UNION COUNTY — Students observed the National Student Day of Prayer — better known as See You at the Pole — at every school in Union County on Wednesday morning.
See You at the Pole (SYATP) is an annual gathering of Christian students of all ages at a flagpole in front of their school for prayer, scripture reading or hymn singing during the early morning before school starts. American SYATP events occur annually on the fourth Wednesday of September.
Students gathered at flag poles in front of schools within the Union County School District at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday to pray. Students of the Christian Homeschoolers of Union County Co-Op met at 8:30 a.m., and Union Christian Day School met at 9:40 a.m.
During Wednesday’s SYATP gatherings in Union County — organized by the Union County Baptist Association — prayer was led by volunteers including Crystal Vaughan at Buffalo Elementary, Jeff and Courtney Dean at Monarch Elementary, Janet Ledford at Foster Park Elementary, Gina Childers and Tommy Mann at Lockhart School, Shawn and Kacie Ingle at Jonesville Elementary/Middle, Brian Childers and Brooke Lee at Sims Middle, Todd Davis and Cycle Coker at Union County High School, Sarah Wade at USC Union, Brad Goodale and Mike Stalnaker at the Christian Homeschoolers of Union County Co-Op and Tommy Mann at Union Christian Day School.
“The Bible tells us to pray for those who are in authority over us,” Mann said. “While that is something we should do privately every day, on this occasion we come together collectively to pray for our president, governor, congress, mayor, military, school board, teachers and administrators. We also prayed for fellow students, and we thanked the Lord for the freedom to pray in this country, and for the privilege of education.”
The events began in 1990 when a small group of teenagers in Burleson, Texas, felt burdened to pray for their country and school. Unsure of exactly what to do, they went to the school flagpoles and prayed for their friends, schools and leaders.
The vision was that students throughout Texas would follow these examples and meet at their school flagpoles to pray simultaneously. The vision was shared with 20,000 students in June 1990 at Reunion Arena in Dallas, and in September of that year, more than 45,000 teenagers met at school flag poles in four different states to pray before school.
In 1991, an estimated one million students gathered at school flag poles all over the United States. Like the first students, they prayed for their schools, their friends and their country. Events have continued to grow through word-of-mouth and announcements at youth rallies and churches as well as online.
In 2005, over two million students in the United States participated, as well as students in Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Germany, Ghana, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Scotland and South Africa.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.