East Tennessee State University hosted 2,000 people from 260 churches in the area on Oct. 1 for a night of worship.

Adoration 2017 was the first of an annual conference in which Thomas Cook, an ETSU graduate, along with other young adults and college students sought to honor Jesus Christ, unite the local church and restore Appalachia from prescription drug abuse.

Even though the conference fell short of its 1,000 churches goal, ETSU’s new Mini Dome hosted 2,000 people.

The Mini Dome floor was sectioned off with tarps into three sections. The middle section held chairs and the stage while the other two sections held booths displaying different churches and programs that help with drug addiction and recovery.

The event started with readings from Hebrews 1:3  in different languages. The passage reads, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

Once the churches in attendance were recognized, Cook’s band led the worship service. The music was a mixture of contemporary Christian songs, like “This is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham and “Chainbreaker” by Zach Williams. They also played hymns.

The speakers for the night were Carl Torbush, ETSU head football coach; Mason Van Horn, ETSU alumnus; Matt Murphy, teaching pastor at Grace Fellowship Church; Dr. Stephen Loyd, internal medicine physician and medical director of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Andi Clements, Ph.D., professor of psychology at ETSU; and Dr. Monty Burks, Ph.D., director of Faith Based Initiatives with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

These speakers were separated into two groups. The first three — Torbush, Van Horn and Murphy — mainly preached and shared their testimonies. The last three — Loyd, Clements and Burks — shared statistics and the science behind substance abuse. They also shared parts of their testimonies.

The night ended with a reminder to do four things.

  1. 52 Church Prayer Challenge — where 52 different churches hold a prayer service once a week for a year to pray about the prescription drug epidemic and for Adoration 2018.
  2. Text @93ec87 to 81010 to sign up for biweekly text messages to keep up with Adoration Life and Restore Appalachia.
  3. Helping Hand (Serve) — if interested you can find places to serve on their website at http://adorationlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Programs-and-Recovery-Organization-in-East-Tennessee.pdf.
  4. Sign up for Adoration 2018 — registration is available now.

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