Royal Heirs is the youth ministry of Bethel World Outreach Church, a multicultural church of over 50 nations located in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and around the world. Restructured in 2001, BWOC Royal Heirs seeks to minister to both youths in its local assembly and around the world. Presently the ministry ministers to an average of 100 young people in its weekly programs. The D.C. Metropolitan area is a melting pot of diverse cultures, and economic and social backgrounds. Royal Heirs received its name from Bishop Darlingston G. Johnson, D.Min during a general conference held in Gambia.
He delegated care of Joseph Generation to Joshua Generation, the ministry to young adults. Bishop Johnson wanted to see teenagers within and outside of Bethel come to know and serve God from an early age, much in the same way that Joseph in the Bible did. Joseph’s strong character is inspiration for today’s teen. Thus, in 1999, Joseph Generation began meeting on Friday evenings. Faithful Joshua Generation leaders directed these meetings. As word about the new youth ministry spread, the number of youths attending the Friday meetings increased. Bible studies were held on the first and third Friday of every month, and social activities (e.g., talent shows; games; sleepovers; outings to concerts, skating rinks, and historic sites in the nation’s capital) were held on the second and fourth Fridays.
On the last Friday in October, Joseph Generation hosted the annual Jamboree, designed to counter the celebration of Halloween. The theme of the annual event was “Celebrate Elohim, not Halloween.” This one night of celebration assembled youths from various churches to praise and worship God. In 2001, Pastors Charles and Maima Wesley assumed the leadership of Joseph Generation. Many young people serviced by Joseph Generation are currently experiencing trauma, which is directly linked to the particular social setting that they come out of. Among these are youths from single parent/absentee families.
Many young people are products of single parent or absentee parent homes; as a result of the negative situations that grow out of or cause this, these youths develop antisocial behavior and become troubled youths. Joseph Generation through partnership with a local NGO, Glory Inc., minister to an average of 60 children weekly. Through the U-Turn program, arts and crafts program and wholesome outings, the lives of these children are being transformed. In 2004, more than 120 youths attended these weekly activities.
Another category of young people receiving ministry through Joseph Generation are youths who come here from different countries. Some of these young people come out of war situations; others have been separated from immediate family members and sent to live with other relatives; some live with their own families but experience cultural shock and find it difficult to adjust to this culture. Many of the children in these situations are often withdrawn. Some develop emotional problems; others become rebellious and develop antisocial behaviors.
Through their involvement with Joseph Generation’s peer mentoring program, drama and music ministries, summer camps, and other activities, these teenagers are given a safe and youth-friendly environment to help heal their hurts; help them develop their God-given potentials and in turn, become peer mentors to others like themselves. Since 2001, we have seen about 25 young people discipled. Some have gone on to college where they are making a difference for Christ on their campuses; others have formed Bible clubs on their high school campuses; others serve as youth leaders: they playing active roles in the different ministries of Joseph Generation.