High Impact Teens Partners with National Anti-Bullying Program Angels and Doves
“Classmates are killing themselves… literally.” As I stood before hundreds of public school students in Rhea County and Roane County Tennessee to introduce Kim Harvey of Angels and Doves, the National Anti-Bullying Program for schools and youth organizations, I made the statement to the students… “Your classmates are killing themselves. All across America students are going home from school to commit suicide because the treatment they receive at school has become so intense they feel no hope for a life that is bearable, so they end it by taking their own life.”
The team of presenters not only included Kim Harvey of Angels and Doves based in Indianapolis, Indiana but also former University of Tennessee football player Inky Johnson as well as musician and songwriter Scott Roley of Franklin, Tennessee. Kim founded the Angels and Doves National Anti-Bullying Program and has presented her message in a way that has reshaped the culture on many school campuses. I met Kim at an event we participated in together in July 2012 at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center in Indianapolis focused on anti-violence. After Kim presented the keynote presentation on bullying to the students, Inky Johnson shared his story of incredible success as a UT football player who was on track to an illustrious NFL career but his life plans were altered when he made a tackle in his junior year at UT and almost lost his life from the injuries he received. Although his life was spared, he now lives daily with a paralyzed right arm. Inky’s message was powerful as he explained that he went from a person with incredible God-given athletic ability to a person with a disability. But, he is still just as valuable with or without the use of his right arm. He challenged the students to treat all classmates with respect and seek to know each other’s story of life. Scott Roley closed the presentation with a story about his dad and an anger problem that was passed down through the generations of his family. He sang a song he wrote about his dad and how he had taken his dad’s anger problem and embraced it and then passed it down. The song titled, “The Old Man Came Back Last Night” was a powerful closing message to all our students.
Our team made presentations in Spring City Middle School, Rhea Central, Roane County High School, Rockwood High School and Rockwood Middle School. Local businesses and churches sponsored our presentations in Rhea County and the Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition was our signature sponsor for the programs in Roane County.
On a Monday night during our “Man Up” Bible study 6 teenage boys accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior! I was asked to bring the Bible study in to a different unit from what was scheduled. This Bible study is something I started about at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center in Indianapolis. When I walked in to the room, one boy was kind of upset and let it be known that he was not interested in listening to a Bible study. So I opened in prayer and jumped right in. His countenance changed almost instantly and he started listening, asking questions and became very engaged. Other guys followed with that same desire to hear. It was one of the most amazing evidences of seeing the Holy Spirit work I have ever experienced. At the end 6 teenage boys asked to be saved. One boy walked up to me after we finished, he grabbed my hand and leaned toward my ear and said, “My name is Michael. I need you to remember my name a please continue to pray for me. Remember… it’s Michael.”
It kind of made me wonder if Michael has people in his life who really care for him, who pray for him and are willing to take his name to the throne of God.
When the Bible study ended the guys started applauding, thanking me and asking me to come back as soon as possible to share more. The applause was started by the guy who was so angry when I walked in to the room.
Oh, and the guy that was angry when we started… he’s a brother in Christ now too!
If you ever wonder if God really knows who you are and what is happening in your life right now… read Psalm 139. You will be amazed at what He has to say about the subject.
High Impact Teens was invited to be the official provider of mentors at the All Pro Dad Father and Kids NFL Experience held at the Indianapolis Colts training facility. The event was held on August 25. A limited number of fathers and kids were invited to attend and High Impact Teens was there to provide mentors for a group of young people who attended from Indianapolis without dads.
This special event was filmed for TV simulcast to be aired on January 13, 2013 at 1:00 PM.
Our ministry is blessed to have some great ministry partners! They are people who volunteer in various capacities throughout the year and those who make the commitment to support the ministry to make it all possible. Without our volunteers and donors we wouldn’t exist.
On a personal note, my weekend in Indianapolis was filled with a lot of “behind the scenes” experiences. I travelled from Tennessee up to Indy on Friday, August 24 to join Darrin Gray. Darrin is the National Development Director for All Pro Dad and one of my best friends. We met after I started our outreach ministry in Indianapolis a few years ago and we have chosen to share our “ministry platforms” together ever since. The weekend of events included me picking up Darrin at his house north of Indianapolis, loading up all kinds of books, displays and giveaways for a whirlwind of activities.
We headed over to the Colts Training Facility to meet with Derrick Boles of Leadership 1st and Lorenzo Neal. These guys were awesome to spend time with. We discussed some of our ministry goals, shared ideas about outreach and brainstormed about some ministry plans for the future. Derrick and Lorenzo are great guys and have a great vision for youth. And they are funny! We had a lot of laughs over the weekend.
We picked up Tony Dungy and Mark Merrill at the airport and headed straight to Riley Hospital for some visits with kids who are battling illness. Clark Kellogg met us at the hospital and our group got bigger and bigger. We were walking the halls with Tony Dungy, Clark Kellogg, Darrin Gray, Mark Merrill, Derrick Boles, Lorenzo Neal and key hospital staff members visiting kids.
