This year’s Bible Conference theme, “Let Us Pray,” was a reminder to all who attended about how powerful and vital prayer is in the believer’s life.
In his opening message Tuesday evening, Dr. Steve Pettit emphasized the power of God to break through sin in our hearts and carry us through trials when we cry out to Him in prayer. “Jesus is the consummation of all of God’s promises, and when we see Jesus, we see the perpetual defeat of every enemy who opposes Him,” Pettit said.
Rev. Aaron Young, pastor of First Baptist Church in Gallipolis, Ohio, spoke Wednesday morning, in a workshop Thursday afternoon in War Memorial Chapel and in the service Friday evening. Young spoke on Friday evening about the effectiveness of prayer in believers’ lives when they first show forgiveness.
“God’s provision for us is our pardon,” Young said. “If we’re going to pray, it’s all based on the forgiveness that we have with Jesus Christ, but if I’m unforgiving, I’m building up a wall between me and God.”
Young spoke of his former college roommate, Russ, whom Young found very difficult to live with and whom he treated with disdain. “Instead of ministering to him and praying for him, I preyed upon him,” Young said.
After a message on love from Dr. Bob Jones III one evening, Young realized how selfish, proud and unkind he had been to Russ and sought his forgiveness. Unbeknownst to the audience, Russ was waiting backstage during the message. Young invited him on stage to close the service in prayer. It was a powerful reminder of God’s ability to restore broken relationships and the power of forgiveness.
Rand Hummel, camp director at The Wilds of New England, spoke Wednesday evening, in a Thursday afternoon workshop in Rodeheaver Auditorium and in the Friday morning service.
Hummel encouraged students to refuse to be part of the 60 percent of college students who walk away from God as young adults.
Hummel said we must learn to love biblically, trust implicitly and pray fervently. “If you love God, you’re going to obey Him,” Hummel said. “If you love you, you’re going to do what you want to do, regardless of how it impacts your family or your God.”
Hummel led a unique chapel Friday morning devoted entirely to praying through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. He divided the session into three parts: personal confession, praising God and praying for God to put this kind of love in ourselves and others.
Rev. Armen Thomassian, pastor of Faith Free Presbyterian Church in Greenville, spoke in the Friday afternoon service on the relevance of prayer and fasting for believers today.
Other speakers at the conference were Rev. Alan Benson, vice president for Student Development and Discipleship at BJU, evangelists Tom Farrell and evangelist Harold Vaughan.
During Bible Conference week, many students led prayer sessions across campus. At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, students gathered in front of Rodeheaver Auditorium to pray for God to work in their own hearts and in the hearts of others during the upcoming services.
Students were encouraged to write prayers modeled after Matthew 6:9-13. These were written on sticky notes that were then put on windows in the Student Center Mall.
Signs at 10 designated prayer stations around campus suggested specific industries or groups for students to pray for as they walked along a route. The route started at War Memorial Chapel, moved to the Alumni, Seminary and Science buildings, Rodeheaver Auditorium, Grace Haight Nursing Building, the Museum and Gallery and ended at the Executive Offices. Many students also led prayer groups in the residence halls.
Pettit announced on Friday evening that the current total for all fundraisers was $62,017.29. He also gave several top contributors to this number, such as the Alpha Omega Delta Lions’ 223-mile bicycle ride from Greenville to Columbia, which raised $7,000.
The Tau Delta Chi Kangas and Nu Delta Chi Vikings raised $904.90 with their tropical-themed speed dating activity. Participants filled out a card with their top dates, and the hosts sent messages to eight couples who had matching top dates.
The Chi Alpha Pi Cavaliers and Theta Mu Theta Bandits raised $792.45 selling doughnuts and hot cocoa.
The International Student Organization raised $600 at their international dinner in the Bob Jones Academy Auditorium.
Cassia Moitra and Andrew Peterson said Friday that the residence hall students raised $8,742.93 through various fundraisers. “Students have given of their time to flip burgers and pancakes, blend smoothies, sell clothes, deliver doughnuts, sear steaks, assemble ice cream sandwiches, serve nachos and sell T-shirts,” Moitra, a senior nursing major said.
Peterson, a senior Christian ministries major, said there will also be a three versus three basketball tournament in March for the student body to attend.
The funds for the new student space have not yet been fully raised, but Dr. Pettit said he believes God will provide.
“He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,” Pettit said. “And He’s got at least three or four cows out there waiting for us, so we will continue to pray and ask God to provide.”