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Youth raise $8,000 to free 16 slaves

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Youth raise $8,000 to free 16 slaves | Rock the Chains, Kendall Gilfillan, Brentwood United Methodist Church

2011 'Rock the Chains' sets new record
Brentwood Home Page news reports

The fourth annual Rock the Chains Battle of the Bands Benefit was a success Saturday night when a group of teens raised $8,000 for International Justice Mission.

"IJM says it takes $500 to free a person from slavery.  So we can put a human picture on the amount of money raised," said Kendall Gilfillan, chair of the RTC team.  "It is so deeply meaningful to think you had a part in helping 16 people find freedom."

Not only did the event raise a record amount of money, but they had nearly 500 people in attendance.  Families were there to support band members and teens from all over Brentwood, Franklin and South Nashville were there to see the bands compete.

The Weather Kings were the chosen favorite by the four judges who were all representative of the music business.  Local business owner, Gene Ford, served as one of the judges.

"Developing Rock the Chains has been an incredible journey," said Travis Garner, Director of Youth and Family at Brentwood United Methodist Church. "It's fun to see how God works and moves in different people toward a unified purpose and vision. As a youth minister, I'm passionate about helping students get below the surface and reach out beyond themselves."

L to R front:  Kendall Gilfillan, Alexis Butler, Paula Bagley, Chris Shaw
L to R rear:  Mallory Glasgow, Nathan Fleetwood, Brian Smith, Julie Wofford

 The four judges at Rock the Chains Battle of the Bands.
 Gilfillan, left and Fleetwood, right, pose with The Weather Kings, the winner in the RTC Battle of the Bands.

Gilfillan's team included a unified group from multiple area schools.  Mallory Glasgow, a junior from Brentwood Academy, worked closely with Gilfillan this year and will move in to chair the committee as Gilfillan leaves for college.  Other team members included BHS junior Alexis Butler, RHS junior Brian Smith, Father Ryan senior Paula Bagley, BHS senior Julie Wofford, and RHS senior Chris Shaw.

Gilfillan's co-host for the event was Nathan Fleetwood, a senior from Ravenwood. 

For the first year, the teen organizers secured corporate sponsorships to underwrite the event allowing 100 percent of Rock the Chains’ proceeds to go to International Justice Mission.

Others stepped up with support for the grand prize which Gilfillan said is a big step up for the bands.  The winner will receive a full photo shoot and licensing fees for an album cover, a one-hour consultation with Stuart Dill of Sanctuary Artist Management, a full day of studio time and $100 gift card to Guitar Center.

"God's desire for the world is to put the broken pieces back together, and he asks US to help do that! Rock the Chains is an opportunity to do just that," shared Garner. "It's a really fun event, but it's not a fun event just for the sake of having something entertaining to do; it's a fun event that is literally changing people's lives."

Garner stressed that not only are lives being changed forever as the people they are seeking to help are being freed from slavery, but the students and adults who are participating are having their lives changed as they seek to do the work of God in the world.

Photos by Peg Fredi

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