Church of the Cross uses rock music to reach teens

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  • A Bluffton church is hoping loud music and free food will entice teenagers to attend church Sunday evening.

    In an effort to reach out to local high schoolers, The Church of the Cross will host a free Christian rock concert from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at its Buckwalter campus in Bluffton.

    Christian bands Ascending Heights and Embrace the Empire will perform. Food and drinks will be provided.

    "It's going to be a great show," said Josh Cooke, who volunteers with the church's youth ministry program and organized the event.

    Cooke said the two bands have played at his coffee shop, The Corner Perk in old town Bluffton, and have attracted a lot of young people. He hopes the Sunday concert will bring at least 100 local teens.

    Cooke said he thinks high school students are the hardest age group to reach with a Christian message, and with all the challenges they face, they need a solid foundation in their lives. He said his church is pushing for more involvement with high schoolers this year since there aren't many Christian youth programs for them in the area.

    "They're at such a pivotal age, where they're deciding who they're going to be, who they're going to hang out with, if they're going to live their life for themselves or for God. ... There are studies that have shown that if you don't reach people for God by the time they've left high school, there's less than a 10 percent chance that you'll reach them at all."

    Details: Josh Cooke, 843-816-5674,