IYC2022 Stokes Embers of Anticipation as Geremy Dixon Announced
By Carl Stagner
Geremy Dixon is no stranger to the Church of God. Certainly, his ministry is long-established in southern California where he has served as lead pastor of the vastly influential Center of Hope LA for nearly two decades. But his impact on the Church of God movement has spread dramatically in recent years, especially in the wake of his impassioned address to the Church of God Convention in 2017. His voice and example have inspired countless other ministers and ministries across the country and beyond in various venues on numerous occasions in the years since—including, but not limited to, his very well-received message at Convention 2021. With the recent announcement of powerhouse preacher Geremy Dixon as one of the speakers for IYC2022, the embers of anticipation are stoked for San Antonio.
A brief look at the history of Center of Hope LA culminates with a pastor today who carries on the legacy of leaders before him. A merger of two Church of God congregations formed the foundation of Center of Hope LA. From 1972 to 1996, the late beloved Benjamin F. Reid shepherded the flock which had resulted from both a historically white and historically black church. During the exemplary leadership of Bishop Gregory Dixon, from 1996 until 2012, First Church of God in Inglewood (Los Angeles) changed its name to First Church of God—Center of Hope.
Hope. How appropriate! All churches ought to be centers of hope in their communities, and it’s no different for Pastor Geremy’s congregation. Especially in Los Angeles, where the proximity to prominent cultural influences that don’t always promote Christian values is a factor that cannot be ignored; the hope they offer is, for the numerous lives being transformed every year within the sound of Geremy’s voice, a breath of fresh air. As far away as Atlanta, where Geremy once planted a small church, he remembers that going to church is a commonly understood cultural practice. While “every place has its struggles,” Geremy points out, “there’s a population where church is what you do. Los Angeles is not like that. It’s not ingrained that you go to church.”
There’s so much else to do, after all. In the shadow of Hollywood and Disney, and with the beach not too far to the west and mountaintop adventures to the north and east, there are a variety of activities clamoring for the time and attention of individuals and families. But another problem is the “transient” culture, as Geremy puts it. “LA is a place where people move to,” he explains. “Seldom do we find that people were born and raised in LA. In ministry here, we are mindful that we don’t have a lot of deep roots. We have to help foster a family atmosphere for them.”
With a highly successful track record and a “particular blend of humor, inspiration, and sound biblical grounding,” it’s no wonder Geremy Dixon was invited to return to yet another Church of God stage. He has previously observed that he and his congregation “celebrate the fact that [they] get to actively engage with the wider body and be an active part of where the Movement is headed.”
Looking ahead to July 2022, Geremy Dixon is thrilled for the chance to speak life into the hearts and souls of students from California to New York and everywhere in between. “The faith of the next generation is worth absolutely everything!” he exclaims. “I’m super excited to join this incredible lineup of speakers to invest what I have into them. We are called to be disruptive to the plan of Satan, and I can’t wait to mobilize these young leaders to storm the gates of hell. I’m fully convinced that this generation has the power to radically transform culture ,and I am cheering them on to victory!”
Student ministries and youth groups everywhere won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to “upgrade” and hear Geremy Dixon challenge and encourage all who will listen. Register and learn more about IYC2022 San Antonio, Texas, at www.iyc2022.org. Stay tuned for more speaker and artist announcements!
Feature (top) photo: Geremy Dixon pictured engaging the youth and children at Center of Hope LA a couple years ago.