Lufkin youth pastors plan youth summit to combat school violence

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – First it was a fight at an East Texas church among teens. The next day, it was a fight at the high school. Now, Lufkin youth pastors tell KTRE school violence is taking a toll on the community and they're planning to take a stand together.

Four youth pastors, representing a different background, perspective and denomination all agree something has to change with today's youth.

"When so many people talk about being connected through e-mail and cell phones and texting, I mean you're connected by just bits of information," said Trey Ainsworth, youth pastor at Calvary Baptist. "There's no relationship there."

"We got to communicate with our children," said Keith Nash, youth pastor at Denman Avenue Baptist Church. "I think that's the most important thing we can do."

"I think we have to have more dialogue where we convince the young people that it's okay to disagree." said Eric Jones, Church by Christ Jesus Minister.

Thursday's incident at Lufkin High School came as no surprise to these youth pastors.

"Seems like now and more often more fights have been occurring in the last few months," said Robert Proctor, Jr., youth pastor at Church by Christ Jesus.

To these pastors our society's foundation is cracked; leaving kids left to fill in the gaps.

"We have to come together as a community to try to fill the void of whatever they're missing," Proctor said.

In fact, the more they talked, they decided to form a youth summit to address issues leading to violent outcries.

"Finding some students that would be willing to come together and really just sort of spill their guts in a non-threatening environment where they can tell people their worries are, what their needs are, what their fears are," Ainsworth said.

"A lot of them don't think they have hope, so we have to give kids hope in order for them to succeed," Proctor added.

Together, they are determined to re-pave the path for this generation.

The youth pastors are in the first stage of planning their youth summit. They're not exactly sure when it will take place, but they do know it's going to take more than just one meeting to tackle this problem.

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