studentsPraise God for the light of His Word! Currently, I’m going through the book of Exodus with my classes. In the Biblical account of God parting the Red Sea, it is said that God’s presence brought darkness upon the Egyptians and light to the Israelites (14:19-20). This reminded me of the spiritual principle that those who oppose God are blinded in unbelief, while those who trust God are given insight into His “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). It is my deepest hope that my teaching will serve to shine forth the light of the Gospel and help open the eyes of my students. I pray that they will see and experience the goodness of God and His love for them. While I do my best to demonstrate the trustworthy nature of Scripture, as the famous Augustine once wrote, “I believe in order to understand.” I want my students to have more than head knowledge. I want them to have a personal, life-giving knowledge of Jesus Christ (John 17:3).

As I am getting to know my students better, I can clearly perceive that God’s Word is not falling on deaf ears. Many of the students are eager to learn more. With the others, I trust in the Lord’s promise that His Word will have its effect and not return empty (Is. 55:11). I ask you to join me in the prayer that God will not only speak through me as I teach, but that He will also soften the hearts of the teens listening. As our Lord has said, without Him I can do nothing (John 15:5). I am always careful to present the good news in every lesson. Please ask the Author and Finisher of our faith to confront the students with the reality and eternal significance of the Gospel message. Moreover, for the students who do have a relationship with Christ, pray that they might have the courage to make a stand for Him in the midst of their peers. More than one student has already expressed to me their difficulty in witnessing to friends. Pray that God gives them the words to say as they let their own light shine. May this light fill the earth and those in darkness be delivered from their blindness! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this marvelous work and God bless you for the crucial part that you play as well.



We are Thankful!

CLC Sign
God is Faithful.  In Philippians 4:4 we are told to “Rejoice in the Lord always!” In fact, the verse goes on to say “again I will say, rejoice!”  This is a very familiar verse to most of us.  It is a verse that many of us can recite.  It rolls right off our tongues but we never stop to think about it.  At CLC we encounter many students who have nothing to rejoice about.  They face hunger, family difficulties, financial difficulties, illness, and the list goes on.  Maybe you feel the same way our students do.  You may feel as though there is nothing to rejoice about in this life.

CLC is such a special place for students because we are able to share where true joy comes from.  We are able to rejoice in Jesus and share Him with these students.  This life is hard.  If Jesus had not paid it all for us what would we have to rejoice about?  We have an incredible opportunity to share this good news with the students of GHS.  Many of these students have never heard or understood what Jesus did for them personally.  We are able to do this because of your faithfulness.  We are so grateful for your prayers and financial support.  Without you these students would never hear this message of hope.

Last fall we had three students come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and savior.  We have three new brothers in Christ!  We also had one student decide to make a deeper commitment in her walk with Jesus.  There were many students who began reading their Bible daily, several who received a Bible who did not have one, and two more who will be baptized.  There were also countless seeds planted.  God has softened hearts and impacted not only the students who come through our doors but their families as well.  Thank you for supporting our ministry.  Thank you for being faithful.  We praise God for working in the lives of these students.  Now we have new students and new souls to reach!  Please be praying for God to move.



Meet Our New Teacher: Buddy Smith

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Being called by God to teach the Bible, and having a passion for youth ministry, the concept of a Christian Learning Center has always been attractive to me. Yet I, like many, was for the longest time under the impression that such a concept was impossible, due to “separation of Church and State.” As you might imagine, I was very excited when I found out about the Gilmer CLC. Ever since I graduated from Truett-McConnell College, I’ve been on the look-out for God’s plan in my life. After searching for some time, I was still without a clue as to what God wanted me to do. Right when my frustration was at its height, I heard about Gilmer’s CLC. Curious, I did some research and, as I continued to learn about this awesome ministry, I felt a strong sense of peace. I thought, ‘Perhaps God has finally showed me His will.” It wasn’t long until this suspicion turned into certainty.

Now, I have no doubt that the Lord has led me to teach at CLC. I am overwhelmed with joy at the prospect of instructing high school students in the Word of God. My hope and prayer is that Christ will touch the lives of these precious people through me. All glory belongs to God, but I rejoice that He has seen fit to use me as His instrument. I heartily thank all those who support this noble endeavor of bringing the light and love of Christ to Gilmer’s youth. You have already been a blessing to me and I will take advantage of that blessing by representing our Savior in the classroom. I only ask that you will intercede to the Father on my behalf, so that I may have a serving heart which honors Christ.

“Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:24



CLC Banquet Success!

We are so thankful for everyone who came to our 2nd annual Banquet and silent auction!  People from all over the community came out to celebrate God’s faithfulness in our ministry for the past 30 years.  We looked to the past to see all that has been accomplished but now we must look forward to the next 30 years.  Students in Gilmer County need Jesus and need the CLC.  Many student would never step into a church but they will take our class.  We need your support….whether that is your prayer support, financially, volunteer, or becoming a Christian mentor through our mentor program.  We need you. We cannot survive without you.

We are so thankful for our faithful board members, our table hosts, all those who donated a silent auction item, and the precious students who served us dinner last night.

We especially want to thank our sponsors. We are so blessed by their generous donations so that everything given goes directly towards ministering to the students of Gilmer County.

2014 Banquet Sponsors

Special Thanks to:

Cartecay Thrift Store

Platinum Level

Covenant Community Church

Frady Farms

J&M Contractors

Kiker Wealth Management

Ken and Carol Lively

Billy and Stephanie Rowe

Gold Level

Park Sterling Bank

Doug and Jan Hall

Laura Huster

Sparks Lumber

R&A Orchards: Roger and Ann Futch

Anthony & Erica Perkins

Whitepath Fabtech Foundation Inc.

Silver Level

Ellijay Tire Co

Papa’s Pizza


My CLC Story: Andrew Hilerio

Current CLC Student, Andrew Hilerio

It all started in 9th grade when my brother, Joseph, told me about CLC and what it was and I was interested. He said “In CLC you learn a lot about God and read about the Bible, and they go over it and help you understand it more.” So in 10th Grade I signed up for a CLC class, but the thing was that I wasn’t living my life with Jesus. I wasn’t reading the Bible at all, I was finding other things to make me happy besides Jesus, like girls, music, and other worldly things, but something was missing and I didn’t know what.

I met someone in that first day of class, his name was Kyle Mize, and he was a nice, funny, and very helpful. He made me see things that I wouldn’t have known of, if I didn’t go to CLC. The second person I met there is Mr. Caleb Land, Kyle knew him, but I didn’t. Kyle introduced me to him; he’s an amazing, kind, and helpful guy. I knew God is working in my heart, because at church each Sunday I went I started to feel something, when the Pastor asked for people to come up and receive Jesus as your Lord and savior, I felt like I should go up there and receive him, but I didn’t because I was scared. I looked around at people I was scared of, I felt like I would be judged, so I didn’t go.

Every time I went to CLC I felt better and I knew God was working in me. On March 20, 2012, I was in CLC and I was having problems in my life. Kyle told me we should ask Caleb for some help, so we did. I told him what was going on and he said “The only way to find happiness in your life and in your heart, and instead of other things, is to get saved by the Lord Jesus Christ.” Then I told him how I felt like going up and being saved at the church and he said “You don’t have to be saved at a church you can be saved here right now, this second, but it’s up to you.” I thought for a few moments and I said “Ok, I want to be saved”, and I was saved that day, and my life changed for the better. I found my happiness, I started to read my Bible, and I started doing things with the church, and CLC is something I would never forget. It changed my life for the better.