Category Archives: 05-Inspirational

Youth Revival 2009 – North East Baptist Church

On September 16 – 18 Youth Revival 2009 was held at North East Baptist Church where the pastor is Rev. Dr. Wesley Elam, Sr. .    Special thanks goes out to Rev. Yvette Crawford for pulling together the people that made everything happen.  Two of the choirs that visited with us were the  Knightdale High School Gospel Choir,  the UNC Gospel Choir  & the J.W. Freeman Youth Choir of Mt. Olive MBC.

In addition to powerful choirs we had some of the finest youth preachers that one could ever sit under.

Rev. Michael Evans, Jr.

Minister Ryan Brooks

Rev. Joshua Brown.

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Each one of them caught and held the attention of the youth that were in attendance. The children soon found out that they old traditional style is not the only way to worship God.   The atmosphere was one that was encourage free praise with a youthful spirit.   All three nights left one looking forward to the next day.   If you view some of the pictures below you will feel the impact that the revival had on the children.  The children were able to see that it’s cool to be in love with Jesus Christ and that you can love God, worship and praise Him different ways.   Even some of the older adults enjoyed the energetic and youthful approach to praising God.   This is what our kids need if we want to keep them involved and looking forward to attending church.

Further below is a slide show that you can watch to see all the photographs.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE STILL GALLERY

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VIEW THE SLIDE SHOW BELOW

Tobacco Reality Unfiltered (TRU) – Video

Tobacco Reality Unfiltered (TRU)

Special thanks to Minister Yvette Crawford, Eric Moore, Wayne Heartwell, the NEBC children and Melvin Dailey (actor) for making this video possible.

I had the privilege of being asked to film, edit and act as director of photography for the TRU Anti Smoking Campaign which was being hosted by my church “North East Baptist Church”.

Mt. Bright Baptist Church – DVD Intro & Cover

Mt. Bright Baptist Church had me to come in and film their revival series under the leadership of Pastor Derric Gregory, Sr. The theme of the revival came from Ezekiel and the question of whether or not the dry bones can live.

Below is the intro and label  created for their DVD.

Step #1 take a picture of Pastor Gregory in the pulpit.

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Step #2 Combine it with the graphic created by the artist Gustave Doré. This art work is now free domain. I.E. free to copy.

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#Step 3 Create the DVD Label and we’re done.

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The Baptism of T. Dunston

This past Sunday I had the privilege to capture the most important decision in a young man’s life.  That decision was to give his life to Jesus Christ and to be publicly baptized to let everyone know about the change in his life.    The tear jerk portion of this ceremony was knowing that he was being baptized by his father Rev. Claude Dunston.   The joy in his heart must have been overwhelming.

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If you would like to learn more about God’s plan for your life then view the link below.

GOD LOVES THE WORLD

The Initial Sermon of Shelton Williams

On March 29, 2009 Shelton Williams preached his initial sermon at North East Baptist Church in Durham, NC where the pastor is Dr. Rev. Wesley Elam, Sr.  

Below you will find.

1. Preview of Shelton’s DVD Intro

2. A few pictures

3. Link to the full gallery of pictures.

4. A Slideshow

 WATCH THE INTRO TO HIS DVD

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VISIT THE FULL PICTURE GALLERY

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE FULL GALLERY OF PHOTOS

 OR

VIEW THE SLIDESHOW

NEBC’s Youth Revival 2008

We experienced another exciting week at North East Baptist Church as the 2008 Youth Revival was being held.  The purpose of the revival was to :

INSPIRE

ENCOURAGE

&

IGNITE

From Wednesday through Friday (Sept 17 – 19) the youth met  to experience praise and worship on THEIR level.    So what does one mean by using the phrase “THEIR LEVEL”?

  1. It means ministering to them with Gospel music produced in various genre’s (where you can still easily hear the Gospel message)  and not bore them to sleep.
  2. It means placing before them preachers that specialize in  “Getting Real” and addressing the issues that our children face everyday by sharing with them what the Word of God has to say about it.
  3. It means talking to them using phrases that they can understand and relate to.
  4. It means allowing the youth to be surrounded by their peers and encouraging them to praise and worship God in the way they have been led.
  5. It means an experience of total immersion into God’s Word to the point that they don’t even know that their attention has been held the entire time.

Our God is all powerful, all knowing and present everywhere.  Therefore, we should not try and limit the diverse ways that God can use to transition a lost soul  from death to accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior (life).

If a person is sick then they can take medicine via syringe,  IV, oral tablet, liquid medicine and now even patches that adhere to the skin. The important thing is that the medicine gets in the bloodstream so that it can do it’s job. There are a lot of children and grown folk that are spiritually sick. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is spiritual medicine,  is the cure for those ailments.

Have you ever had a child to throw up because you forced them to swallow medicine that tastes horrible?  Ever notice how you can have better success at delivering the medicine (where it can still do it’s job) if you sweeten the flavor or mix it in something that they like?  Well that is just what the youth leaders and NEBC did for this revival.

