Super summer helps teens become leaders in church and community

The week long conference attracts students from across the state, with an emphasis on discipleship and evangelism

CLINTON, MISS. (WCBI) – Teenagers from across the region and state spent a week learning how to be better leaders in their communities, schools and churches.


The excitement starts the moment students arrive at Super Summer , held every year at Mississippi College in Clinton.

The week long conference puts students into different color coded schools, determined by a student’s age and how long they’ve been coming to Super Summer.   Ken Hall is a church consultant with the Mississippi Baptist Convention.  He says Super Summer is unlike any other camp or conference for teens.

“They’re already walking a pathway of following Christ, but being around other students who have a like mind, they come here, they’re hungry, want to grow in their faith, they want to share their faith in the world, and be effective leaders,” Hall said.

Students must meet requirements to go to Super Summer, such as memorizing scripture, attending church regularly, and sharing their faith.  During the day, teenagers meet in their schools for Bible study on topics such as how to make wise decisions, evangelism, and leadership. They discuss the material in small groups, known as family groups.

Students could also choose break out sessions dealing with hot topics such as social media, the abortion debate and gender.

Gary Permenter is a Columbus based speaker who helped lead the adult school, known as Plaid School.  He has seen lasting impacts from Super Summer through the years.

“It exposes them to other Godly teens from across the state they might not know otherwise, so they learn, I’m not in this alone, there are other teenagers who love Jesus and want to serve Him the way I do, it gives them accountability and inspiration to see other teens living the way they do,” Dr. Permenter said.

Each evening, everyone meets for worship and Bible Study.

Students and youth pastors say Super Summer goes beyond the basics and helps teens lead in their communities.

“They get to go deeper in their theology and really understand things of Scripture and who God is, and they go into their student group, pour into them and be a disciple that makes disciples,” said Austin Kimbrough, youth pastor at West Jackson Street Baptist Church in Tupelo.

“It will help me be a better leader and know what I need to do, examples I need, type of character I need,” said Carter Smith, from East Heights Baptist Church in Tupelo.

” I feel that when we leave here , we will be able to use what we’ve learned and share it in the community, disciple others and maybe invite them over here sometime,” said Autumn Cochran, of First Baptist Church in Senatobia.

“We’ve talked a lot about evangelism, and I think it has helped me learn what I need to do when talking to others and trying to share the gospel,” said Mac Wilemon of West Jackson Street Baptist Church.

Mississippi Super Summer is in its thirty fifth year, and while some of the topics have changed over the years, those who plan out Super Summer say the answer to any teens questions are found in their faith.

Super Summer is for students who have completed the eighth grade but aren’t yet in college.  College students serve as Team Leaders in the schools.

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