Students gather at the pole to pray

Natalie Netzel Staff Writer

September 27, 2013

NEWBERRY — It’s a sight not seen every day but on Wednesday morning while most students were rushing to class, about 16 students gathered at the flag pole at Newberry High to pray for community.

The other two schools in the county, Mid-Carolina High School and Whitmire Community School, also participated in the nationwide See You at the Pole event, which fosters students and teachers to pray for one another, the community and the world.

Jennifer Ludwig is a guidance counselor at Newberry High and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor.

“(See You at the Pole) started in 1990 with 10 students,” said Ludwig. “We pray for the community so that they are strong and bold in sharing their faith.”

The students were joined by Pastor Chad Ashby of College Street Baptist and he prayed for the brothers and sisters in other countries.

Ashby and Domar Peet, pastor at Bethel Baptist Church, help lead lessons for the FCA at Newberry High, said Ludwig.

“We thank God for the opportunity and freedom we have to gather together without fear of persecution,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig is excited about the upcoming school year for FCA especially for the FCA rally at Clemson University she hopes Newberry and Mid-Carolina students can attend.

“I’m excited about Newberry. God’s doing a lot,” said Ludwig.

About 130 students attended the first Newberry High School FCA meeting. The group meets every other Friday during all three lunches.

Ludwig also said Melissa Mendenhall and Tonya Denise Jeter at the Alternative School are looking to start an FCA group.

In Whitmire, the event took on a different meaning as students and teachers prayed for one of their own — third-grader Bennett Dalton — who died Monday after being struck by a tractor trailer on his bicycle.

Chris Martin, FCA sponsor at Whitmire Community,said the school will hold a meeting Friday morning in memory of Dalton.

One student, Kentrel Whitmire, expresses his thoughts about the event and how it took on a different meaning Wednesday.

“This year Whitmire Community School students gathered around the flag pole for See You at the Pole day as they do every year. This year, however, the event held an even deeper meaning,” Whitmire wrote. “Students, teachers and administrators met at 7:10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 to give a few moments of silence as well as lift the Dalton family up in prayer. It is amazing how such a small town can come together as a whole and bring some comfort in this time of need.”

“This was a perfect opportunity for the elementary and high school students to come together as a whole,” said senior Austin Prather.