It was refreshing to see the youth leaders not try and force God to fit within a “traditionalist-I’m stuck in my narrow minded ways-view point” BOX.  They thought “outside the box” and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that the youth were open to receiving the messages.

Right now it is a good point for me to stop and get to sharing the memories that were captured.

WEDNESDAY

– Minister Ryan Brooks  was the speaker

CLICK HERE TO VIEW WEDNESDAY’S PICTURES

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THURSDAY

– Minister Yvette D. Crawford was the speaker

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THURSDAY’S PICTURES

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FRIDAY

– Minister Kia Hood was the speaker

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FRIDAY’S PICTURES

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(VIDEO)

Mechelle Lewis to the children.

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Olympian Mechelle Lewis Honored By North East Baptist Church

First a special thanks goes out to Kim for coordinating this special recognition for Mechelle.  I also want to thank Kim for e-mailing her notes to me so that I could share with you what was spoken.

On Wednesday,  August 27, 2008 North East Baptist Church honored Olympian Mechelle Lewis.   There was a strong family atmosphere and the members present showered her with love and congratulations.

(Written by Kimberle Walker)

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Tonight we take the time to honor a North East family member, Mechelle  Lewis,  for her achievements – particularly in track and field.

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Most of you are aware that Mechelle earned a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field team…running in the Women’s 4 x 100 meter relay race.  Mechelle represented herself, North East,  her country and most of all, her Creator, in an exemplary manner.

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Mechelle’s  journey to becoming an Olympian is quite compelling with many, many worthwhile lessons for both the young and old alike.  Her story is about discipline, sacrifice, frustration, humbleness, success, taking risks, pursuing dreams.

So tonight, Mechelle, it is our privilege to recognize your achievements and to offer some golden ‘scriptural’ medallions to encourage you as you move forward and pursue future endeavors.

Youth and adults with medals, please come forward.

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  • Medal 1- Psalm 119: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path.
  • Medal 2- Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.
  • Medal 3- Isaiah 40:31:  But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
  • Medal 4 -Acts 20:24:  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace (NIV)
  • Medal 5 – Hebrew 12:1: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  (NIV)
  • Medal 6 – I Peter 1:7-8:  That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:  (NIV)
  • Medal 7  – I Corinthians 9:24-25:  Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last;  but we do it get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly. I do not fight like a man beating the air. No I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (NIV)
  • Medal 8 – Phillipians 3:14:   I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
  • Medal 9 – I Corinhians 15:57:  But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)
  • Medal 10 -2 Timothy 4:7: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (NIV)

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Now, it’s important to note that Mechelle has 10 gold medals….That’s two more than Michael Phelps’ historic record in the 2008 Olympics!  Symbolically, for us tonight, Mechelle’s 10 gold Olympic medals mean that all things are possible with Jesus Christ…and that  Christ has many more great things in store for Mechelle and those of us who believe and who keep the faith. 

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(end of words from Kim)

After everyone had presented Mechelle with her medals she took some time to entertain questions from the congregation about her experience at the Olympics.

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After all questions had been addressed the children took their group photo Minister and Estella Feaster said some final words and closed with  a prayer and blessed the food.

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Since this is my blog then I can say this.  For those of you that are sitting back wondering… let me say this. NO! Mechelle did not drop her baton.  She ran her leg of the race with determination and supported her other team mates in a Christ like manner when they experienced trouble.

(VIDEO)

Mechelle Lewis to the children.

(CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ENTIRE PHOTO GALLERY)

Visit www.ivanwatkins.com for all of your photographic needs.

The 75th National Gospel Choir/Chorus Convention – 2008

The images presented here were captured to preserve the historical importance of this trip for members of the Raleigh-Durham Triangle Chapter and North East Baptist Church which is pastored by Dr. Wesley Elam, Sr. The images cover our entire trip and not just one aspect of it.

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During the week of August 3rd through the 9th I had the opportunity to travel with some other church members to Chicago, IL. We attended the “75th National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses” and we explored the Windy City when time permitted.

Note: I’ve tried to arrange this blog entry in such a way that it makes it easier for you find and view the images of interest to you. However, I encourage you to PACE YOURSELF and visit each photo gallery over several days so that you can experience the entire story.

Here is an index of the various sections that you will find within this blog entry.

  1. Getting There
  2. The Hotel
  3. Exploring The City
  4. The Convention (Monday – Friday)
  5. Shoe Care Specialist
  6. Kids Playing & First Meal
  7. Miscellaneous Pics

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Our story begins in Durham, NC where we attended church and then made our way to the airport to catch our flight on SouthWest Airlines. We had a good time just sitting around in the airport and our flights were very peaceful. Upon arrival in Chicago we quickly secured our luggage and then focused all of our efforts on finding a shuttle to get us to our hotel. To our surprise, we ended up getting on the wrong shuttle and had to back track to the airport to catch the correct shuttle. Once we arrived at the hotel we were met by Minister Roland Perry II and he filled us in on what was to take place for the week. I invite you to take some time to view the departure and return photos.

