Our mission is to “Connect Students to Jesus”. But we’ve been thinking…how do we quantify that on a practical level? After all, it’s hard sometimes to know when you’re winning with teenagers, you know? Like, is anything we’re teaching actually sinking in? What does it look like when students are actually connected to Jesus? Are teenagers really growing in their faith? This is why we recently decided to go ahead and define the big win for our ministry. It’s the one thing that we, as a ministry, want to achieve. It’s the goal we want to keep in mind at all times. And it’s what motivates and guides everything we do. It goes like this...We win when a teenager takes a step toward owning their faith in Christ. Now, we say “takes a step” for a reason. It’s because there’s no finish line or certificate of completion when it comes to spiritual growth. Instead, spiritual growth is a journey (a life-long journey) and no two journeys are identical. That’s why our big win doesn’t have anything to do with a specific skill or achievement. Instead, we win anytime we see a teenager take a single step closer to owning their faith.

Who We Are

Encounter is the student ministry of Orangeburg Avenue Baptist Church. We serve students from 6th-12th grade. If that's you, we'd love to see you on either Wednesday night at 6:00pm or Sunday morning at 9:30am.

Our Leaders

We have a strong leadership team for our student ministries. Ryan is the Minister of Youth, and he has a strong team to make it all happen. This team is made up of Ryan's wife Hillary, Michelle Whiteman, Troy Jones, Lonnie Bartels, Breana Leiva, Janet Bruno, and Karen Farrell. You can be certain that each of our leaders have a solid Biblical foundation and a passion for the younger generation.


1. The inerrancy of Scripture;

2. The triune nature of God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit who indwells the hearts of believers;

3. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son; His substitutionary atonement at Calvary; bodily resurrection from the grave; ascension to the right hand of the Father; and coming visible return to earth;

4. The existence of an eternal Heaven and Hell;

5. Salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, the only begotten Son of God and Savior of men;

6. The existence of a personal devil who is in rebellion against God, the tempter and accuser of men, powerful in this present world, but defeated in Christ Jesus;

7. That all matter was created by the living God who spoke the world into existence and sustains all creation;

8. The autonomy of the local church body;

9. The cooperation among autonomous churches of like faith and order in advancing the work of the Kingdom of God;

10. The sanctity of all human life, even in the mother’s womb.