Local Pastors, Faith Leaders Join Baylor at Community Prayer Breakfast

  • Prayer Breakfast
    Pastors and leaders of all faiths, denominations and races from throughout Waco and Central Texas joined Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., for a Community Prayer Breakfast as the new school year approaches. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Prayer Breakfast 3
    First Gentleman Brad Livingstone and Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone welcomed local pastors and faith leaders to a Community Prayer Breakfast that focused on praying for the upcoming school year. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Prayer Breakfast 4
    Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone shared reflections during a Community Prayer Breakfast that focused on praying for students during the upcoming school year. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Prayer Breakfast 5
    Ramona Curtis, director for community engagement and initiatives at Baylor, guided the prayer for students' "social lives, their physical lives, their intellectual lives, their emotional lives and their spiritual lives." (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Prayer Breakfast 6
    The service concluded with the singing of "Shining Bright," the new hymn written for the incoming Baylor freshman class, performed by Joslyn Henderson and Ross Tarpley, both master of divinity students at Truett Seminary. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Prayer Breakfast 7
    First Gentleman Brad Livingstone and Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone welcomed local pastors and faith leaders to a Community Prayer Breakfast that focused on praying for the upcoming school year. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Prayer Breakfast 8
    First Gentleman Brad Livingstone and Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone welcomed local pastors and faith leaders to a Community Prayer Breakfast that focused on praying for the upcoming school year. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Prayer Breakfast 9
    (L to R) - Truett Seminary student Joslyn Henderson, President Linda A. Livingstone and Ramona Curtis, director for community engagement and initiatives, welcomed local pastors and faith leaders to a Community Prayer Breakfast that focused on praying for the upcoming school year. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
July 11, 2018

Event brings faith community together in prayer for the upcoming school year

WACO, Texas (July 11, 2018) – As communities prepare for the upcoming school year, senior pastors and leaders of all faiths, denominations and races from throughout Waco and Central Texas joined Baylor University President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., to pray for students, families, teachers and faculty during a Community Prayer Breakfast on the Baylor campus.

“Today we are gathering in unity,” President Livingstone said, as she addressed faith leaders gathered in Powell Chapel at George W. Truett Theological Seminary. “We are gathered in the Name of God, in the reality and person and character of God, with the confidence that we belong to God and to one another. Therefore, we can transform those around us with our love and prayers.”

The communal prayer service included a reading from Matthew 7:7-8 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” President Livingstone offered reflections on intercessory prayer, which focused on students about to begin a new school year.

“The act of praying on behalf of others demonstrates compassion. It’s a powerful example of loving one’s neighbor – to pray for someone is love that person – and it’s a way for us to be actively involved in our students’ lives, to show them love and compassion, to walk beside them, share their burdens and show them God’s love,” she said. “As we pray, as we intercede, we’re offering God something that God can use. When we offer our time, talents and resources, God helps us steward them better than we ever could. In the same way, when we offer our prayers, God uses them to impact the lives of others, beyond what we could hope or imagine.”

President Livingstone called upon Ramona Curtis, director for community engagement and initiatives at Baylor, to guide the prayer for students. As Curtis prayed for students’ “social lives, their physical lives, their intellectual lives, their emotional lives and their spiritual lives,” the gathered faith leaders responded with words from Psalm 124:8: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

The service concluded with the singing of “Shining Bright,” the new hymn written for the incoming Baylor freshman class, performed by Joslyn Henderson and Ross Tarpley, both master of divinity students at Truett Seminary. Henderson and Tapley wrote the music for the hymn, with lyrics by University Chaplain Burt Burleson, D.Min., and Ryan G. Richardson, Ph.D., associate chaplain and director of worship and chapel at Baylor.

“Shining Bright”

    Longings of the world and every heart.

    Callings on a life to find its part.

    Inklings deep within, praying for a sign,

    Hoping for the day when we will find...

    Refrain

    A city on a hill

    A dream beyond the night

    A fountain that will fill

    A light that’s shining bright

    To-illumine every sphere

    To raise our sights above,

    To make the pathway clear

    To lead us in God’s love.

    Saying yes to life and each new day,

    Taking each new step in mercy’s way.

    Healing who we are, setting spirits free,

    Knowing that we all are called to be...

    Refrain

    Holding holy gifts with grateful hands.

    Blessing hallowed lives with sacred plans.

    Greeting greater truth, waking as we go,

    Walking in a world that needs to know...

    Refrain

Todd Still, Ph.D., dean of Truett Seminary, welcomed everyone to the seminary and the prayer service, while Gaynor Yancey, D.S.W., professor, Master Teacher, Faculty Regent and director of the Center for Family and Community Ministries at Baylor, read from the Gospel of Matthew and offered an invitation to pray. First Gentleman Brad Livingstone blessed the fellowship and the breakfast shared by all.

President Livingstone also offered thankfulness to the faith leaders for the work they do each day throughout the community.

“Ministry can sometimes be a tireless and thankless job,” she said. “Thank you especially for the ministry you offer students throughout Waco, at Baylor, TSTC and MCC, and also in Waco ISD and other local school districts. Your work is invaluable. So much of student formation and transformation occurs out of the classroom, and you all are an integral component of that.”

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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