Area teenagers, minsters gather for national prayer event

Published 11:23 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2007

VIDALIA — A group of teenagers getting up early so they can arrive at school an hour before they have to may seem odd on the best of days, but Wednesday a group Vidalia High School students did just that.

But the discussion of the group didn’t center around geometry, American history or the latest school gossip.

It was prayer.

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The student group participated in See You at the Pole, a national yearly event in which students gather around their school’s flagpoles to pray for their schools and community.

The group — a total of 14 people when the prayer circle began — was composed of Vidalia High School students, local ministers and members of the community.

Standing contrasted against the slate-colored sky, the prayer warriors stood in a circle, hands linked in front of the flag pole and prayed for guidance and protection for students in their daily goings-on.

A few late arrivals joined the circle as the hour progressed, and the group stayed to its business even as busses rumbled past.

Vidalia High student Hunter Thornton gave a brief devotional.

Reading a Bible verse that said if more than one Christian is gathered together God is present with them, Thornton said it gave him a real sense of mission.

“That means God is here,” he said. “We need to take him from here and spread him all over this school.”

Jack Middleton, a minister at Calvary Baptist Church in Vidalia, urged students to consider making the event more than a one-day happening.

“Last year there was a movement on this campus where students came here to pray every day,” he said.

“I’m praying there will be a leader to start it this year,” Middleton said. “Who will start it? I can’t.”

See You at the Pole has had bigger turnouts at Vidalia in the past, and was relatively small this year because no church really took it upon themselves to coordinate the event, Middleton said.

See You at the Pole is a student-initiated event that has happened annually on the fourth Wednesday of September since 1990.