Teen Spec - The Granddaddy Of Winter Youth Conferences Turns 27!
February 25th, 2015
On February 18th, 1989, over 400 teenagers and youth workers assembled in the brand new auditorium of the Grace Baptist Church in Gaylord, Michigan for the very first Winter Teenage Spectacular youth conference. The Grace Baptist Church partnered with the Bible Baptist Church in Charlevoix, Michigan to host a mid-winter, Saturday youth conference. The standing room only crowd that packed into the six month old auditorium of Grace Baptist Church was excited. The churches that attended that first year were mainly from Northern Michigan.
No one could have known that on that snowy third Saturday of February in 1989, the Granddaddy of winter youth conferences had been born. Within a decade, the crowds had outgrown the auditorium of the Grace Baptist Church. The conference was first moved to the Gaylord intermediate school gymnasium. The very first year in the intermediate school gymnasium saw the crowd swell to over 750 teens in attendance. Over the next five years, the crowd grew to over 1,000 and then to over 1,200 and then, with over 1,500 in attendance, the entire gymnasium, the bleachers on both sides and the main floor were packed to capacity. By this time, Teen Spec had become a two day conference with downhill skiing introduced to the schedule on Friday evenings.
The exciting decision to add a third day to the conference took the entire program to another level. The conference now started on Thursday afternoon and lasted until Saturday afternoon. With the introduction of a third day, a volleyball and basketball tournament was added to the schedule in addition to downhill skiing. The conference was moved to the Boyne City High School gymnasium, the largest venue available in the area. For several years, this brand new gymnasium was filled to capacity with the crowd growing to over 1,700 in attendance.
Six years ago the venue was changed one more time to the Treetops Ski Resort Conference Center just east of downtown Gaylord. Capacity crowds continue to fill the building each year as Teen Spectacular has become the benchmark by which most other winter youth conferences are measured. In the last 26 years, teenagers from 35 states have attended this great conference. This year, on March 5th-7th, 2015, the Grace Baptist Church of Gaylord will host the 27th annual Winter Teen Spectacular once again at the Treetops Convention Center. When Teen Spec began 27 years ago, there were almost no other winter youth conferences being held. This year, In the months of February and March, I know of at least 11 other winter youth conferences being held across the country. Many of these conferences were inspired by the Granddaddy of winter youth conferences – Teen Spectacular.
Teen Spec is really so much more than a youth conference or a youth rally. It is more than a pizza, preaching and skits it is an event. It has actually become more of a winter teen camp, covering three days and multiple events, activities, but with great music and great preaching still the central focus. Since its very beginning, Teen Spec has featured some of the best youth preachers in America. Once again, the 2015 conference will feature a tremendous line up of great preaching from Bro. Derek Hagland, Bro. Jeremiah Young, Bro. Kurt Skelly, Bro. Randy Dignan, Bro. Abdel Judah, and Bro. Tony Shirley. You will not find a better line up of nationally known youth speakers anywhere in the country than those found at Teen Spec 2015. We are thankful for the many other youth conferences that God has raised up over the past 27 years across the country and for the inspiration that Teen Spec has been to these good meetings. We rejoice in the team spirit that exists between Teen Spec and these other conferences. I have already preached at two of these conferences in 2015 and will preach at another on March 28th.
The Granddaddy turns 27 on March 5th-7th, 2015. Over the past 26 years, hundreds of preachers, missionaries, and thousands of other committed Christians across the nation and around the world have had their heart set on fire as a teenager at Teen Spec. Join us this year for another MIGHTY MOVEMENT of GOD at Teen Spec 2015!