The Youngstown Chapter of Interdenominational Church Ushers Association will host the 74th annual state convention of ICUA of Ohio from Thursday through Saturday at the Holiday Inn in Boardman.
As many as 200 church ushers from across Ohio will attend.
An evening of music is planned at 7 p.m. Thursday with Valley male choruses. The event is free and open to the public. An offering will be accepted.
On Friday, the School of Ushering workshop will begin at 7 a.m., and the official opening ceremony will be at 10.
Some Youngstown city officials will be in attendance, including Mayor John McNally.
A banquet is planned at 6 p.m. when state and local ICUA members will be honored.
The convention will continue May 17 with a memorial candlelight service beginning at 6 a.m. honoring deceased ushers and member pastors.
The Youngstown chapter is the first of its kind for Youngstown.
The interdenominational organization welcomes all to become a part of this ministry.
Letters will be sent to Valley churches in August inviting them to become members and to attend the school that will begin in the fall.
The Youngstown chapter received its charter Feb. 28, 2009, making Youngstown the eighth city in Ohio to open a School of Ushering.
Other Ohio cities with schools are Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.
The first class for Youngstown Chapter of ICUA began Oct. 2, 2010.
Classes take place twice a month from October through May and add up to 32 hours of instruction from the Official Modern Day Manual on the Art of Church Ushering.
Ushers-in-training are taught universal ushering techniques using signs and signals that enable them to usher in a uniform manner at church and secular events or any occasion where ushers are needed.
A church must be a member of the organization before its ushers can participate in the school.
The Youngstown chapter includes 15 churches within the Youngstown, Warren, Niles and Pennsylvania areas.
The school has 83 students, and 11 have continued with training to earn instructor’s certificates.
Member churches are Alpha & Omega First Baptist Church, Antioch Baptist Church, Christ Centered Church, Elizabeth Baptist Church, Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Mount Zion Baptist Church, New Bethel Baptist Church, Oak Missionary Baptist Church, Tabernacle Baptist Church, Third Baptist Church and Union Baptist Church, Trinity Baptist Church and Friendship Baptist Church, both Warren, Valley Baptist Church of Niles and Second Baptist Church of Farrell, Pa.