September 24, 2020
East Texas Baptist University students, faculty, and staff gathered in the early morning hours of Wednesday, September 23, for the annual See You at the Pole event, a global day of student-led prayer. The tradition that started in 1990 at a high school in Burleson, Texas, has since grown to see upwards of three million students in the United States and over 20 countries gather to pray at their school’s flagpole. While this year looked a bit different at most campuses with virtual participation, ETBU students felt motivated to hold in-person prayer while maintaining safety protocols.
“The purpose and energy behind See You at the Pole is powerful every year, but this year felt different,” Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) Director David Griffin said. “I believe that students came out to pray, because they know that Jesus is our only hope. We sit in the middle of a situation that we cannot control, and this event is ultimately a reminder to depend on and trust in the only One who is in control.”
For the past several years, ETBU BSM has organized this time of worship, prayer, and fellowship. This year, the BSM focused on the unifying effect of prayer in trying times, challenging attendees to pray for their school, community, and country, and ask for compassionate hearts, peace, humility, and patience in the midst of the pandemic.
“We really wanted it to be a time where people could pray together,” junior elementary education major Kayleigh Hill shared. “A lot of people came with their roommates or their friends, people they might not usually pray with, so this was a good opportunity to strengthen their confidence in the power of prayer.”
Because of the University’s dedication to encouraging a community of active prayer, ETBU has participated in See You at the Pole for over a decade, and has consistently seen an enthusiastic student response. In addition to the yearly event, ETBU students are regularly encouraged to seek God’s truths and strengthen their faith by attending weekly chapel services, joining prayer groups, or getting involved with BSM-hosted events such as retreats and prayer conferences.
“BSM has given me amazing friends in a strong Christian environment,” sophomore business administration major Braydon Ballard said. “Just going to BSM activities like this allows me to be around great Christian models that I strive to be like.”