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Our home away from home was the Hilton Chicago which is located in the downtown area. This was a very nice hotel and became our 2nd home at the end of a our busy days. If I remember correctly there were 24+ floors to this hotel. Certain elevators only went to specific floors and it took some getting used to. After getting lost several times we soon got our bearings and became comfortable learning our way around. There is much more to the hotel than what I was able to capture but it will give you an idea of what parts of it are like. I invite you to take a peek into the hotel by viewing the hotel picture gallery.
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The scene above was captured one morning as we walked out of the hotel to make our way to Dunkin Doughnuts to grab some breakfast. Since this is my blog then I can say that I don’t care if I don’t see another Dunkin Doughnuts for a few years. Okay, moving on . . . Chicago, IL – The Windy City. The ironic thing is that while we were there there wasn’t any wind at all. For the majority of our days we spent our time in convention classes, rehearsals and service. However, we made sure that we had enough time to explore the downtown areas of the city. We made our way down to the shoreline of Lake Michigan, explored downtown stores, ate authentic Chicago Deep dish pizza at a place called Pizano’s, we visited a park to take photographs, jumped on the free trolley to get a tour of the city, briefly visited the art institute and more. There were many visually interesting sites to capture and I invite you to take a look at Chicago through my eyes.
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If you spent the time to view the galleries before this one then you were probably thinking “When is he going to get to the convention pictures”. Well here we are! The image above is a powerful image which gives you an idea of how many people were involved BEFORE all the seats got filled and people were forced to stand in the aisle. If you think the scene in the picture is moving then think consider what the book of Revelation says in Chapter 7 verse 9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” There is a lot of symbolism in the picture above and it is one of many images captured during the “Consecration Service”.

I’m not here to teach but to share the images and therefore I will keep moving.What can I say about the convention? (sigh letting out air). It was AN AWESOME JESUS CHRIST FILLED EXPERIENCE!! It had such an impact on me that when I was post processing the pictures I felt a sense of sadness because I longed for the environment that one experiences when they are surrounded by a multitude of people praising and worshipping God. Why was I saddened? I missed the fellowship, the high praise environment, the young people that love God and aren’t afraid to express it, the energetic but bible based preaching and the diverse music. Just realize that the ambience lasted for SEVEN DAYS without end. Don’t take this the wrong way because we should all praise God in our homes by ourselves and in our churches but when you’re surrounded so many other people doing it “all the time” then that is a different experience all together.Belows these quick directions you will see the days of the week Monday through Friday. There is a SINGLE gallery for each day of the week. The bulleted topics beneath each day are QUICK LINKS to specific sets of photographs WITHIN each gallery.

You have two ways to view the photographs associated with each day of the week.

  1. You can select your topic of interest and go straight to those pictures.
  2. To guarantee that you see all the pictures for a particular day just click on the “Click Here To View Photos” button.

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Since I know that people were getting anxious to get to the convention pictures I decided to continue with “other” pictures at this point. As I walked around the Hilton Chicago I ran into a man named Donald. He was very soft spoken and was patiently waiting to get some business. I wore sneakers most of the time and my dress shoes were already in good condition but I still wanted to capture the essence of his setup in a respectful manner. Donald gave me permission to photograph everything and in return I tipped him for his cooperation and time. I invite you to view more images of Donald and his setup.

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A trip to a different city wouldn’t be fair for the children if we didn’t just let them break free and have some fun. This gallery is devoted to some of that activity because if the truth be told the children had a demanding schedule as well. Brent hooked up with some other teens and would be gone for hours on end. A few of our church members even ran into him a local eating place. Speaking of eating.. this gallery also contains images of our first meal in Chicago.

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The picture above was taken of me and the children eating breakfast at Dunkin Doughnuts. This miscellaneous gallery contains a few random images that didn’t really fall well into any of the other galleries. I invite you to view them.

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I hope that you have enjoyed this documentary of our trip to Chicago.

Visit www.ivanwatkins.com for all of your photographic needs.

NEBC Vacation Bible School 2008

Vacation Bible School (VBS) brings back many memories from my childhood.  It was one of the most anticipated weeks out of my summer and it made me look forward to going to church.   Just like yesterday I can remember making arts and crafts, learning about Jesus, playing with all of my friends and topping it off with good dinner for 5 days straight.      My church just had it’s vacation bible school and it was a blast to capture with my Sony A700 camera.   

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The misconception is that VBS  is for children only.  That is far from the truth.  VBS is for people of all ages from babys to the elderly.

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Below are just a few moments (of many) that were captured during the later part of the week.

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 CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ENTIRE GALLERY OF PICTURES

Visit www.ivanwatkins.com for all of your photographic needs.