By Mike Meeks
Veritas 2020 will be held on Feb. 28 through March 1 in Rogers, Arkansas at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center.
Veritas is a unique experience that is put on by the Arkansas Conference Council on Youth Ministry which gathers more than 1,400 youth and their leaders in one place at one time to create a single body.
This event started in the late ‘80s in the old North Arkansas Conference with the vision and dream that it would be an event where churches could come together and share in their common beliefs, their common understanding, and their common struggles for the young people that they were called to serve.
This year‘s theme is called United. The task force came up with this name because, in lieu of what is going on within our denomination as a whole, they remain focused on still being united and coming together to share in our common beliefs, our common understandings, and our common struggles.
In 2003, our state was divided into two conferences: the North Arkansas Conference and the Little Rock Conference. There was talk in a proposal to unify the state to be a single conference but that idea was not shared by 100% of the state. At that point, there were two CCYM groups that were meeting at JYMO at Mount Sequoia that year and made a bold statement that, no matter what the conference decided to do, from that point on youth ministry in Arkansas would operate with one unified body; no more North and Little Rock. Just us.
Youth representatives from both conferences spoke at the annual conference that year and encouraged adults to follow suit. We were better together than we were divided. Being united meant that we could do more and reach more with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The vote passed and from that point on we became united as one conference here in the state of Arkansas.
After that, we saw tremendous growth and revival in the youth events each and every year with Veritas being the most effective. What started out as a handful of small churches with a dream to do big things was now an opportunity to come together and rejoice in the idea that no matter what the world throws at us, even if it’s in our own backyard, we will still be united.