About 200 people piled into Chapel on the Hill Sunday to partake in a celebration intended to encourage and enlighten people about becoming a champion in Christ.
In conjunction with the Office of Multicultural Enrichment and Black History Month, the Black Students’ Association conducted A Black History Service: the first part of what the student group’s president, Khamisie Green, refers to as an entirely new two-part production.
“It has never been done in the past,” said Green, junior music education major from Odessa. “I wanted our cast to have the opportunity to come together and worship. I felt the best way to do that was to have our Black History production be two-prong.”
The event is similar to last year’s Gospel Fest, in which choirs and singers came from different parts of the state to perform, but with an added a number of different elements, including a tag-team preaching style with a message centered around the story of David and Goliath. Prentice Ashford, director of OME, described the BSA production as one big praise event.
“What they wanted to do here was just worship together alongside people in Abilene,” Ashford said. “They wanted to find a way to reach the community, and they are real big on worship services.”
India Wilson, sophomore marketing major from Plano, said the event was one-of-a-kind and uniquely impacted those who attended.
“I think this event produced a good impact on the community inside and outside of ACU because it exposed people to another way to praise and worship,” Wilson said. “It brought a new culture and different way of doing things into the ACU bubble.”
Green said BSA has been adamant about providing spiritual opportunities to its members and the ACU community. He expected everyone in attendance to be impacted and educated in a unique and positive way.
“A lot of the time, we go and we worship, and everybody that comes is not really into it, but we’re expecting for those who attend this service to come expecting and to come wanting to participate and be involved in worship,” Green said. “We expect people to walk away feeling energized as well as empty because of how much they poured into the service.”
Daniel Burke, freshman marketing major from Tulsa, Oklahoma, said the event was a good relection of BSA and its mission.
“I really enjoy being a part of something that is different from my culture, so I get to learn and grow from the experience,” Burke said. “Khamisie wants BSA to be an organization that promotes black culture as well as brings unity.”
This month and the event are intended to educate and encourage all who attend, and Green said he believes the impact from this Sunday accomplished that.
“I felt like people walked out of here smiling, encouraged and ready for the week,” Green said. “And I feel like that is what church should be. We couldn’t call this a church service without leaving people empowered and encouraged.”
However, Green did mention a few technical things he hopes to change in the future.
Green, along with Jasmine Washington, sophomore music education major from Glenn Heights, and Samone Smith, sophomore Bible and political science major from Indianapolis, said they were extremely pleased with the outcome and they hope to provide longevity to this event and others.
“We were hoping for the best, we were planning for the best and we saw the best,” Green said.
The second prong of what Green called a “two-prong” production will take place Feb. 27 at the Paramount Theatre. BSA will perform Unchained Memories: BSA Black History Production, a play written by Green. Tickets are $5 and are on sale now.
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