Hi I’m Annette Roux, the youth pastor at Yankton First Assembly. I’ve lived here since 2001 and it has been my privilege to get to know many teenagers during my time here. Students today are facing some incredibly difficult pressures – they seem to intensify every year. I believe more than ever that we need to work together as a community to provide a safe, supportive and also stimulating environment for them to experiment with their independence, make good decisions, just have fun, and ultimately plan for their future. I’ve raised two teenagers myself here, and I can tell you that I did not do it alone. The teens of our community are struggling with depression, “casual” substance abuse, unhealthy relationships, and many other issues – and they are not ready to face them alone. But if you ask them…they FEEL alone. What used to help just doesn’t seem to work anymore.
Since September of 2013, we have been strategizing and prayerfully making plans to reach out to more middle school and high school students, while also providing a great new resource for the community. I think that God has showed us something that will help us connect with students in a more significant way. Yankton has a lot to offer its residents, but like many rural cities, there are limited activities for teenagers outside of school.
We are working on a plan to build a large student center on the 10 acres of land where our church is located. This building will have a full service coffee shop that is open all day as well as evenings, a full size gymnasium with some bleacher seating, and a theater-style room for concerts and other arts events. The student center will be an amazing environment – especially for teenagers and kids; and as a church, we have big plans for Wednesday nights and Sundays. But we also recognize that this center has the potential to serve the community during the rest of the week! We would like to ask you to help us get the word out.
Our school district does a fantastic job of providing students with a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. But our goal is to provide a safe, casual environment for them to hang out with friends in their free time, use wi-fi in the coffee shop to study, and host fun events to provide healthy alternatives on weekends.
The facility also has potential to be used for meetings, concerts, family events, tournaments, and maybe even practice space for club sports. With a building like this, there are lots of possibilities. We would love to hear your ideas!
Hello I’m Pastor Mikal Simmons, the senior pastor at Yankton First Assembly. Thank you for looking into the One80 Project. Our church family is willing to be a catalyst for change…but we know this isn’t just ABOUT us and it’s not just FOR us. The church wasn’t designed by God to be self-serving. We want to find more ways to serve our city. We believe this vision was entrusted to us by God, so we are going to follow His lead as we move toward breaking ground. We are hoping to partner with people who can see the value in this vision and help us get the word out to the community.
If you would like to know more about opportunities to get involved with the One80 Student Center Project, please email us. There may be an event taking place near you to hear more, see the plans, and ask questions!