Samuel Girven, 12, serves as the Cadillac Church assistant Communication secretary | Photo credit: Stanley Girven
A typical weekday for Samuel Girven is unlike that of your average 12-year-old: school, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; check Facebook analytics, 5-6 p.m.; dinner, 6-7 p.m.; work on press releases for the church, 7-7:30 p.m.
“He’s more responsible than most adults I know,” says Tom Mejeur, Communication secretary at the Cadillac Church, who oversees Girven writing press releases, communicating with the local newspaper editor, and running the church’s social media.
It all began a year ago when Girven, who attends the Northview Adventist School, wanted to help his school raise funds for their security system. School administrators had decided the best way to do this was through an auction from donated items. But a month before the auction date, the donations weren’t coming in as fast as expected and Girven decided he would try to help.
“In late January, we had to close the school because of snow —back-to-back snow days for about a week-and-a-half,” Girven recalls. “I started Googling any business I could find with a phone number. I made a list of every business within 100 miles with a phone number and started calling people. From what I remember, I called from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., then from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.”
The effort was a huge success. Girven helped raise $11,000 in donated goods and services. During the time he was calling the businesses, his father took a photo and posted it to Facebook. This caught Mejeur’s attention.
“Nominating Samuel [to assistant Communication secretary] was natural, even an obvious choice,” says Mejeur, while noting that Girven also had helped with the church’s audio-visual long before the nomination. “Our church is very supportive of youth; he has proven himself as knowledgeable and willing to serve.”
Since then, Girven has volunteered to run the church’s Facebook page and usually writes one or two press releases a week. Three of his articles —one on the International Pathfinder Camporee, one on the church’s “Fieldwork” community outreach and another on his school’s door-to-door colporteuring —were published in his local newspaper, Cadillac News.
“Everyone who meets Sam is impressed, even the newspaper people,” says Mejeur. “He has a vision for where he’s going; he’s seeing what needs to be done . . . He’s a good writer and a go-getter; he’s done all the interviewing for all of the articles he’s written.”
Girven is quick to give credit to God. “He has blessed me with a talent that I can use to help spread the gospel message to the area.”
Laura Fierce is a communication major at Andrews University.