Just One NACC Story
By Mark A. Taylor
Meet Tyrone Benson, minister with the Pontoon Beach (Illinois) Christian Church, not far from St. Louis Missouri. Tyrone graduated from St. Louis Christian College this spring, and this is his first ministry. This is his first North American Christian Convention too. He’s at the event in Orlando, Florida, this year because of convention president Rick Rusaw’s idea to honor new ministry graduates at a special service during the convention’s closing session Friday morning. Tyrone is one of several dozen such ministers who will be singled out then.
I can’t imagine a candidate more deserving of our encouragement. Tyrone is articulate, enthusiastic, and eager. He told me about an urban Vacation Bible School he wrote and led earlier this year. He had stopped me in the hallway because he recognized me from seeing my picture in Christian Standard. Since Tyrone doesn’t exactly fit our stereotype of the typical Christian Standard reader, I was intrigued.
Not only does he read Christian Standard, he wants to write for it, and I’m hoping someday he will.
Tyrone came to faith in Christ when he as a 15-year-old in St. Louis. As he approached his senior year in high school, teachers and advisors were encouraging him to go to college, but money was a problem. A Presbyterian minister he knew told him about the free tuition program at St. Louis Christian College; Tyrone inquired and was admitted.
“I didn’t know anything about the Restoration Movement before I enrolled there,” he says. He had never attended a North American Christian Convention before either.
Here’s a young man to give us faith in the future and to remind us how ministries among us are making a difference and lifting up the church’s mission. Because a college supported by Christian churches offers tuition to urban students who may not be from Christian churches, at least one fellow with promise is committed to a life of ministry. And, at least for now, his service is among those churches. Because the North American Christian Convention continues its ministry to connect and encourage and equip leaders in Christian churches, Tyrone will be helped down a path of service in a way that would not have been possible without the convention.
After visiting several minutes with Tyrone, I couldn’t help but wonder how many other stories like his could be found in the hallways of this convention’s meeting place. And I was glad, very glad, to be a part of this get-together again this year.