Clemmons Native Returns Home to Serve Christ
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” II Corinthians 5:17
As a teenager at West Forsyth High School, Clark Chilton was always active in his youth group at Clemmons United Methodist. He enjoyed weeklymeetings, group outings and serving at Carolina Cross Connection (a Christian outreach ministry serving western North Carolina). But at that time in his life, his faith in Christ was merely a Sunday experience. It was not something he applied to his everyday life. Once he returned to school and to his social circles on Monday morning, Sunday seemed so distant.
After graduating from high school, Chilton began studying at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Because of his involvement with Carolina Cross Connection (CCC) in high school, Chilton applied to be on the CCC summer staff following his freshman year.
“I applied, thinking it was something I enjoyed doing,” stated Chilton. “I never thought about doing it in regard to my faith or helping other people.” It wasn’t until the end of his training weekend to be a tool supervisor that he realized that he didn’t want it to be about him anymore but about serving God.
Chilton gave his life to Christ and devoted it to serving God. From that point on, he led a new life, putting aside old habits and temptations that stifled his walk with Christ. “The ’old me’ had gone away,” said Chilton. “I felt called to go into ministry full-time.”
After finishing degrees at UNC-A and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Chilton has returned home to Clemmons and Clemmons United Methodist Church to serve as the Youth Pastor and leader of a new praise and worship service, starting Easter Sunday, April 12.
The new service will be a modern worship experience, drawing from the history of the Christian church and its ancient teachings. “The modern worship movement often feels less sacred and more produced than traditional services,” said Chilton. “Our goal with our new Praise and Worship service is to make modern music feel more sacred and to look forward to the future.”
Chilton has led worship services in many places, from Mecklenburg Community Church and Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, to smaller services at Carolina Cross Connection. Chilton believes that worship can too often be about people and what we get out of it, but one of the goals of the new service is to teach people that when they lift up God in worship, then they find themselves.
As a teenager, Chilton never imagined that he would one day return to his home church to be the Youth Pastor but feels called to this ministry longterm. “A vast majority of teenagers are engaging in unhealthy behaviors,” said Chilton. “Youth Ministry is not only about ministering to youth, but also to parents in order to provide them with more resources to help their children make good decisions and develop their faith in Christ.”
For more information about the Praise and Worship service, or youth ministries at Clemmons United Methodist Church, visit encountercumc.com or contact Pastor Chilton directly at (336) 766-6375 extension 26 or email@example.com. Clemmons United Methodist Church is located at 3700 Clemmons Road.