New youth minister hopes to plant seeds of faith

Richmond United Methodist Church youth pastor Hayston Wilson, right, lets children in grades 1 through 3 pelt him with ketchup, mustard, eggs and applesauce to dirty up the white robe as an example of the grossness of sin at Thursday Night Youth Program on Aug. 31. Children, from left, are: Molly Renfro, Brody Smoot, Joshua Blevins and Abigail Garland. Afterward, Wilson dons a clean white robe to show the cleansing of sin by Jesus in a lesson on the Gospel of Matthew. At left is volunteer Valerie Miller. (Photo by Liz Johnson/Richmond News)

By Liz Johnson, Staff Writer

Richmond United Methodist Church has a new youth pastor, Hayston Wilson, and he says he is excited for the opportunity to minister to the youth of Richmond.

Wilson kicked off the new Thursday Night Youth Program on Aug. 31 with Scripture, games, exercise, snacks and a chance for the kids to pummel Wilson with eggs, ketchup and mustard.

That’s right, the kids got the chance to interact with Wilson by dirtying him and learning a lesson about Jesus. Wilson put a white cloth over himself and talked to the kids about the grossness of sin, using the Gospel of Matthew as a teaching tool, and had the kids pelted him with the gooey mess. Pastor Jeremy Blevins, wearing a white cloth and representing Jesus, placed a clean white cloth over Wilson’s dirty covering to show the purity and cleansing of sin that comes from Jesus.

The Thursday night program is divided into two groups. The first group from 6 to 6:45 p.m. is for grades first through third. The second group is for grades fourth through sixth and meets from 7 to 8 p.m.

Wilson said his goal is to “plant seeds in the faith of kids” and to lead children to Christ.

Wilson is a native of Mound City, where Blevins had previously pastored the church Wilson attended.

He was the youth minister for his last year of college in Mound City as he attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.

Wilson is attending Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, earning his master’s degree in counseling. He said he chose to attend that school because it is an accredited university that met the standards he wanted and needed.

“The classes are cool,” Wilson said. “They incorporate aspects of the Christian faith into all course material.”

He added that he wanted more of a Christian perspective as he furthered his counseling studies.

“I think you absolutely have to have that to be a counselor, to have that incorporated into your practice in order to help people,” Wilson said. “God is calling me to get my degree and eventually have my own private practice in Christian counseling.”

The complete story is in the Friday, September 8, 2017 Richmond News.

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