First Priority held its SCORE (Students Count On Real Examples) Benefit Lunch on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, at Vulcan Park & Museum. We would like to thank all those who attended and helped support this special event financially. The ministry of First Priority has been able to touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of students for almost 30 years because of faithful people like you.
Nearly 90 guests in attendance were blessed to hear from Caleb Neverson and Brooke Dunham who shared testimonies of how First Priority has impacted their lives. Caleb, a recent graduate from Wenonah High School, faced multiple challenges from the passing of his biological father to lacking enough high school credits to graduate. He wanted to give up and drop out of school but then he remembered First Priority from when he was in middle school. He helped develop a First Priority club at Wenonah High School last year, attended Student Leadership University, graduated from high school and now attends college while working for the Birmingham City Council. Caleb said, “I took the road less traveled and because of First Priority, I learned to look up even when looking down was an option.” We’re proud of Caleb for his many accomplishments and thankful God allowed First Priority to be there for Caleb to turn to.
Brooke was a First Priority student leader at Oak Mountain Middle School and High School and is now a teacher sponsor at Chelsea Park Elementary School. Brooke shared about suffering and gave a few examples of children with unfortunate situations that have come through while she’s been a teacher. “Many of the children that come to First Priority don’t go to church,” said Brooke. She believes in First Priority and has witnessed many positive outcomes because of the impact it has made. Brooke concluded with reading Matthew 5:13-16 and said that First Priority is fulfilling this calling. We would like to thank Caleb and Brooke for opening their hearts and sharing how First Priority has positively impacted their own lives and many others as well.
Following Caleb and Brooke, First Priority Campus Coach Dominic Kendall briefly shared that he has witnessed 110 Gospel conversations through First Priority just this year. We also heard from Jacque Snow who said when he was younger, he didn’t attend church but was invited to First Priority and gave his life to Christ. He is now a student pastor. Wow, God is good! We hear stories just like these every day!
Guests then received the pleasure of hearing from our special guest speakers, Sherri and Rick Burgess. “Change is constant,” said Sherri. “It can be fun but scary and painful.” She shared that in a world full of change – depression, social media, sexism, racism, global warming, etc., the Lord keeps her steady and is her one constant. “The radical change this world needs is Jesus. We all long for peace and it can only be found in Jesus. You give people Jesus then you give them hope. You give them peace, purpose, meaning, a firm foundation, you give them life. That’s why we need organizations like First Priority. Not everyone has a mother who can teach them these things, but everyone has a Father who can. He is the peace we all long for.”
On Jan. 19, 2008, Sherri and Rick’s youngest son, Bronner, drowned in their family’s backyard swimming pool. Sherri said she questioned why God takes children. She realized God has many lost children. He was and continues to use Sherri, Rick and their children to bring some back to Him. She said she can live with knowing her son is in Heaven.
Rick concluded by talking about faith and the importance of living by example. “Faith is action,” said Rick. “We have been afforded grace but do we live by faith? The world is trying to turn kids away from the truth, but First Priority works to turn kids to the truth.”
We would like to thank Sherri and Rick for opening their hearts and encouraging the group. Click here to support the Bronner Burgess Ministry fund by purchasing Sherri’s book.
We would like to give a special thanks again to Caleb Neverson and Brooke Dunham for sharing incredible testimonies of how God is changing lives through First Priority. Thank you to our sponsors and all those who helped make this event a huge success!