1st Baptist again hosts Night to Shine

Published 10:24 am Saturday, February 16, 2019

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — For the fourth consecutive year, First Baptist Church of Americus was honored and excited to be again be the official host church for the 2019 Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. The event held Friday evening, Feb. 8.
Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older. The event was hosted by an estimated 700 churches around the world simultaneously on Feb. 8.
The First Baptist Church event rolled out the red carpet for 118 guests complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside the venue, guests received the royal treatment, including the crowning of each guest king or queen of the prom, making official photos, corsages and boutonnieres, prom favors, hair and makeup stations, shoe shining areas, karaoke, games, limousine rides, trolley rides, a catered dinner … all leading up to the Prom dance floor where everyone involved — guests and volunteers alike — had lots of fun!
The successful First Baptist Church Night to Shine event can be contributed to a dedicated Night to Shine Committee, approximately 550 volunteers plus additional community support and participation.
Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of people came together on the one single night, all from different cities, different countries, different cultures, but with the same love, in a worldwide movement celebrating people with special needs. At Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, more than than 200,000 volunteers from 655 churches and 35 different denominations across the United States and 24 countries, honored more than 100,000 guests with special needs simultaneously on one incredible night.

“Night to Shine is special because there are so many things in our society that tear people apart and this night is a night that brings people together. Because every single person is important … we are all loved; we are all created in God’s image and there is a reason and a purpose for each our lives,” shares Tim Tebow, founder and chairman of the Tim Tebow Foundation.
According to a press release from the foundation, Tebow tries to attend as many locations as he can each year to be able to personally encourage, celebrate with and give love to the communities hosting Night to Shine and their guests. Tebow’s travels actually began Feb. 6, with the 2019 Night to Shine Kickoff Tour. The first leg of the Kickoff Tour was in Cuenca, Ecuador, at the Unsion Foundation, followed by Feb. 7 stop at Familia De Dios in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. While at Night to Shine in Ecuador and Mexico, Tebow and the team who accompanied him walked guests down the red carpet, danced and crowned guests King or Queen!
The press release says that after Mexico, the team flew back to the states to make several stops at host locations as they prepared for the big night. The team surprised students with special needs and Night to Shine honored guests at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and were able to pray with the students as well as tour where Night to Shine would be held that evening. At Compass Christian Church in Grapevine, Texas, they surprised some volunteers that were setting up for the event, took photos and prayed with the volunteers and leadership team. The next stop was Crossroads Christian Church in Grand Prairie, Texas, who has hosted Night to Shine all five years, during which they surprised honored guests that were getting their hair and makeup done, listened to their worship team as they prepared for Night to Shine and prayed with the leadership team.
The team also traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., where they visited Legacy Church, another 5th-year host. Tebow met and thanked volunteers, surprised and spent time with honored guests getting their hair and makeup done and prayed over the team of volunteers.

The last church to be surprised by the Tebow team was ZOE Church in Los Angeles where Tebow welcomed guests as they walked the red carpet, and then spent the night dancing with a large number of kings and queens and shared the message of God’s love with all the honored guests and volunteers.

“God gave His very best for each of us — He gave us His Son — and because He was willing do that, we are willing to do whatever it takes to make these honored guests feel special and feel loved. They are worth it, and that’s why I love Night to Shine,” Tebow says.

Honored guests enjoyed moving around the dance floor during their Night to Shine the evening of Feb. 8 at First Baptist Church of Americus. Their smiling faces tell the story.