See You at the Pole: In Faith, In Strength

George Ranch students come together for the national annual event of student prayer around the flagpole.

By Katelyn Keeling

The sun peaks out from behind the white bricked building and bathes the front entry in deep morning light. It’s decently cool for a late September morning, but it’s not the nice weather that has brought the group of students out to the flag pole.

It’s prayer.

Prayer, faith and strength.

The small group of eleven students cheerfully pass the minutes past 7:40 A.M. until Friendship Church youth Pastor Nathan Herrick arrives and begins the prayer session around the flag pole. He asks the group to pray for their school and opens up the linked-by-hands circle for anyone to jump in with prayer.

This is ‘See You at the Pole’.

It’s an annual event that began back in 1990, according to the official ‘See You at the Pole’ website, for Christian students to make a stand in their community and schools by holding a national day of prayer around their flag poles.

“I like being able to see the teenagers come out here and show their faith and not be afraid of the students that are going to come by and see them and that might even make fun of them,” Herrick said. “It takes a kind of strength to come out in front of your peers and know that they’re going to see you, so that’s what I like about it. It’s teenagers making a stand for what they believe in.”

George Ranch students have no problem with taking a stand for what they believe in; a group has gathered around the pole on the last Wednesday of September since the inaugural year.

These Longhorns stand together, united around the waving red-white-and-blue banner by faith – not just commitment to the same club.

“[It’s] bonding together; coming together as one and you don’t see that. It’s usually with FCA and stuff,” senior Anna Clark said. “But… other people walking by… make you want to do it; they see what’s going on.”

The original eleven students grow to twenty-five, accompanied by eight adults at which point Herrick suggest they sing a song. Someone in the crowd shouts out Amazing Grace and everyone nods in agreement.

Thirty-three voices swell and reverberate around the white bricked front steps in the soft, sweet, low chorus of the classic hymn.

Time is winding down to the first bell – but these students are firmly planted. Herrick offers words of encouragement in the form of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 – focusing on verse 17, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

Herrick says that the Greek form of the word “go” is not a direction, but an “as you go” command.

For the second time, the gathered thirty-three offer up another prayer with bowed heads and closed eyes.