Hundreds of college students put aside studying, or perhaps partying, Thursday evening to gather on Greek Row at Georgia Southern University for the second annual Prayer Walk many cited as an example of what they hope the community and country can do in the wake of much turmoil and divisiveness.
One student said, “It doesn’t matter what Greek letters you have on your shirt or if you’re not part of the Greek community – we’re laying down our differences and coming together as one.”
While open to anyone in the community, the prayer walk involved mostly college students, but many in the large crowd of participants obviously were above the age-range of a typical student.
The event began with worship music by Chase Buchanan, worship pastor at Connection Church, and GS senior Lynleigh Kaye Hall, who is active in the Wesley Foundation on campus.
Participants lit and held candles, raised their hands and voices in praise, linked arms and bowed quietly.
Following a time of worship with song, attendees were encouraged to fan out along the street, stopping at sorority and fraternity houses along the way, to pray individually, in small groups or large groups, for students, a new semester, professors, Georgia Southern and the community the students call home.
One of the event leaders, ADPi Sorority member Emma Venable, said, “We’re here to spend this night at the foot of the cross. Go and pray as the spirit leads you.”
Another ADPi sorority member and co-leader of the event, Greer Kearns, prayed, “Heavenly Father, You are so good, and we thank you for the opportunity to pray in the most unlikely of places. I pray that this night will be all about you, God. And I pray that those who are here will come to know you better.”
Students and community members walked quietly along the street, stopping in huddles to pray, kneeling, standing or gathering at the doorsteps of various Greek houses.
After a time of prayer, participants came together again and joined voices in praise songs.
Jimmy Deloach, father of Abby Deloach, who was one of five Georgia Southern nursing students killed in an accident on I-16 two years ago on the way to clinicals in Savannah, addressed the attentive crowd.
“God chose to send his Son,” Deloach said. “To give his most precious gift so that we could spend eternity with Him.”
Deloach honestly told the group who stood in rapt silence that he would’ve never chosen to give up his daughter, not even to save someone else’s life and shared the pain he’s gone through every day since his daughter’s death.
“But I have the hope that I will see her again in heaven one day, and I try to live a life that would represent Abby and all she stood for.
He continued with, “God understands my pain, because he gave his only Son as a sacrifice. We worship him because of His unfailing love.”