Local schools host See You at the Pole events


By Jordan Morey and Zach Spicer

Well before the first bell of the morning, students at Seymour Middle School gathered around the flagpole adjacent to the gymnasium.

While the crowd started with around 30 students near 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, it grew to nearly 100 as the sun climbed over the skyline.

Outside the glass doors, the Rev. Jeremy Myers of First Baptist Church in Seymour and Nathan Parker, pastor of worship and media arts at First Baptist, were stationed.

After configuring their audio equipment, Myers played the guitar and Parker went to work on the drums while leading the students in song.

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During the annual See You at the Pole event, the students sang four songs: “Glorious Day,” “Reckless Love,” “Here Again” and “Christ is Enough.”

Myers said the students approached him about coming to the school.

“The cool thing about this is that it’s student-led,” he said. “When they asked me if I would come, the answer is, ‘Of course, yes if possible.’ It’s an encouraging thing to me to see the kids express their faith in such a public way. We want to support them any way we can.”

In the middle of the event, a handful of kids stepped forward to the microphone to lead in prayer and read Scripture.

Two of those students were Lucas Jablonski and Bret Perry.

Both eighth-graders said it was their third straight year attending the event.

“It brings more people together,” Jablonski said. “Even if they aren’t able to come really early in the morning, they can listen to the songs when they get off the bus. People need to be able to express themselves both inside and out of the school.”

The crowd grew as buses rolled in before school started, and some students stood outside to listen in before going to class.

“It can bring us closer to God and help them strengthen their relationship,” Perry said. “Students can express themselves. I hope everyone continues to do it in the future.”

Ellen Gentry, an eighth-grade science teacher, helped oversee the event.

“It’s good for kids to know they don’t have to hide their faith,” she said. “They can come out and profess it in front of other people.”

Gentry said the event was open to all students, and she was impressed with the number of kids who came before school hours.

Myers said going through the middle school years can be difficult for some kids, and the event is a good way to bring students together.

“I think one of the most important things about it is that it gives the students an outlet to express their faith in a productive way,” Myers said. “The biggest thing for me is that it shows students that they aren’t alone. At this age, kids tend to be a little more withdrawn because they’re still trying to figure out if it’s their faith or their parents’ faith. They see each other out here together and they aren’t as alone as they think they are.”


Around 40 students, staff and community members gathered outside Brownstown Central High School even earlier Wednesday morning for See You at the Pole.

Led by the school’s Christian Club, the focus was on the theme “If” from 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

“That’s just talking about that if we repent from ours, if we’re doing what God has told us to do that he’s going to come and give us his presence and that he’s going to be giving us his grace and mercy,” junior Josh Rogers said. “We don’t have to do all the work ourselves. We don’t have to be God. We just have to do what he says, and then he’ll come get us.”

Rogers then encouraged those gathered to listen to the lyrics of a song, “If My People” by Marvin Winans.

Senior Kaylee Branaman said God used the word “if” all of the time. Nearly half of the 574 occurrences in the New Testament are in the four gospels, she said.

“Jesus always put the word ‘if’ on the man’s side and never on God’s side,” she said. “Our response to God’s commands affect our relationship with him and determine our receiving him.”

Senior Emma Hamm provided history of See You at the Pole before everyone joined hands and gathered in a large prayer circle, broke into small groups to pray and reconvened in the large prayer circle to sing “Open Up the Heavens” by Vertical Worship.

Hamm said See You at the Pole started with a small group of teenagers in Burleson, Texas, coming together for a DiscipleNow weekend in early 1990.

“Little did they know that God was about to move in power,” she said.

On a Saturday night, they became broken before God and burdened for their friends.

“Compelled to pray, yet not knowing exactly what to do, they went to the school flagpoles and prayed for their friends, schools and leaders,” Hamm said. “Those students had no idea how God would use their obedience.”

The hope was for other students to meet at their school flagpoles to pray simultaneously. The challenge was named See You at the Pole during a brainstorming session.

“The vision was shared with 20,000 students in June 1990 at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas,” Hamm said. “It became clear that students across the country would be taking part.”

At 7 a.m. Sept. 12, 1990, more than 45,000 teenagers met at school flagpoles in four different states to pray before the start of school.

The next year, an estimated 1 million students participated in See You at the Pole.

“From Boston to Los Angeles today, more than 2 million students from all 50 states and more than 20 other countries participate in See You at the Pole,” Hamm said. “Whether you stand by yourself or among hundreds, know that you are a part of a vast united student-led movement of prayer.”

See You at the Pole also was conducted at Seymour High School, Medora Community Schools, and Trinity Lutheran High School.

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