By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
BALDWYN – Students around flagpoles across the country proved early Wednesday morning that prayer is still very much a part of their schools.
Approximately 125 students attended Baldwyn’s See You at the Pole prayer-gathering at the high school.
“We pray for our teachers. We pray for each other,” said senior Hana-Grace James, 17. “There’s a lot of peer pressure now-a-days to do things we shouldn’t be doing. So we just pray for each other that we’ll make the right choices in life and go somewhere.”
The student-led events began in 1990 and are held annually on the fourth Wednesday in September.
Baldwyn’s 7 a.m. service was sponsored by the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Students sang and gathered in small groups to pray and share Bible verses before circling the flagpole for student-wide prayer.
“We pray for the rest of the student body and teachers and events we have going on. It’s a way to show our Christian walk outside just our personal lives,” said 17-year-old junior Jonathan Hancock.
“People ask about it and it gives us an opportunity to share Christ,” he said
SYATP as it is known, has grown through word of mouth and with the backing of church youth groups and FCA groups and is held globally.
Jonathan combined on a performance of Newboys chart-topping single “God’s Not Dead” to begin the event at Baldwyn.
“It’s a big day here at Baldwyn. We all have a lot going on and we get really involved and have a really good turnout usually,” Hana-Grace said. “We all come together and pray around the pole and it brings our school together.”
Many communities celebrated Saw You at the Pole rallies on Wednesday night, which included observances at East Booneville Baptist Church and Tupelo’s Harrisburg Baptist.
“It’s very important,” Jonathan said. “There are people who will be against you when you try to live a Christian life and the more people you have with you, it’s easier to do.”