Ministers in the making: 22 students feel call to ministry at Georgia Baptist music camp


ROME, Ga. — As a mother, Christy Sansom is especially appreciative of the impact the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s SURGE150 music camp has on the kids.

“I love how SURGE150 allows an opportunity for students to gather with other students across the state who share the common bond of music,” she said. “My kids enjoyed the camp … because they spent the week focused on what they love, worship and music.”

Nearly 300 students and adult leaders gathered at Shorter University last week for SURGE150 to focus attention on worshipping God while honing their musical talents. The result was spiritual renewal with 22 students feeling called to ministry and seven others making professions of faith in Christ.

Rhon Carter, worship and music catalyst for the Mission Board, said SURGE150, which dates back to the 1950s, provides a pipeline of future music and worship leaders for Georgia’s 3,400 churches.

The ”150” in the name refers to Psalm 150, which declares: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

Music ministers from across the state join forces with Mission Board staffers from the next generation department and music and worship department to help students develop their talents.

“Seeing both my teens experience SURGE150 music camp for the first time blessed my heart more than they will ever know,” Sansom said. “I tell my kids regularly how I think they sound great or how God has gifted them with a special ability, but when someone new recognizes that talent or ability, it makes a huge impact.”

Noah Jackson, the band director at Brantley County High School and a former SURGE150 camper, returned this year to lead the orchestra. He called it “the highlight of his year.”

“Getting to lead students through worship is the GREATEST calling,” Jackson said.”

Jacob Carter, a student from Sylvania, said he enjoyed attending his first SURGE150 last week.

“It was really cool to meet people who love music and Jesus as much as I do,” said Carter, a member of First Baptist Church in Statesboro. “I will definitely be attending next year.”

Chris Trent, the Mission Board’s next gen catalyst who served as the camp pastor, said SURGE150 intentionally pulls together like-minded students so that they can grow together spiritually and musically.

“Once again this summer, we saw God move in incredible ways in the lives of teenagers,” he said.