Several of you have asked for a promotional video to show at your church. Here is the link to a new video:
Also check out the video from Scott on the homepage of our website, www.heartsonfireministries.org
October 20th is the last day to make lodging reservations through the Pigeon Forge Housing Bureau. If you do not reserve your rooms by that date the special group rates may not apply. Go to lodging under the Pigeon Forge drop-down menu on our website for the lists of hotels and directions for making your reservation.
The deadline to pre-order your Hearts On Fire 2015 T-Shirts is October 23rd. We will have shirts available at the event; however, remember the shirts at the event will be in limited sizes and also limited numbers. Last year we sold out!
The registration deadline is October 30th. Ideally you should have your registration in by this date. I know it is difficult for some to commit with competing sports and other events. I would urge you to make your reservations by the deadline if at all possible. It really helps in our planning for the event. It is our goal never to turn anyone away after the registration deadline and if you have a student who asks to come after October 30th we will register him or her as long as seating is available.
We are very excited about this year and look forward to seeing you in Pigeon Forge on November 20 – 21, 2015.
by Craig Mintz
Associate Pastor, Equipping
When Scott Carter started the Hearts On Fire Youth Conference (HOF) with about 150 students in 1986, he never imagined what it would become.
Last year alone, more than 11,000 students and their leaders filled the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge for a dynamic weekend of worship. This year’s lineup includes groups like Mercy Me, Finding Favour and The Skit Guys. Speakers include Dave Edwards and former University of Tennessee football player Inky Johnson. Even though the conference has grown considerably over the years, the goal remains the same as it was three decades ago.
“Hearts on Fire exists for two reasons,” said Carter, Associate Pastor for Youth at First Baptist Church Sevierville, TN. “First of all, it’s an evangelism conference to bring young people into a relationship with Christ. Number two, it’s to encourage every believer into a deeper walk – to let the Holy Spirit fan that flame.”
And that is exactly what has happened. Since its inception, thousands have professed faith in Jesus Christ or have been renewed in their walk with the Lord through the HOF conference.
Carter recalls lives changed like a young man named Gregory Palmer. Not long after he was saved at a Hearts on Fire conference, Palmer was killed in a car accident. Palmer’s parents were so thankful for the impact HOF made in his life that they buried him in his conference t-shirt and attended the conference the next several years. Many more, like Palmer, have forever been changed by their experience at HOF.
Anthony Kendall, a youth pastor at First Baptist Church Indian Trail near Charlotte, NC, and a former member of Carter’s youth ministry, said he brings his teenagers to HOF because it is centered on Christ and the Gospel.
“From the worship band, to guest music artists, to the speakers- Hearts on Fire exalts and honors Christ,” Kendall said. “I have had students saved at Hearts on Fire. I have had students called to Ministry at Hearts on Fire. I have had students challenged and equipped in their walk with Christ at Hearts on Fire. Simply put- God is still using Hearts on Fire after all these years to call teenagers to follow Jesus.”
Past speakers have also given thanks for the way God uses the conference.
Tony Nolan, a speaker at last year’s HOF, said, “I have thousands of youth leaders asking me to direct them to a conference that will really change the hearts of their students. Hearts on Fire is that conference. It’s not just money well spent, it’s resources well invested. I say ‘invested’ because you will receive a return back into all the hard work you’re already doing every week in your students’ lives. This event transforms your students’ hearts to go back home and be totally into the passion and the mission of your student ministry.”
Reaching young people has always been a passion for Carter who was saved at age 15 at Calvary Baptist Church in Oak Ridge. Carter said he had a wonderful pastor and youth pastor who invested in him and took him visiting with them. As he began to pray about what to do with his life, he clearly sensed the Lord telling him to spend his life in gospel ministry reaching youth.
While serving at Parkway Baptist Church in Knoxville, the Lord led Carter and some other youth ministers to organize a conference for youth. At that first conference, held in Crossville, a storm came through and knocked out the power. Even though a lack of electrical power meant they didn’t have microphones or lights, Carter said the Holy Spirit moved in a powerful way.
Since then, HOF has been held in North Carolina and, for many years, in Gatlinburg. After outgrowing Gatlinburg’s conference center, HOF moved to the new LeConte Center conference facility in Pigeon Forge last year. His vision is to one day see 20,000 in attendance there.
Carter says he is thankful to serve at a church like First Baptist Church Sevierville that is so supportive of the HOF ministry. Many members volunteer to work as greeters, work tables and serve as counselors.
“I couldn’t ask for a better church to be a part of to help support a ministry like this,” he said.
He also credits Judy Steele, Event Coordinator, with helping him organize all the details. “I couldn’t do it without her. It’s a full-time job.”
To make HOF available for those who may not be able to get to the Pigeon Forge event, HOF also now has a location in Charleston where 750 were in attendance last year.
The Charleston HOF conference will be held February 12-13, 2016. This year’s Pigeon Forge event will be held November 20-21.
For more information or to register for HOF, visit heartsonfireministries.org or call 865-776-2629.
I wanted to let you know that the brochures for Pigeon Forge are going in the mail today. This year the mailing will go to 50,608 churches. Last year we mailed out 44,000 brochures. Registrations have already begun to arrive! Remember word of mouth is always one of the best ways of letting others know what you think of the conference. Please visit us on Facebook or Twitter and let others know what the conference means to you. If you do not receive a brochure, no worries, the website has all of the same information.
Remember to tell any upcoming graduates, or anyone attending a Christian College, to apply for the Scott Carter Scholarship. The application is available online.
I encourage you to visit the website www.heartsonfireministries.org and if you have any questions feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Chances are if you have a question someone else has the same question. I will send out emails periodically to answer frequently asked questions.
Have a great day!