find and get funding for programs that would benefit the church youth.
The program concluded with the matching of youth with accountability partners.