Ozark Adventist Academy Wins NAD’s “Spark Tank”

October 25, 2023

PHOENIX, ARIZ. – The journey began over a year ago when the North American Division (NAD) allocated funding to send one religion teacher from each Union to Mark Finley’s Living Hope Evangelism Training Center in Haymarket, Va. Derek Timms, Ozark Adventist Academy’s (OAA) religion teacher, was chosen by the Southwestern Union to participate.

The purpose of the training was to have these teachers return to their schools and train students to conduct an evangelistic series within the year, aligning with Timms’ pre-existing plans.

The plan gained momentum. OAA recognizes its mission to engage the conference’s youth. Currently, OAA interacts with less than 10 percent of conference students ages 13 to 18. Two main programs were devised to increase OAA’s reach: an evangelism series and connected discipleship training.

The evangelism series involves a four-year cycle of topics: 2024 Three Cosmic Messages, 2025 NEWSTART Health Evangelism, 2026 Steps to Christ and 2027 Redeeming Love. Students will develop or adapt these topics and deliver the presentations. The intention is to livestream the sessions to youth groups in their respective churches.

The connected discipleship training aims to link small youth groups in churches with academy Sabbath School classes. The objective is to unite students from across the conference in fostering a lasting commitment to Jesus Christ.

Timms, alongside Marklynn Bazzy and Robert Fetters, presented the program to the Spark Tank Evangelism team at the NAD Convention in Phoenix, securing the top position. Ozark Academy received the first-place prize of $3,000 from the Spark Tank judges. This funding will be utilized in the upcoming fall season to send student evangelists to the Living Hope Evangelism Training Center for specialized training.

By Robert Fetters

OAA Principal