A place of their own

Youth at Madison Avenue Baptist christen new center with

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By Suzy Smith
For Blount Today

Change can be difficult, but for the youth group at Madison Avenue Baptist Church, change can be fun.
On Wednesday, Feb. 7, the youth drama group of Madison Avenue church will perform "The Change" at the church’s new youth center.

"The kids have enjoyed having a place of their own," said Chris Douglas, the youth coordinator of the church. She said work began last November on converting the old sanctuary of the church into the new meeting space for the youth group. They named their new space "The Rock," based on Psalm 18:2.

Some pews have been removed to add extra space for games and the cry room is being converted to a kitchen called "The Breadbasket."

The downstairs of the building is now home to Sunday school classes which the students had a hand in decorating. One classroom is painted in camouflaged colors, one is painted pastel green with purple bubbles and when you enter one room, you might think you have entered Narnia from "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe."

"They turned the facility into a fantastic place for the youth," said Bobby Ridenour, the leader of the youth drama group. He said the new space gives area teenagers a place to gather on Wednesday night for a middle week energetic youth program.

The space has also been the place for rehearsal for the drama group’s upcoming production.

"This is more upbeat and geared toward youth," said Bobby Ridenour, who wrote the play. He said the youth drama group has performed for the church’s Sunday night service two or three times a year for the last five years.

Ridenour took singer and songwriter Sheryl Crow’s "A Change Would Do You Good" and re-wrote the words to transform it to a Christian song. Through four acts, teenagers see that when they meet Christ, their lives should change, Ridenour said.
The play examines secular music and movies, respect for parents, dressing appropriately and making fun of disadvantaged people. The teenagers choreographed the dance scenes and added bits of dialogue to gear it to their age group, Ridenour said.

A performance by local group, Life Wide Open, whose music can be heard on the radio station Love 89.1, will follow the play.

The adult drama group at Madison Avenue Baptist Church is also getting into the act. On Sunday, Feb.11, the group will present "American Revolution, The Peter Society" which examines what our founding fathers would think of our country now.

According to Ridenour, who also wrote this play, the production follows a Christian who fought for religious freedom in the Revolutionary War and then gets transported to today’s time. He questions the decisions of the lawmakers and the people who have brought society and families to where they are now.

"It’s time for another revolution," Ridenour said. "It’s time for Christians to stand up."

"The Change," presented by the youth, will be Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. at the church. On Sunday, Feb.11, at 6:15 p.m., the adults will present "The American Revolution: The Peter Society." For more information, call 865-982-8785. The
church is located at 1918 Madison Avenue.

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