Rap singer Vir­tu­ous per­forms at Solid Rock Youth Cen­ter

The Advance of Bucks County - - PEOPLE - By Petra Ch­es­ner Sch­lat­ter

jORRISsIiib -- A Chris­tian rap singer named sir­tu­ous en­gaged the teenagers as she per­formed at the Solid Rock vouth Cen­ter in the cirst Bap­tist Church.

The cen­ter, lo­cated on North Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue near the in­ter­sec­tion with bast Bridge Street, ex­ists to pro­vide a safe place for some of the youths to go – away from cy­ber bul­ly­ing – away from bro­ken homes.

cor oth­ers who may not have prob­lems like that, it’s a place to meet friends – new and old. It’s a place to build lead­er­ship skills through help­ing oth­ers.

A di­verse group of youths from dif­fer­ent so­cioe­co­nomic back­grounds go to the cen­ter to hang out or to be a helper.

Be­fore sir­tu­ous, who prides her­self in be­ing a born again Chris­tian, started rap­ping on a Satur­day night at the cen­ter, she said to the young au­di­ence, “Can ev­ery­one stand on your feet so we can pray real quickly?”

“cather God, we just bless you for who you are. Not just tonight, but each and ev­ery day in the name of gesus,” said sir­tu­ous, who is 42.

She con­tin­ued pray­ing, “We thank you that this youth cen­ter will be filled with youth cry­ing out to you, say­ing, ‘What must I do to be saved?’

“Thank you,” she said, “that you have even al­lowed this youth cen­ter to open its doors,” she con­tin­ued. “Thank you that you are go­ing to sup­ply their ev­ery need… If there are any of them that don’t know you that they will come to know you tonight.”

sir­tu­ous started with a par­tic­i­pa­tion song. “I just want to see his face,” she rapped. “Thank him for his amaz­ing grace and hear my sav­ior tell meW ‘Well done.’”

She asked the teenagers to stand again. “We’re all go­ing to get some ex­er­cise.”

sir­tu­ous per­formed Solid Rock’s fa­vorite song. “Break free. Break free. I’m free!!” Again, the youths joined in.

When sir­tu­ous was done, the kids lin­gered.

nu­entin Car­pen­ter has been coming to Solid Rock two or three times a week for the last two years. “I love it here,” he said.

Car­rie vates added, “This place is amaz­ing. I come here all the time when I need to get out of the house.”

gensina jartin, who is home-schooled, said she just moved here. “I’m really try­ing to get used to the place. I really like it here. I think it’s really fun.”

Charissa Tay­lor iees, PM, started the Solid Rock vouth Cen­ter six years ago. She has her un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree in Bi­ble and a master de­gree in or­ga­ni­za­tional lead­er­ship, both from Carin rniver­sity, for­merly Philadel­phia Bi­ble rniver­sity. She went to grad­u­ate school to learn how to run the youth cen­ter.

A Bris­tol Bor­ough

resi- dent, iees said the av­er­age ages of peo­ple who use the youth cen­ter are from NM to N4. There’s a high turn­around, although she ex­pects SM kids to at­tend the Su­per Bowl event.

She said Solid Rock not only pro­vides a safe, fun place to hang out, it’s a place to grow lead­er­ship skills, and par­tic­i­pate in ed­u­ca­tional, recre­ational and spir­i­tual devel­op­ment.

The cen­ter is a place to spend time with­out the pres­sure of home or school.

A lot of the kids are liv­ing on the poverty line. jany come from sin­gle par­ent house­holds or a grand­par­ent raises them.

Some just need an adult with whom to talk. “They know adults care,” iees said. “We give them our time and let them know there are peo­ple who be­lieve in them.”

Charissa Tay­lor Lees, seated, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Solid Rock Youth Cen­ter, poses for the cam­era with her some of her young friends.

Chris­tian rap singer Vir­tu­ous sings about God’s amaz­ing grace dur­ing a per­for­mance at the Solid Rock Youth Cen­ter in Mor­risville.

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