History of the Mississippi State Youth Conference for the Churches of Christ

In 1991, while attending the Louisiana State Youth Conference, a group of youth counselors from the State of Mississippi recognized the necessity for establishing a Mississippi State Youth Conference. Youth from Mississippi attended conferences in other states. Plans were to start the first youth conference in Mississippi in 1993 and the conference be held in Natchez.

In 1992, these plans were mentioned at the Mississippi State Lectureship meeting and those present encouraged the efforts to start a Mississippi State Youth Conference. The spring of 1993 ushered in the first annual Mississippi State Youth Conference hosted by the Fourth Street Church of Christ in Natchez, Mississippi (under the leadership of Bro. Windell Greene, Sr.). Beyond all expectations, over 500 people attended the first youth conference. During the concert there was no seating room left. People stood in the aisles, in the doorways, and watched on closed circuit television in the fellowship hall. The talent show, pageant, class, food, and worship were immaculately planned and executed. The greatest memory is when seven youth were added to the body and countless others were restored and strengthened.

Not long after the initial conference, a meeting was held with over twenty preachers, church leaders and counselors from across the state to plan for the next youth conference. Again, Natchez, Mississippi was selected for the site for the second annual youth conference. During this time, a statewide steering committee was organized to ensure the selections of the host sites throughout the state.

In 1994, the Mississippi State Youth Conference was held at Covington Road Church of Christ in Natchez. Over 700 were in attendance. Again, the classes were great with teachers from Mississippi and the neighboring states of Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Winners of the Mr. and Miss Youth Conference pageant were awarded $1000 scholarships and were financially supported by the MSYC to participate in the National Youth Conference. The concert by Straight Company was electrifying! The Fourth Street Church of Christ in Natchez turned in $1,048.69 to the state committee after fulfilling all youth conference liabilities. Each host congregation after 1994 has left some start up funds for the next host congregation.

Those selected for the statewide steering committee to plan the third annual MSYC were Loyd Harris, Curtis Pittman, Billy Moore, Windell Greene, and Willie Rupert. The MSYC Board of Directors was also implemented. The current board members are: Curtis Pittman (Hanging Moss, Jackson), Billy Moore (Delmar Avenue, Ruleville), Windell Greene (Fourth Street, Natchez), Herman Martin (Westside, Houston), Cornell Johnson (Meridian Street, Moss Point), Jacques Pittman (Center Street Church of Christ, Brookhaven), Montrell Greene (Sycamore Street, Greenwood) and Orlando Davis (Bluff Road, Coldwater). It was agreed that each year the Mississippi State Youth Conference would be chaired by the minister of the host congregation as it travels the Mississippi circuit.

Since the beginning, the MSYC has strengthened, encouraged, motivated and spiritually edified our youth. This year, the Delta Area Churches of Christ will host the annual youth conference, with the host congregation being the Delmar Avenue Church of Christ in Ruleville, Mississippi where Billy C. Moore serves as the minister. The youth conference will travel the circuit as follows: