Envisioning the future


Victory Temple Praise Team members, from left, Nikki Thomas, Nicole Larry, 15, first lady Evangelist LaShon Young, her daughter, Ariana Young, 17, and Rashida Stith, 15, perform Sunday during worship service.

AARON DAYE/The Gainesville Guardian
Published: Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 11:14 a.m.
Victory Temple Church of God in Christ is saving lots of young souls so far this year, and services are filled with youth participation.
Twenty-two-year-old Lashera Dennis and 11-year-old Travishia Donaldson both came to the altar to be saved last Sunday.
The Rev. Dr. Aaron Young, founder of the church and its pastor and superintendent, urged members already saved to come support the new believers.
"Y'all come behind these ladies who just came to Jesus and help pray them through," said Young, in his down-home manner, as his wife, LaShon, sang "Jesus Saves."
Both women said they felt it was time to give their lives to the lord.
"I came here for revival not long ago and I liked it," said Dennis. "Plus, I wanted a change in my life."
Donaldson said she got saved for one simple reason. "I don't want to go to hell."
Young said he loves to see young people living for Jesus Christ, and that he gives them all the support he can muster.
Young said he was called to preach in 1972 while attending barber college in Jacksonville.
"When I laid down at night, and during quiet times, I would hear a still voice telling me to preach," said the 53-year-old Young, who enjoys speaking today's youth's language while preaching.
Young said he envisions moving his congregation into a new sanctuary this year that will serve several purposes.
"I want to teach economic development and welfare-to-work," he said. "We are going to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, as well as start a Bible college."
Young has been pastoring for 23 years, and said he founded Victory Temple 18 years ago.
Creating an atmosphere of Christianity is vitally important, he said.
"A lot of people don't go to church because it is a perception that church people don't act like church people," he said. "We need to be brothers in Christ regardless of denomination."
Young is especially happy to have the opportunity to pastor in his hometown.
"It is important because many people know me, know where I come from and know my parents," said Young. "Many of my friends who I grew up with say they catch hope from me."
Young said that he would like people to know that they are welcome at Victory Temple.
"We are a family oriented church, an evangelistic church full of loving and giving," said Young, a 1971 graduate of Gainesville High School.

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