Youths flock to Queenstown for conference
The Invercargill organisers of a major new Christian youth conference in Queenstown say they were "blown away" by the huge response from around the country.
More than 450 mostly young people from Otago, Southland and Canterbury, and as far away as Auckland, flocked to sessions at the first ever Continuum Christian Youth Conference, to hear world-class Christian speakers and musicians.
More than 200 registered for the full conference, which was held in the City Impact Church auditorium.
The conference kicked off last Wednesday night and ended on Saturday.
Organisers Windsor Church youth pastor Tasha Francis and her musician husband, David Francis, said it was so popular they had booked July 8 to 11 next year to hold the event again.
One of New Zealand's most high-profile Christian artists, Omega Levine, who led the Parachute Band for six years, kicked off the dance party atmosphere on Wednesday night.
Melbourne pastor Nadia Clark, who ran New Zealand's largest youth conference, Get Smart, for five years, spoke on Thursday, followed by Gore-raised and now Sydney-based Andy Kubala, who leads a healing ministry.
Auckland-based communicator and award-winning talkshow host Sy Rogers, who like Kubala, speaks to crowds of thousands throughout the world, led the sessions on Saturday, covering cultural themes and God's character.
"We thought it would be great to have a big city event in the south," Tasha Francis said.
"All of these high profile people wrote back instantly and said they'd come.
"We're also so grateful to the volunteer professional musicians from Southland, for most of whom music is a fulltime vocation. These guys formed the Unity Band especially for this conference."
Her husband, a guitarist who has played worldwide, played guitar for Unity.
The Southland Times