History of the NYC

History of the National Youth Conference of M.B. Churches

Youth of the United States Mennonite Brethren (USMB) Conference began meeting together in the 1970s. Every four years they would gather together from all over the nation to listen to challenging speakers, worship and enjoy activities. These youth conferences have been the largest gatherings of MBs in North America!

The conferences were primarily held at Estes Park, CO, and occasionally hosted at Glorietta, NM, as well. A change came after Estes 03 when USMB Executive Director Chuck Buller began dreaming with some youth leaders about a new model for the conference. The USMB board appointed Rick Bartlett, Wendell Loewen and Tim Neufeld as a task force to investigate the issue. Upon further discussion and consultation with a large sample of MB youth leaders from across the nation it was decided to hold the 2007 conference at the Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, CA. One of the key goals of the conference was to move students into an environment where they could learn about and experience holistic ministry in an urban context. Each conferee was given the chance on the third day of the event to move into the city and minister in the name of Christ. The planning team felt that this was a great way to pass along an important Anabaptist/Mennonite value. The conference was a success and set the precedent for future national MB youth gatherings in an "urban" setting.

Here is a Brief Rundown of Every Conference:


Location: Glorietta, New Mexico

Attendees: 1,395

(117 staff, 211 sponsors, 1,067 youth)

Speaker(s): Josh McDowell

Seminars: 34

Special Notes: First every NYC!

PDC brought the most youth



Location: YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO

Attendees: 1,350

(118 Staff, 1,232 youth and staff)

Speaker(s): Mark Lee

Seminars: 50

Musical Guest: Brush Arbor

Special Notes:

SDC brought the most youth

First talent show happened



Location: Estes Park, CO

Attendees: 1,073 (lower due to the economy)

(750 youth)

Speaker(s): Tony Campolo

Seminars: 33

Musical Guest: Salmond & Mulder

Special Notes:

Updated “Praise Festival” talent show




Location: Glorietta, NM

Theme: “Experience The Difference”

Attendees: 1,075

(807 youth, 268 sponsors and staff)

Speaker(s): Ridge Burns

Seminars: 19

Musical Guest: Jamie Owens Collins and James Ward

Special Notes:

First NYC directed by a NYC graduate, Steve Schroeder.

Cragi McNair Wilson provided comedy and drama

$1,000 offering was taken




Location: Estes Park, CO

Theme: “Rock Solid”

Attendees: 1,079

Speaker(s): Duffy Robbins

Seminars: 10

Musical Guest: Laura Compton and Accappella

Special Notes:

Sponsored breakfast by the USMB colleges at the historic Stanley Hotel for seniors

$6,000 offering was taken

Planning team chair was Greg Schmidt

Tim Neufeld did worship

Isaac Air Freight were special guest comedians



Location: Estes Park, CO

Theme: “Hearts Courageous”

Attendees: 1,463

Speaker(s): Ridge Burns and Carolyn Koons

Seminars: unknown

Musical Guest: Bryan Duncan

Special Notes:

Planning team chair was Greg Schmidt

Comedy by Steve Bridges and Cary Trivanovich

400 pizzas and ice cream was given away

SDC brought the most youth (639)



Location: Estes Park, CO

Theme: “Power Up”

Attendees: 1,796

Speaker(s): Deforest “Buster” Soaries and Lori Salierno

Seminars: unknown

Musical Guest: Rebecca St. James

Special Notes:

The most attended NYC!

Planning Chair was Stuart Pederson

The morning prayer times were led by various Slavic and Hispanic groups

Curt Cloniger performed a special drama



Location: Estes Park, CO

Theme: “The Call”

Attendees: 1,560

(1,420 youth from 67 churches)

Speaker(s): Lori Salierno and Tom Tuffs

Seminars: 11

Musical Guest: Skillet

Special Notes:

This was the year a blizzard in the Denver area and Estes Park nearly cancelled the event.

Planning Chair was Stuart Pederson

War in Iraq came to a head two days prior to the start of the convention and so the closing session became an interactive service that included a directed prayer time

A $12,000 offering was taken for the North Carolina district project

Adopted 75 compassion international children

A service opportunity in Boulder, CO was introduced



Location: Anaheim, CA

Theme: “Everywhere”

Attendees: 1,075

(from 53 churches)

Speaker(s): Roy Crowne

Seminars: ministry tracks instead

Special Notes:

First time held in an urban setting

Planning team was led by Wendell Loewen, Tim Neufeld, and Rick Bartlett

Used a “hands on” format in terms of ministry tracks and an all-day ministry experience

Dramas led by One Time Blind

Late night Anaheim Idol Talent Show



Location: San Antonio, TX

Theme: “Flood”

Attendees: 915

(53 churches)

Speaker(s): Shane Claiborne and Paula Simpson-Parry

Musical Guest: Stories in Braille

Special Notes:

Planning team was led by Wendell Loewen, Tim Neufeld, and Rick Bartlett

Continued the all-day ministry experience in inner city San Antonio

Voted the best location concerning food and fun options

Late night activities were led by Tabor College and Fresno Pacific University