See You at the Pole more than a prayer meeting at schoolcomment (0)
September 26, 2013
By Neisha Fuson
They wake up early and make their way to their school, forming a circle around the flagpole, grabbing hands and bowing heads. For the 23rd year, students across the globe gathered for See You at the Pole (SYATP) on Sept. 25, which also is the Annual Global Day of Student Prayer.
SYATP is a student-organized and student-led event that started in 1990 and encourages students to pray for their schools, cities, state and nation. The 2013 emphasis, #IFTHEN, is taken from 2 Chronicles 7:14 (paraphrased), “If we pray, seek, turn; then God hears, forgives, heals.”
Beyond meeting at a school’s flagpole there were SYATP youth rallies held throughout the state.
SYATP in Alabama is supported in part by First Priority Greater Birmingham. Matt Wilson, executive director for First Priority Greater Birmingham, said the rallies make “a great day for unity” because students, teachers and community members gather together for a common purpose to ask God to intercede.
Each rally looks as “unique as the community that it’s in” but most represent students from several schools and youth groups and have a guest speaker and music, Wilson said.
“It’s really a community rally,” Wilson said, that recognizes “if we’re going to have a change in our world it’s going to be through God and not men.”
He said rallies will take place across the state from Huntsville to Gadsden to Mobile.
“Everything at a rally is focused back to the local church. That’s where students are supposed to be discipled.”
The following rallies were scheduled to be held in the Birmingham area Sept. 25: Mount Zion Baptist Church, Warrior; Union Hill Baptist Church, with former Ravens NFL player Jason Cook as guest speaker; Westwood Baptist Church, Birmingham, with First Priority Area Director James Cato as guest speaker; Moody Jr. High School in Moody, with McAdory High School Assistant Principal Antjuan Marsh as guest speaker; Pell City First United Methodist Church, with Ric Callahan as guest speaker; and Liberty Baptist Church, Chelsea.
SYATP and accompanying rallies are not just held in Alabama. According to http://syatp.com, since 2011 more than 2 million students participate from all 50 states each year. The event also is held in more than 20 countries.
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