Video by Christina Soto | Broadcast Reporter, Story by Savannah Cooper | Staff Writer
In response to the need for campus unity and the unforeseen tragedy of Hurricane Harvey, Vertical Ministries came together for a night full of worship and grace for the surrounding community.
On-campus student ministries such as Vertical Ministries decided to build off of their already planned prayer event to also honor those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Executive Director of Vertical Ministries Dale Wallace shared how he believes, as a campus, Baylor students need to build bridges rather than islands separating ourselves based off of our differences.
“The organizations people are in, their majors, tend to become islands, and we tend to become really comfortable on those islands and we don’t reach out,” Wallace said. “Our vision for the night was to unite campus to just be bridge builders.”
Starting at 9 p.m., on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at the Ferrell Center, several students, faculty, staff, Head Basketball Coach Scott Drew along with a variety of guests. In addition to the Baylor community, pastors from San Antonio and Houston along with a worship band from Austin came to worship.
Myles Olenski, Fairfield, CT senior and president of Vertical Ministries wanted Baylor students to open their hearts and have empathy for those impacted.
“We want Baylor students to feel and hurt and have their heart ache for people in other towns or countries or just where natural disasters are happening,” Olenski said. “We want [Baylor students] to come alongside [those impacted].”
During the event, Vertical was also collecting items to send relief to those impacted by Harvey.
“We’re collecting personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, gently worn or used clothing, bed sheets of any size, anything in containers so they can be distributed more easily,” Wallace said.
Outside of hosting events like these, Wallace said that Vertical as a student ministry hopes to be an open place for students to gather and get to know Jesus.
“We just hope to be a reflection of Jesus,” Wallace said. “Our mission statement is to ignite a passion in college students for Jesus Christ, His church and His mission around the world.”
To effectively make that mission statement possible, Wallace highlighted the three plans Vertical has for Baylor’s campus.
“Three ways we do that is by making a place where people belong, by showing people the person of Jesus so they believe in Jesus,” Wallace said. “Lastly part of our job is to train our students to be strong and be the next generation of world changers.”