Keeping the faith

Pastors, youth leader pray at baccalaureate for graduating seniors to retain beliefs

David Pressgrove worries about the estimated 80 percent of teenagers who abandon their faith after graduating high school.

The Moffat County Young Life director has higher hopes for the Moffat County High School Class of 2007, but the statistic still worries him.

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"Optimistic or not, it's still a scary number," Pressgrove said. "When 80 percent of youth are losing their faith, they're losing their ability to come to Jesus."

Pressgrove was the featured speaker at Wednesday night's baccalaureate service for graduating seniors at the Moffat County High School auditorium.

He asked the 11 students present to remember how Jesus granted blind Bartimaeus his sight and to not place limits on Jesus' love and power.

He reminded the seniors to trust in the Lord, pay careful attention to the company they keep as they make new friends and to devote plenty of time and energy to God.

"If you thought you were busy in high school, you ain't seen nothing yet," Pressgrove said.

He told students he's found time for prayer while in the shower or sitting on the toilet.

Seniors Andrew Drake and Catherine Compton read from the scripture Wednesday and related the passage to their graduation today.

"As long as I keep faith and hope in the Lord, I can achieve anything in life," Drake said.

A worship team of Troy DeRose, Stacey Mathers and Rod Compton performed a handful of songs during the program. Local pastors offered prayers at baccalaureate.

"Father, let them know your love and concern for them," said Pastor Dave Ross of Craig Assembly of God.

He asked friends and family members to send out prayers for the seniors in attendance and said he hoped students present would become "champions of Christ," a phrase coined by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell.

Ross said he too worries about Craig's young people losing their faith as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.

"But I think this class can be the exception to the rule," Ross said.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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