My Family’s DNA
My name is Dawson Antonucci. My parents started their first church, Forefront, in Virginia Beach, VA in 1998. I was born in 1999 and was part of the Forefront community until I was ten years old. In 2009 we moved to Las Vegas to start a new church called Verve. I’ve been part of the Verve family ever since. Currently, I am about to start my Junior year of Film School at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Clearly, church planting is part of my family’s DNA. My first memories include getting up early with my family to help set up for our Sunday services. Serving at church is normal for me. In fact, I can’t imagine not. Having the church family be my family is normal for me. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, who have watched me grow up and always been connected to me and care about me.
While I don’t remember much of the early years of Forefront, being ten/eleven years old when we started Verve allowed me to be very involved, and left a powerful and positive mark on me. I got to sit in on conversations and meetings prior to launch where I heard the vision and mission being formulated. I understood not only what we were going to do, but why we were going to do it. Then we launched, and I grew up in our children and student ministries. A normal part of my Saturdays has been hearing my dad rehearsing his sermon. Best of all, I have watched hundreds and hundreds of lives change. In Las Vegas, the first person we saw come to faith (and I watched get baptized in a hot tub at a casino) was a former pimp, who recently became a pastor. I have seen atheists and Satanists and addicts and dealers and so many people far from God come to Him. In fact, in the nine years since our church started, one of the people who came to faith and got baptized was me.
Today, I serve at my church:
- In our Children’s Ministry. I teach our grammar-school age class for two of our services each week.
- In our Student Ministry. I lead our 8th grade group.
- In our Small Group Ministry. I lead our men’s college-age group.
- In our Creative Arts Ministry. I make many of the videos our church shows in our weekend services.
In fact, last week our church had our annual “Volunteerapalooza” event, honoring our volunteers, and I was named volunteer of the year!
It’s great that Stadia has an emphasis on valuing children. I myself have volunteered every week in children’s ministry for as long as I’ve been old enough to be allowed to! I’m glad Stadia focuses on helping children to know God and His love at an early age because that has been the story of my life, and the advantage I have taken into being a young adult.