Students from around Bullard Independent School District gathered around their respective campus’s flag poles during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Sept. 27 to observe the 27th annual See You at the Pole event.
“See You at the Pole is a fantastic opportunity for the students to come together not as individual churches, but as a community of fellow believers and just pray,” said Mike Bell, Bullard Southern Baptist Church youth pastor. “They can pray for their school, their country, and each other. It’s really an interesting event to see the students take the initiative and step up to lead the event and the prayers.”
This year’s See You at the Pole event also coincided with another student led prayer event in the Global Week of Student Prayer, to be held Sunday through Saturday, Sept. 24-30.
According to the See You at the Pole website, the Global Week of Student Prayer is meant to “[encourage] students to find new and unique ways, places, and times to pray throughout the week… dedicated to prayer and launching on-campus Bible clubs, prayer strategies, and student ministries.”
The See You at the Pole event for 2017 marked the 27th anniversary event. The theme of the event was “Fix Our Eyes,” stemming from Hebrews 12:1-3: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
A the BHS campus, approximately 300 high school students gathered around the flag pole at Bullard’s Panther Stadium for the event.
“It was a great turnout for See You at the Pole this year, probably the largest attendance since I’ve been here at Bullard,” said Chad Linder, BHS head baseball coach and sponsor for BHS’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization. “We’re living in troubled times, both in our district and in our world. To have students lead prayer and profess Jesus Christ as their only hope was a great sight to see. The parent and community support watching and involved with this year’s event was a great benefit to making See You at the Pole a success.”
New at this year’s See You at the Pole event at BHS was the attendance of Tyler’s own 89.5 KVNE on-air personalities and staff members thanks to BHS winning a contest on the station’s website, where people voted for the school they wanted the radio station to attend the See You at the Pole Event.
In the KVNE contest, BHS received a total of 1,516 votes in the contest, beating out other schools receiving votes, such as LaPoynor (1,380), Full Armor Christian Academy (197), and Martin’s Mill High School (144).
“It was great to have KVNE here with us this year,” said Linder. “The community involvement that KVNE has is just amazing; they play positive and encouraging Christian music. A lot of times at the high school age, kids are listening to songs with curse words or different innuendos, and it goes from their ears to their minds and hearts and out of their mouths. Hopefully with KVNE’s presence at See You at the Pole, some of these kids will turn off what they’re listening to that’s bad for them and give KVNE a shot.”
“Bullard High School’s See You at the Pole event was just fantastic,” said Fletcher Jonson, KVNE and KGLY promotions and outreach coordinator. “I love to see communities rallying together for an event like this. Obviously, there is so much division in our country right now, so we wanted to push coming together and loving others as God loves us. This is such a vital part of our ministry because Jesus tells us to go and make disciples, to get out and spread his love and joy. If we’re just in our radio station, we’re doing a small part of that, but when we come out like we did at Bullard’s See You at the Pole, we’re being the hands and feet of Jesus.”
At the BHS See You at the Pole event, Bullard First Baptist Church’s youth minister, Tony Shafer, and the church’s youth praise band were on hand to lead attendees in praise and worship songs.
“See You at the Pole was great,” said Shafer. “We were originally aiming for 300 students but it actually seemed like we had more than that. Seeing the number of students we had coming together, as well as the unity of different youth groups, was very special to me. In a community like Bullard, the annual See You at the Pole becomes like an outreach event, where there’s those who gather for unity and prayer, while others come just to see what’s going on. I was a part of the behind-the-scenes aspects, which we had three local youth groups leading prayer and reading scriptures from the microphone. It’s a blessing for me, as a youth pastor, to work in a community like Bullard because their supportive of what we do and the message that’s presented.”
At the Bullard Middle School See You at the Pole event, Bell and the youth praise and worship team from Bullard Southern Baptist Church provided music, as well as breakfast for attendees.
In addition to See You at the Pole events at BHS and BMS, students at Bullard Intermediate School also participated in the annual prayer event, and taped their prayers written on index cards to the school’s flag pole.
See You at the Pole began in 1990 as a grassroots movement with ten students praying at their school. Twenty years later, millions pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September.
For more information about See You at the Pole, visit www.syatp.com.