A case study of Greater New York Academy’s ministry approach
Greater New York Academy (GNYA) was one of the few Seventh-day Adventist schools in the Atlantic Union that saw an increase in enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year. GNYA sees this as the bestowment of God’s merciful blessing and a direct result of intentional efforts to create a ministry-focused campus.
One of the fastest-growing student ministry groups at the academy is the “Young Preachers Club” (YPC). This club has seen a steady increase in student interest. Since September, the club has sent out student speakers to multiple churches in the New York City area, has conducted a live, virtual youth-night prayer meeting for the third-largest church in the Greater New York Conference, and has anchored the school’s weekly chapel program. At GNYA, a student preaches almost every week for chapel (which are also broadcasted).
The students are talking. According to Dale Henry, senior at GNYA, “Two experiences in the YPC stand out to me—going to Massachusetts with the YPC to preach, and meeting the General Conference president, Elder Ted Wilson.”
Rhonasha George, a sophomore at GNYA, is a new member. She expressed, “I hope to improve my preaching skills and gain more knowledge on the things written in the Bible.” Imellew van Putten, a sophomore, agrees with Rhonasha. “As a newer member of the Young Preachers Club, I hope that God will use this avenue to prepare me in His ministry as a youth into adulthood and, prayerfully, into the kingdom.”
Freshman student Pierce Barrett was able to sum it up like this: “The Young Preachers Club seeks to help us as budding youth to be more like Christ.” For Joshua Smith, a sophomore, he thinks that the club will be instrumental toward his future. “When I grow up, I would like to work in the field of evangelism. I think the YPC is a great way to prepare me for my future.” Sofyia Glanville’s understanding of the mission of the YPC was very instructive. “The best part of the YPC is that students, regardless of grade, come together and minister in different capacities.”
James Mitchell, a freshman student, wants to become a neurosurgeon as well as a pastor. “In terms of neuroscience, the YPC allows me to see that this service to humanity is still God’s work.” Yanize Laville, a sophomore, believes in the transformative power of the YPC. “It helps you grow and brings out a new version of yourself that you never thought was possible.”
Jeremie Valestil, a freshman, has high hopes for the YPC. “I want to work for God. I want to be a man of God, and I really want to have experiences talking to people to bring them closer to God.” Yanick Laville, another sophomore student, sums it up this way: “The YPC allows us to minister to people far and wide.”
Nkarlo Alexander is the Bible teacher and chaplain at the Greater New York Academy.