Dear Class of ’69,
Patt and I send you our belated congratulations on your recent historic “40th Anniversary Class Reunion.” Also our Christmas and New Year’s Greetings. We really enjoy getting annual Christmas cards from so many of you. Like us, some of you are already grandparents!
I had really hoped to be in town to see many of you at your reunion – but as usual, I was out of the country. I especially wanted to be in town because 1969 was also the official beginning of “The New Directions” – originally the “Y Teen Caravan.” Little could we have realized that what we thought was going to be a short hiatus in our lives at the YMCA would develop into a life-long ministry! And because of people like Dell Bright, so much of our early ministry was focused at WHS – where each of my four children later graduated as “Bull Dogs.”
It is always a joy to go on a mission trip with one of our New Directions Alumni. Randy Durham is both a member of our alumni and a former staff member. As such he has traveled extensively with JL over the years to other countries, documenting the partnerships and projects supported by New Directions and Impact Of Hope.
Randy originally began the ND’s first video ministry and developed our studio facility in Graham. Later he ran the video department for the NC Baptist State Convention. He went on to start several video and web companies. Randy currently is the president of Raleigh-based Credence Pictures. He also owns several websites related to boating and fishing including North Carolina’s most visited fishing website NCangler.com. In 2009 he also started an online fishing tackle company called TackleMonkey.com.
Pastor Scotty Smith is one of the “original” members of the New Directions dating back to 1968. After his high school and college years with NDI, he has had a wonderful ministry as the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee, where he is still the Senior Pastor for Preaching, Teaching and Worship. He is also a Seminary Lecturer. Scotty is the author of a half dozen books and travels and ministers widely in America and abroad. He recently started writing this “daily devo” for his parishioners and friends. So I am sharing it with all of my personal friends and partners with joy, thanksgiving – and a bit of spiritual pride as one of our alumni. I invite you to visit Scotty’s blog on the Christ Community Church website to receive inspiration from Scotty’s daily sharing from God’s Word. You can view Scotty’s blog here or you visit his Facebook page here.
by Greg Jenks of Zoe Ministry
I am the worst vocalist ever to be a part of the New Directions. Period. I tried to warn the guys who invited me to join that I couldn’t sing. Yet early in 1980, members of the New Directions (specifically, David Morrow, Paul Smith, Joel Leith) assured me that they could teach me to sing. I believed them.
They were wrong.
It’s always good to admit failure. When Paul Smith advised me that it would be better for me to lip sync I realized that I had set a new standard for the New Directions in terms of talent. I didn’t realize I was paving the way for future Grammy Award winning artists, Milli Vanilli.
It’s always fun when some of our ND Alumni come back to Burlington for a visit…for ministry…for preaching…for singing. Recently, Shaunna Atkinson Bolton was in town to sing at Burlington Christian Academy’s Spring Auction.