X-Fuge redefines camp with resort location, big-name artists

by Karen L. Willoughby, posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005 (14 years ago)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—Planners of X-Fuge are looking beyond the limits of previous summer camp experiences.

High-rise resort. White sand beaches. Today's top Christian recording artists. X-Fuge is all this plus everything Centrifuge has been known for during the last 25 years: biblically-sound teaching in a high-energy environment that impacts teens in life-changing ways.

"X-Fuge takes the best of what we have to offer at Centrifuge and combines it with the best quality of sound, light and location," said Jason Ellerbrook, X-Fuge and student events coordinator with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. "We're going to have the hottest worship leaders, best Bible teachers and an awesome location."

X-Fuge was designed with youth ministers in mind, Ellerbrook said.

"We have a real heart for youth ministers," he said. "Our number one thing is providing youth ministers with experiences for their youth that will help meet their goals for their ministry."

Centrifuge, meanwhile, will continue in 2005 at 20 locations across the nation as an intense experience for students in junior and senior high school. The program includes Bible study, guided quiet times, recreation, worship, personal tracks and fellowships for everyone. It also provides additional training for youth leaders.

And M-Fuge, with its emphasis on community ministry, also will continue in 2005.

MORE INTENSITY

X-Fuge will meet the desire of those who want still more intensity. X-Fuge will take place during one-week segments –- July 6-10 and July 11-15 -- at Edgewater Beach Resort on the Florida panhandle. Edgewater is a private, gated resort with tennis, golf, multiple swimming pools, spa and fitness center and a private, half-mile long beach near Panama City Beach.

"The X-Fuge program is different from Centrifuge," Ellerbrook said. "Instead of focusing on hiring small group Bible study leaders, we are basically investing our resources in hiring praise and worship bands and well-known recording artists. We're just investing more of our resources in the platform -- sound, lights, worship music -- plus speakers, drama and creative ministries."

X-Fuge, originally designed as a one-week pilot for perhaps 1,000 teens, grew to two weeks for up to 3,000 youth, because of an unprecedented number of pre-registrations.

PERSONALITIES

Bryan Currie will serve as worship pastor both weeks. Currie is a freelance student minister who has served as camp pastor at Centrifuge camps. He received his master of divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and his undergraduate degree in religion and theater from Union University.

Both weeks also will feature Tyra Lokey's Creative Ministries, plus Ryan O'Quinn and Chris Woolsey presenting drama.

The first week's lineup also includes Tree63 as worship leader and Casting Crowns as concert artists. Week two's lineup includes Richard Ross, co-originator of True Love Waits and professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as teaching pastor, Big Daddy Weave as worship leader and Building 429 as concert artist.

"Tree63 and Big Daddy Weave are two of the hottest worship leaders out there," Ellerbrook said. "Youth ministers really respect them for their heart of worship. Bryan Currie is one of our most popular Centrifuge communicators. Casting Crowns is one of the hottest Christian bands in the world today. Building 429 has a number one hit single, 'Glory Defined,' off their highly acclaimed first album, 'Space In Between Us.'

"The X-Fuge emphasis meets teens where they are," Ellerbrook said. "It makes an impact when the people leading them in worship and leading them to celebrate their relationship with God are the same artists they are listening to on their radios and CD players."

For the last eight years, West Heights Baptist Church in Pontotoc, Miss., has sent youth to Centrifuge and M-Fuge. They're already signed up to take 100 teens to X-Fuge.

"Centrifuge helps them draw closer to God," said Stephen Evans, youth minister at West Heights. "We were attracted to X-Fuge because it sounded like it was really well-planned and would be really exciting for our young people. The accommodations also appealed to us. They're bringing in concert artists and that was a big attraction for us too."

In 2006, X-Fuge is expected to grow to five weeks of camp at Edgewater Beach Resort, with an additional week added at a resort in San Diego, Ellerbrook said.

"That's how rapid we project our growth," Ellerbrook said. "Over the 25 years of Centrifuge, the beauty is that churches that came with 15, the next year brought 30, then 45 and now, some are growing beyond 100. And just as these youth groups grow and mature, we grow and mature alongside them."

X-FUGE WEEKENDS

Four X-Fuge weekends are set for early 2005, with a similar intensity that combines a driving force of worship, Bible study and personal interest tracks. These events will be at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center, Feb. 11-13 and March 11-13; Shocco Springs, Ala., Feb. 25-27; and Jonathan Creek, Ky., April 8-10.

"We decided to have a whole new concept of events outside of Centrifuge, and it's all falling under X-Fuge," Ellerbrook said. "These weekends combine the best of Winter Weekend, Freedom Tour and Centri-Break, giving people a three-day sample of what they will experience with us in the summer."


For more information, go to www.lifeway.com/fuge.

Download Story