We left the hospital and headed over the the Lucas Oil Mansion. Tony Dungy and Clark Kellogg spoke to a group of invited guests to raise money for Kids Voice.
THE JERSEY EFFECT WEEKEND
August 11, 12 and 13, 2012
HIGH IMPACT TEENS AND THE JERSEY EFFECT ARE BRINGING THE POWER OF THE NFL TO PROMOTE POSITIVE PEER PRESSURE AND REACH OUR LOCAL YOUTH
12 YEAR NFL VETERAN AND SUPER BOWL CHAMPION HUNTER SMITH ALONG WITH DARRIN GRAY OF ALL PRO DAD TO KICK OFF RHEA COUNTY AND ROANE COUNTY SCHOOL YEARA local youth outreach called High Impact Teens, founded by Ken Turner has helped bring strategic partnerships together to reach our local youth. Ken relocated High Impact Teens to the area from Indianapolis, Indiana and will be kicking off the fall school year (no pun intended) with a veteran NFL Colts punter, Hunter Smith along with Darrin Gray of All Pro Dad. The timing couldn’t be better to boost the youth in our community toward being strong in character, integrity and positive role models among their own peers. Hunter Smith, Darrin Gray, Stephen Copeland (of Sports Spectrum Magazine) and Ken Turner invested over 18 months together writing a new book that was just released in June called The Jersey Effect. The message of the book is a powerful challenge about Hunter Smith and ten members of the Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl XLI Championship winning team. Each one chosen to be a part of the book were selected based on their personal commitment to wear their “jersey” with the goal of having a positive “effect” on everyone around them, including teammates, coaches and fans. The message is resonating well with readers since the first printing of the book has almost sold out since its release on June 1. A second printing is in place now to keep the momentum of the message going. With a foreword by former head coach of the Colts, Tony Dungy and chapters based on high character individuals within the Colts Super Bowl Championship team such as Jeff Saturday, Tarik Glenn, Ben Utecht and others, the authors are seeking to ignite a movement among today’s youth to stand up and be different.
If you would like to connect with Hunter Smith and Darrin Gray and learn more about the Rhea County based youth outreach ministry of High Impact Teens, you can catch them at any one of these places:
MEET HUNTER SMITH 12 YEAR NFL VETERAN * 10 YEARS WITH THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS DURING THE TONY DUNGY, PEYTON MANNING ERA,AND AUTHOR OF THE JERSEY EFFECT
A SPECIAL INVITATION TO BUSINESS LEADERS AND COMMUNITY RESIDENTS JOIN US FOR COFFEE AND PASTRIES AT FIRST UNITED METHODIST 1035 Market Street, DAYTON, TN 37321 MONDAY, AUGUST 13 AT 7:30 AM
ALSO HEAR DARRIN GRAY OF ALL PRO DAD
The National fatherhood program founded by Tony Dungy, former Indianapolis Colts head coach
CO-AUTHORS: Ken Turner of High Impact Teens and Stephen Copeland of Sports Spectrum Magazine
EVENTS FOR AUGUST 11-13, 2012
Saturday at 6:30 PM – UTC Finely Stadium 1826 Carter Street Chattanooga, TN 37408
High School Football Jamboree – Hear Hunter Smith speak at approximately 6:30 PM. Get a book, get an autograph, a mini poster, see some great high school football. The address is 1826 Carter Street Chattanooga, TN 37408.
HEAR HUNTER SMITH AND DARRIN GRAY
Sunday at 9:00 AM – First United Methodist Church 1035 Market Street, Dayton, TN 37321 Sunday at 10:45 AM – New Union Baptist Church 4060 Double S Road, Dayton, TN 37321
Sunday from 4:00-7:00 PM – The “ONE Youth Rally” at Roane State Community College, 276 Patton Lane, Harriman, TN 37748
7:30-8:30 AM – Community and business leaders are invited to a special meet and greet with Hunter Smith and Darrin Gray, coffee and pastries provided and a presentation regarding our outreach to youth in our community and beyond at First United Methodist Church, 1035 Market Street, Dayton, TN 37321.
Come meet Hunter Smith and Darrin Gray. Breakfast pastries and coffee provided. Get a book, learn more about the Jersey Effect and hear a special presentation about our local outreach ministry to at-risk youth called High Impact Teens.
10:00 AM – Spring City Middle School assembly. (Private)
12:30 PM – Roane County High School P3 Leadership.
Get Involved – Support Our Outreach
For more information contact:High Impact Teens, PO Box 1325, Dayton TN 37321 * (423) 381-0018 * www.highimpactteens.org
1. Become a monthly partner. Our ministry is funded by individuals, businesses and churches who give monthly.
2. Make a one-time donation.
3. Sponsor a gift to supply The Jersey Effect Books for a football team.
In March of 2009 God brought Daniel Ferguson into my life. Although we only knew each other for about 10 days, God did a miraculous work in his life and mine. I wanted to share his story with you again. There are countless troubled youth who need to be reached with the message of hope God brings.
