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Heritage Hills Baptist hosts Disciple Now 2013 Christian youth rally

Natalie Askew and David Askew are the leading members of Hello August, a Christian rock/alternative band that will be playing at DNOW Conyers 2013 at Heritage Hills Baptist Church on March 15 to 17.

Natalie Askew and David Askew are the leading members of Hello August, a Christian rock/alternative band that will be playing at DNOW Conyers 2013 at Heritage Hills Baptist Church on March 15 to 17.

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Christian speaker Wes Springer will be featured at DNOW Conyers 2013.

One of the largest gatherings of Rockdale County Christian young people is about to meet at Heritage Hills Baptist Church for Disciple Now Conyers in a three-day celebration of praising, singing and worshiping the Lord.

This will be the sixth time youth from area churches have celebrated DNOW Conyers, which involves students from a number of denominations getting together for this community event from March 15 to 17.

With a goal of "being untamed for Christ," DNOW Conyers has chosen the tagline of "Untamed."

"We want the students to lived unchained for Christ," said Heritage Hills Youth Pastor Andy Futch. "That's our goal for the weekend to help them not be afraid to live out their beliefs."

While DNOW Conyers has been held at other area churches, Heritage Hills has hosted the event the last few years. Last year, more than 320 students took part and this year Futch said they are expecting between 300 and 400 young people.

Students gather at Heritage Hills Baptist Church for the big group programs and then go to area host homes for the night where they also have small group Bible studies.

More than 10 area churches are involved in DNOW Conyers, including First Baptist Conyers, Smyrna Presbyterian and Ebenezer United Methodist. Other churches are invited to get involved, Futch said. They can find out more information on how to become part of DNOW by visiting www.discipleconeyrs.com.

"We are a community of student ministries trying to reach out to the students in our community," Futch said. "That's my heart is to work together and we're a very eclectic group. Forget the theological differences and work on the main thing in that Jesus Christ is our lord and savior."

DNOW weekends are designed to bring in youth groups from area churches to pray and worship together as a way to help disciple the students. There are large group sessions led by a special speaker who offers a "big-picture" perspective, Futch said, adding that the weekend offers a focused time of spiritual growth and application of God's word.

This year's guest speaker is Wes Springer from Alabama.

"He is an incredible Bible scholar and a very good speaker with students and very energetic," Futch said.

Music for DNOW Conyers 2013 will be provided by Hello August, a group from Alabama that is a rock/alternative band that "strives to create energy and emotion that is unique and welcoming to the presence of God," according to the group's promotional material.

Comprised of six performers, Hello August brings the different musical influences from classic rock, jazz, alternative and country to create a sound that has audiences in is concerts. The band's album, "All That We Are," was produced in Nashville, Tenn.

"We want to fulfill our call in life and stay close to God and we hope that through this, God will change lives and our ministry will have a great impact for the kingdom," lead guitarist David Askew said.

DNOW Conyers 2013 has chosen 2 Corinthians 5:13 as its theme verse. The passage reads as follows from the New Living Translation Bible: "If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit."

"It explains that without hindrances that we live in such a way that we don't worry so much about what other people think about us as long as we're living the way we're supposed to," Futch said.

Each DNOW weekend highlights a mission project and this year's focus is on The Beech Foundation, a ministry that helps local families in need. The ministry is partnered with a church in Lakeview Estates in Rockdale County. Students attending DNOW are asked to bring items to donate to this ministry.