Ouachita Baptist University’s Campus Ministries will host its annual Christian Focus Week (CFW) Sunday, Feb. 10, through Friday, Feb. 15.
The theme for this year is “Seasons” and is based on Ecclesiastes 3:11, which says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
“Everyone goes through seasons in their lives,” said Abbey Jamieson, a senior Christian studies major from Sachse, Texas, and co-chair of this year’s CFW. “Whether it’s a happy season or a sorrowful season, God uses these seasons to sanctify us and to mold us into the person he desires us to be. … We wanted to create a theme that could relate to all participants.”
According to the Campus Ministries website, “Christian Focus Week is a time of spiritual emphasis designed to inspire, challenge, teach and equip students, faculty and staff to be more effective disciples of Christ.”
“Christian Focus Week gives us a special opportunity to connect with the campus and encourage them,” said James Taylor, director of campus ministries. “It’s an amazing opportunity that the school gives us by cancelling a class each day to allow for the worship services.”
Students will have the opportunity to attend daily worship services, afternoon breakout sessions and other special events throughout the week. This year’s keynote speakers are Ouachita alumni Shawn Barnard, senior pastor of Crossgate Church in Hot Spring, Ark., and Nathan James, co-pastor of Epoch Church in Little Rock, Ark. Worship leaders for the week include OBU alumnus Stephen Ray, minister at Westbury Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, and Noah Mitchell and the Refuge band. There will be a special night of music and worship with All Sons & Daughters, the duo of David Leonard and Leslie Jordan from Journey Church in Franklin, Tenn., on Tuesday night.
Dan Arrant, a representative of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, and Amy Garrett, a representative of the English Language Institute of China, will be on campus throughout the week to encourage students to serve through missions and other ministry avenues.
The Campus Ministries staff and CFW student leadership team have been praying for and planning this week since November. The student leadership team “chose the theme after praying and thinking about the needs of our campus,” Taylor said. “I hope that students will see how God is at work in all areas and all seasons of their lives.
“We’ll have some great people here on campus all week,” Taylor added. “Students should take time to meet our off-campus guests and to thank the student leaders who have spent so much time planning the week.”
“It’s going to be such a good experience for campus,” Jamieson said. “Uniting all the campus, helping everyone refocus on Christ in the midst of the crazy semester and asking the Spirit to move is what we hope will happen that week.”
The week will kick off Sunday, Feb. 10, at 9 p.m. with Pancakes & Prayer in Evans Student Center (ESC).
On Monday, Feb. 11, the opening worship service will be held in Jones Performing Arts Center (JPAC) at 9 a.m., followed by Noonday in Berry Chapel at 12 noon. At 6 p.m., before their regular meetings, the social clubs will meet for a special service in JPAC and there will be a coffeehouse focused on art and worship held in the Tiger Den at 9 p.m.
On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the women’s discipleship group will have breakfast on the ESC Bridge, followed by campus-wide worship in JPAC at 10 a.m. The 4 p.m. breakout session, “Discerning God’s Will” with Dr. Byron Eubanks, will take place in Berry Chapel, followed by a men’s dinner with Shawn Barnard at 5:30 p.m. in the Tiger Den. At 7:30 p.m., All Sons & Daughters will host a night of worship in JPAC. The concert is free to students, thanks to sponsorships by Campus Activities and Student Senate.
Wednesday, Feb. 13, will start with a worship service in JPAC at 10 a.m., followed by Noonday in Berry Chapel at noon. At 9 p.m., there will be a cinnamon roll party called “Chalk Talk” held in the Ouachita Commons.
On Thursday, Feb. 14, the day will begin with worship in JPAC at 10 a.m. The 4 p.m. breakout session, a “Seasoned” panel discussion, will be held in Berry Chapel, followed by Refuge in JPAC at 9 p.m.
Christian Focus Week will conclude on Friday, Feb. 15, with a morning worship service in JPAC at 11 a.m. and live music at Dr. Jack’s at 12:15 p.m.
Co-chairs of the student leadership team are Jamieson and Aubrey Fry, a senior dietetics and nutrition major from Green Forest, Ark. Members of the team are Kate Cody, a junior mass communications major from Sulphur Springs, Texas; Connor Goad, a sophomore music major from Hot Spring, Ark.; Emily Harris, a sophomore communications sciences and disorders major from Benton, Ark.; Steven Rutherford, a freshman business administration and management major from Benton, Ark.; Jamie Thompson, a sophomore political science major from Clarendon, Ark.; and Hunter Threadgill, a junior philosophy major from Cordova, Tenn.
By Ryleigh Salmon