Youth groups from McFarland, Reedley, Sanger, Fresno and other communities came to the main Fresno Pacific University campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno, March 7, 2020, for the first “Cultivate Conference 2020: Prepare to Serve.”
The event, sponsored by FPU and Central Valley Youth Network, was designed to bring young people together to learn to better serve others both in their cities and abroad. “We wanted to do this so we can better strengthen our relationship with local churches and be seen as a resource for the youth in the Valley,” said event organizer Wade French, assistant director of seminary admission at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, part of the university.
The keynote speaker was Joe White, M.Div., lead pastor and co-founder of Neighborhood Church, Fresno. Breakout sessions were led by FPU professors, missionaries and pastors from the Valley. Among the participating churches were Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church; Hope Lutheran Church, Fresno; El Buen Pastor, McFarland; and First Presbyterian Church, Fresno.
Worship music was provided by the youth band from CrossCity Christian Church, Fresno (pictured). After lunch in FPU’s Shehadey Dining Hall, the more than 85 participants visited booths from different missions organizations including Mennonite Central Committee Serving and Learning Together (MCC SALT), Center for Community Transformation at FPBS, Christians in Action, Joni and Friends Central California, Mission (not)Impossible and Multiply, the Global Missions Agency of the Mennonite Brethren Church. All students who attended received a $1,000 FPU scholarship.