“After seeing a guy who I knew was a father and a husband killed during my deployment in 2004, I asked ‘what would happen with his family?”’ Gillis said, “and I was told he had life insurance and that they would be taken care of. I knew that wasn’t enough, his kids would never have their father back.” That’s when reaching out to and impacting teens became important to him.
Gillis was 18 when he enlisted in to the military, and he was 22 when he left and got involved with Youth for Christ in 2009. He served at the Youth for Christ Military at Fort Rucker, Ala., and transitioned from that position to become the new executive director of the Rome Youth for Christ chapter.
“I have big plans for the Rome Youth for Christ,” Gillis said. “I want Floyd County to know we are here and we’re going to serve the community by reaching the youth.”
Youth for Christ became a national movement after evangelist Billy Graham became the organization’s first full-time staff-member.
Gillis says Youth for Christ Rome reaches more than 100 kids a month and is partnered with more than 10 churches around the area.
The group is having a comedy café April 20 at First Presbyterian Church from 6 to 8 p.m., and a talk will feature “laughter and touching stories of how teens’ lives were impacted through Rome Youth for Christ,” he said.
The group also provides meals for kids and meets twice a month with them.
“I hope to fulfill our overall mission and show teens the love of Christ of course but also show them the importance of having fellowship and acceptance with their peers,” Gillis said.
For more information on Rome Youth for Christ visit http://yfcrome.org/ or contact Eric Gillis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-333-3039.