A McDonough teenager is using the Internet as a pulpit, to minister to other teens. Ajani Brown, 18, is the host of "The Combat Zone," an online, live, television broadcast from his home.
"There are a lot of things that this generation deals with that normal church .... has not been able to reach," said Brown. "This production deals with things that are under the surface, things in the church that we really don't want to talk about. We go deeper than what you hear inside those four walls."
Brown said he wants to use the broadcast in a battle of "spiritual warfare" waged against many of his peers. Brown graduated last month from Union Grove High School, where he played trombone in the band. He launched the online program during his senior year, at www.victorytvlive.com, in December of 2009.
The teenage hosted his first broadcast in January. Each Friday at 8 p.m., Brown conducts Christian teaching, mixed occasionally with guests supporting the content of his lessons. The Union Grove graduate said he never expected that a devotion to Christianity would take him to the Internet.
"Ever since I can remember, I had always known that there was a strong calling to ministry that God had on my life," he said. "I had no intention of starting an Internet TV production. My heart was just to serve God."
Brown is the youngest member of a team of intercessors at Higher Living Christian Church in Hampton. It was through his involvement in the ministry that he was approached last year by producer Linda Wilson, of Higher Living, about "The Combat Zone."
Wilson, of Atlanta, said Brown is able to meet the needs of his peers in a way some others in ministry may not. "A young person knows what another young person is struggling with," said Wilson. "I wanted him to be on this broadcast, to teach, or guide young people into a better path for their lives. Ajani is walking in that path, so he would be a good person to demonstrate that."
Brown's mother, Sue-Etta Brown, said she and her husband, Kenneth, were supportive of their son's desire to begin doing the show. "Ajani has always had a love for God, a zest for God, and he's always had that calling on him by God, to do great things for God, that God would be glorified," the teen's mother said. "So, when he came to us about being approached to do "The Combat Zone," it was no surprise to me or his father. It was just part of the vision that God has given to Ajani."
The broadcast, Sue-Etta Brown added, serves as a platform for Ajani to reach audiences, regardless of their age. "It's also a serious responsibility," she said. "We believe that Ajani does take it seriously, and he has a heart to reach many souls, young and old."
Among the issues that Ajani Brown has discussed on his show are pornography and homosexuality among teens. "Many of them, their first statement is, ‘I was born this way, but I don't want to be this way,'" he said. "I began to ask God, what is it that really drives what they're dealing with, and He began to show me it's always a lack of love — whether it's the father not showing love, and so they seek it in another place, or the father and mother never showed each other love.
"That's not in every situation," he said, "because ... there are a lot of children who have both parents in the home, their parents love them and love each other. But you can always find there was some type of ... trigger."
Although the majority of his material is designed for young people, he said adults can also benefit. The young TV host said the web site advocates pouring one's life into the lives of teens, and instilling positive values in them.
He said he has several goals, which he hopes to accomplish through his work on the broadcasts. In addition to empowering young people, and helping them to develop a stronger faith, he said he hopes the site will align with the mission of Higher Living Senior Pastor Andre Landers, to enable others "to know Christ and make Him known."
The Internet host plans to attend Atlanta Christian College in the fall, with a double-major in theology and biblical studies, and a minor in music.