The worship team at Beach United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, Florida known as “Eleven22” is making national headlines with their new project titled The Reason, which was inspired by the life of McKenzie Noelle Wilson.
McKenzie was a 15-year-old high school student who accepted Christ at an Eleven22 worship event. Several weeks later, she died unexpectedly from swelling in her brain.
In the midst of their grief, McKenzie’s family desired to help young people recognize their full potential by providing programs that encourage caring for others, giving to those in need, and growing in their faith. They created a foundation in her name, which is now making a significant impact globally.
As a tribute to McKenzie’s life, the worship band Eleven22 (comprised of Ben Williams, Jonathan Berlin, Gretchen Martin and Maria Dunlap) put together an album filled with songs that were inspired by notes they found written in her Bible.
“There’s a song on the album called The Reason, which talks about being angry and broken, but knowing that in the midst of these emotions, that God still loves us and He is there with us,” worship leader Ben Williams said. “Our community has gone through the pain of losing someone special to us, and in the midst of brokenness, we have to remember to be very honest with our emotions and cry out to the Lord during very difficult times.
“We hope the songs on this album will allow people to experience an authenticity in their relationship with the Lord. In the midst of pain, we want people to know there is healing and hope in the Lord. McKenzie’s life serves as an inspiration for us to dig deeper with the Lord.”
All proceeds from this album benefit an orphanage and an abandoned baby home in Uganda sponsored by The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation. More info on the orphanage is available through this website www.caregivegrow.org and on this video http://vimeo.com/27774812.
For information about the album, please visit www.eleven22worship.com
Some of the amazing ways that the McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation is impacting lives can be found below. As you read stories on the websites and watch the video, you’ll be inspired by how the legacy of McKenzie Noelle Wilson continues to live on and continues to stir the hearts of others towards Christ.
· Random Acts of Kindness – encourages teens to care for others and take an interest in the welfare of their community by doing acts of kindness and passing out Random Acts of Kindness cards.
· Volunteering as a mentor or tutor, at special events, or raising funds for non-profit organizations that support youth development.
· Volunteering gives teens a chance to support and get to know their community, while growing themselves.
· Teens can sign up to volunteer and track their community service hours for school at www.mckenziegives.org
· Workshops and concerts that guide teens to develop their character and actively practice their spirituality.
· Uniting and mobilizing students to care for others through volunteering and charity.
· Teens are encouraged to start clubs in all middle schools, high schools, youth groups and in their community and to participate in group volunteering and charity projects.