Students Hold Annual Prayer at Flagpole

BHS students prayer around the school's flagpole at about 7:30 this morning, Sept. 23. (All photos by Steve Bowman)
The first group of BHS students pray around the school’s flagpole at about 7:30 this morning, Sept. 23. More students joined them for the second prayer about 15 minutes later. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

About 40 Christians gather for student-led prayer

 
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
Email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

Claudia Jones lives in Sullivan, Mo., so she drives 60 miles every morning to attend Brentwood High School. But she was the first student to arrive at the school’s flagpole on Wednesday morning 45 minutes before classes began.

Eventually Jones was joined by about 40 other BHS students for the annual See You At the Pole prayer gathering. It’s an international initiative that BHS students have been observing for at least a decade. They circled the flagpole, held hands and took turns praying aloud for their school, their country and whatever else they wanted to pray for. They prayed for about 10 minutes, chatted for a while as other students arrived, then held another prayer before heading to their 8 a.m. classes.

Students set their backpacks aside and pray before their morning classes.
Students set their backpacks aside and pray before their morning classes.

The event began in 1990 when teenagers from a youth group in Texas felt burdened to pray for their schools. Though school-sponsored prayers in public schools have been ruled unconstitutional, prayers organized by students themselves are allowed and protected by free speech. Now, according to the SYATP website, each year on the morning of Sept. 23 more than 3 million Christian students participate in more than 20 countries.

Brentwood High School’s SYATP is publicized by the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes club. The word was spread chiefly by the group’s huddle leaders: Jones, Natalie Featherston, Abby Harper, Sophia Rivera and Skylar Sappington.

“My freshman year around 30 people attended this, then the numbers went down,” said Jones, a senior. “This today was amazing because we had 40-plus people. I just think it’s the effort put in by our huddle leaders this year — we’ve been encouraging people to come. The freshmen have been great; they really want to put their hearts out for God and make a campus for God.”

“This is the largest FCA we’ve had in a long time,” said the club’s faculty sponsor, Shannon Koster. She added that BHS students have been praying around the flagpole annually for at least 11 years, since the club started in 2005.

DSC_8796
Students wear pink Brentwood FCA t-shirts with the slogan “A huddle that prays together stays together.” On the back is the Bible verse Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Students pause for a group photo before heading to their classes. The right and left halves of this photo are below.
Students pause for a group photo before heading to their classes. The left and right halves of this photo are below.

DSC_8801 - Left side

DSC_8801 - right side

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