The teenage boys I minister to each week are open and teachable. Well… most of them are. If I told you there are times when I deal with a hard case I really don’t think you would be surprised. A couple Monday nights ago I had one of those “hard cases.”
We began our usual Bible study and Darrel sat way over to the left of everyone else and was pretty disconnected from the group. I didn’t know him. Darrel had been admitted to the detention center and assigned to my unit just days before. I knew this about him though… he looked mad, uninterested, hardened and a little intimidating.
A few minutes in to our study I looked at Darrel and told him to slide over closer to the group and be a little more engaged with us. He did what I said but he wasn’t a very “happy camper” if you know what I mean. During the study I asked a question that I wanted everyone to answer. Darrel’s turn to answer was just what I expected. He was continually staring at the floor and looked up and said, “I don’t have an answer.” I said, “It’s no problem… keep thinking about it and I’ll let you answer later.” Obviously, this young man was carrying some heavy burdens. I’m for these guys… not against them. God has the power to change, convert and transform them. I closed in prayer and offered an invitation for any of the guys to accept Christ as their personal Savior. Four guys prayed to receive Christ. At the end of our Bible study Darrel and I had not connected in any way. At least that’s what I thought. I was about to find out how unbelievably wrong I was in thinking this way.
After our closing prayer I thanked the guys for their attention and closed my Bible. Darrel looked up at me from across the room and said, “Are you leaving right away?” I said I would hang around a few minutes if anyone wanted to talk.” Darrel grabbed his chair and darted over to me and pulled up under a table. I sat down and just looked at him. He leaned forward and looked straight into my eyes and said, “I need to be saved. Can you please tell me how to be saved? Can you show me from the Bible how a person gets saved?” I said, “You know… I think I have a minute or two!” As I began to read the passages of scripture he put his finger on the pages of my Bible and touched each word as I read it. I offered to pray with him and he prayed and asked Jesus Christ to save him from all of his sin and he became a child of God. But there is more.
On my way out of the detention center I ran into one of the directors of the center and told this story to her. She was completely shocked. She kept saying, “Are you sure you are talking about Darrel? Darrel said those things to you?” Then she told me that out of 100 boys in the center he is the “hardest and most difficult.” Then she said, “Ken, this is a miracle. Ask any staff member in this center who is the most difficult boy here and they will tell you it is Darrel.”
I truly hope this story excites you and motivates you in your own relationship with God. He can reach the hardest one of a hundred men. When I saw Darrel the other day, he was smiling and vibrant. He told me he is reading the Bible and praying every day.
UPDATE ON THIS STORY – March 22, 2009
On Saturday, March 21 I learned of the tragic death of this young man. When I write to you about the youth I minister to, I use an alternate name to protect their privacy. The “Darrel” I mentioned last week was released from the juvenile detention center on Monday, March 16 and was killed on Friday, March 20. Please pray for his family as I meet with them today to tell them of his recent decision for Christ and seek to help.
The story of Daniel Ferguson and his recent decision to accept Christ followed a few days later by his untimely death at the age of 15 is one that is so shocking.
I met Daniel on Monday, March 9, 2009 and had the opportunity to lead him to Christ. I saw him again on Thursday, March 12 and he told me how different life was already after just a few days which he described as a life that was now “completely different.”
On Friday, March 20 Daniel was tragically killed in the street.
Today is Friday, March 27. I just returned home from Daniel’s funeral. Now I know more of God’s hand at work in his life. When I walked in to the church in the inner city of Indianapolis the crowd was very large. There was not enough room for everyone to sit. About 250 people were there to express their love, support and sadness. The director of the Good News Youth Center approached me and said, “Ken, we are seeing somewhat of a revival at the youth center through all of this.” He went on to explain that so many of the staff and neighborhood teens had witnessed to Daniel recently but Daniel was not receptive. They were so sad when they learned of Daniel’s death and were so concerned about his spiritual life. Those who knew Daniel went through the weekend following his death full of sadness until they heard that Daniel had actually just recently made a decision to accept the Lord. The staff told the kids at the Good News Youth Center on the Monday following Daniel’s death and as you might expect, a spirit of revival and excitement replaced the sadness.
Today at the funeral I had an opportunity to say a word to those who were there. When I stood before this packed crowd in this inner city church and told them Daniel had recently come to me and asked me to show him how to be saved, the church erupted with cheers, clapping, crying tears of joy and shouting praises to God.
It will be interesting to see God’s unique plan unfold. I have no idea what God has in store but I know God will continue to do His work in the inner city youth of Indianapolis.
After twenty-one years in church youth ministry I established an outreach ministry in 2008 with a key focus on reaching troubled youth in the community of Indianapolis, Indiana. Our ministry moved to Tennessee in July 2010 and I continue to minister to high-risk and fatherless youth.