Students and staff pray during a See You at the Pole gathering at Little Rock Central High School Sept. 26. Photo by Caleb Yarbrough
See You at the Pole events held across Arkansas, nation Sept. 26
THOUSANDS of students across Arkansas and the nation gathered around their schools’ flagpoles to pray as part of the 28th annual See You at the Pole (SYATP)
SYATP encourages students to gather at their school flagpoles for prayer at 7 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of September each year. Many churches typically host a SYATP-related event in the evening for students to share testimonies from the events. Other prayer events were also held throughout the Global Week of Student Prayer Sept. 23-29.
The Arkansas Baptist News received reports and photos from SYATP events held across the state, including Alma, Alpena, Ashdown, Batesville, Bigelow, Cabot, Camden, Centerton, Conway, Dollarway, Garfield, Harrison, Marianna, Mammoth Spring, Manila, Mena, Monticello, Palestine, Pine Bluff, Pea Ridge, Pottsville, Rison, Sheridan, Siloam Springs, Trumann, Van Buren, Warren, White Hall, and Woodlawn, among others.
According to Stan Dutton, student pastor at First Baptist Church, Gosnell, 200 students attended SYATP at Gosnell High School.
“This was the best turnout that we have had in my six years of being a student pastor at Gosnell,” Dutton said. “This generation is rising up to lead their peers into a relationship with Jesus Christ. I have been in the ministry for 28 years, and I have not experienced the excitement that I have seen for sharing Jesus. I see a revival coming.”
Cameron Ross, interim pastor at First Baptist Church, Cotter, reported 50 students, faculty and community leaders gathered for prayer at Cotter High School.
“This event was totally student-led,” said Ross. “Our nation and the world can be turned to Christ through relatively small prayer gatherings that allow young students to stand in solidarity through prayer. It’s very exciting to see God working in our schools and towns.”
SYATP events were not limited to elementary through high school students.
This year Lyon College’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) hosted a special midnight event.
“Elliott Andrews of First Baptist Church, Batesville, led our group in praise and worship, and we gathered around the pole to pray for the nations,” said Dawn Reed, BCM minister at Lyon College. “We also enjoyed a donut or two. We wanted to be the first group in America to be at the pole today.”
SYATP began in 1990 as a grassroots movement with ten students praying at their school. By 2010, elementary to high school students from numerous denominations were praying on their schools’ campuses at the end of September.
“Recently, the school campus has resurfaced as the focus of conversation and debate in our society,” said Doug Clark, SYATP national coordinator. “We all want a better future for our students – one that is safe, positive and fair for all. Prayer is the first and best thing we can do to make this happen.”
SYATP does not violate U.S. laws against prayer in schools, as all prayer is student-led, before school hours and outside of any school building, according to the SYATP website. But the site encourages students to pray off campus if school administrators object to the event.
Click here to view a photo gallery of See You at the Pole events across Arkansas Sept. 26.