Students and faculty gathered in the MLB auditorium on Monday morning, October 9th, with a sense of anticipation and special attention. This chapel was to be the first devoted to the campus revival everyone had heard and prayed so much about during the past few weeks. The podium was nowhere to be found—the first sign chapel would be a little different.
Phil Waldrep, a Southern Baptist pastor and evangelist based in Decatur, Alabama, spoke from the stage rather than behind the podium and broke protocol by not wearing a tie. He was particularly focused on reaching students on a personal level.
The five revival services took place October 9-11. In previous weeks Dr. Meeks and BSU director Tracy Moser asked ministerial students to help as counselors during the services. In order to be consistent and keep accurate records, the counselors used the “Spiritual Commitment Guide” booklet published by the North American Mission Board.
Student Turnout: Attendance at Revival Exceeds Expectations
While students were required to attend the chapel revival services, the night services were optional. To the surprise of many, during both night services the MLB auditorium was almost completely full—mainly with students—though faculty members and even some people from the community also attended. Many students expressed their surprise that the turnout was so large. During a brief interview Tuesday night, Phil Waldrep gave his thoughts on the positive response at BMC:
“From the moment I arrived everyone has been very receptive to the messages. That says something about the student body and something about the spiritual aspect of this school—that it’s not just in name. These are truly students who want to grow as Christians,” Phil said.
Student Response: Decisions for Salvation and Recommitment
During the first four revival services many students responded to the invitations and came forward to make some kind of decision and pray with a counselor. Many had tears streaming down their faces. Freshman softball player Annabelle Pierce could not stop grinning Tuesday night when she witnessed two friends she had been praying for come to salvation.
“Before and during this revival I prayed that God would move in a mighty way, and He did,” said Annabelle. “I got to see so many of my friends and schoolmates come to Christ.”
Follow Up: Continued Spiritual Growth on BMC Campus
Tracy Moser explained that if students will follow up on their commitment to share the Gospel, this will make a large impact on BMC campus. Follow up plans include getting each person who accepted Christ into a small group for new believers and setting up small groups for those who recommitted their lives to Christ as well.
“Let’s recognize the revival as the beginning of a fresh new awareness of who God is and how He wants to work in each of our lives. God did amazing things on our campus during revival; let’s expect even greater things that only He can do,” said Dr. McMillin.