Ouachita Baptist University’s Campus Ministries will host its annual Christian Focus Week (CFW) from Sunday, Feb. 12, through Friday, Feb. 17. A concert featuring Phil Wickham will be held Sunday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. in OBU’s Jones Performing Arts Center.
This year’s theme, “Rooted,” is based on Colossians 2:6-7, which says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
“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 Jesus Christ,” said James Taylor, OBU director of campus ministries.
Students will have the opportunity to attend daily worship services as well as breakout sessions and special events. This year’s keynote speakers include Steven Weathers, a PhD student and former teaching pastor and campus minister, and Justin Hardin, who teaches New Testament at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. In addition to the Sunday night concert, Jarrod Morris will lead worship during the morning sessions Monday through Friday. Missionaries and student mobilizers will also be on campus to show students how they can serve Christ during the summer and after college.
“I think it’s incredibly important that our students have a special time of focus and renewal to help them live faithful lives of throughout the year,” Taylor said. “This week obviously doesn’t replace all we can and should be doing throughout the year, but it allows us to be encouraged and energized to serve throughout the year.”
The Campus Ministries staff and CFW student leadership team have been planning the week for several months, establishing a theme, booking guest speakers and musicians, setting the week’s schedule and organizing publicity. Members of the student leadership team are Mark Bartels, a senior music major from Henderson, Texas; Abbey Jamieson, a junior Christian studies/Christian missions major from Sachse, Texas; Stewart Kelly, a junior church music major from Keller, Texas; and Jillian Sharp, a former student from Little Rock, Ark.
“The leadership team worked to establish the theme and has been praying for this week since last semester,” Taylor said. “They’ve provided great feedback for our office as we try to reach our campus through CFW.”
The week will kick off Sunday, Feb. 12, with a concert featuring Phil Wickham in Jones Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6 each purchased in advance and $8 each on Feb. 12. They may be purchased at the JPAC Box Office weekdays from 1-5 p.m. or anytime at www.obu.edu/boxoffice.
On Monday, Feb. 13, the opening worship service will be held in JPAC at 9 a.m., followed by Noonday in Berry Chapel at 12 noon. The 4 p.m. breakout session, “Rooted & Worshipping” will be held in the Evans Student Center Banquet Rooms. There will be a devotional for students in social clubs at 6 p.m. in JPAC, followed by Pancakes & Prayer at 9 p.m. on the ESC Bridge.
On Tuesday, the women’s discipleship group will meet at 7:30 a.m. on the ESC Bridge. The morning worship service is at 10 a.m. in JPAC led by Steven Weathers and Jarrod Morris. A breakout session on church planting led by Grant Harrison and Nathan James from Epoch Church in Little Rock will be held at 4 p.m. in the Elrod Center. Dinner with Steven Weathers will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Commons Alumni Room, followed by Coffeehouse in the Tiger Den from 9-10:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s morning worship service will be at 10 a.m. in JPAC, followed by Noonday at 12 noon in Berry Chapel. The 4 p.m. breakout session, “Rooted but Mobile,” discussing mission opportunities for college students, will be at the Elrod Center. There will be a worship service at 7 p.m. in JPAC.
On Thursday, the morning worship service will be at 10 a.m. in JPAC, and the breakout session led by Justin Hardin will be at 4 p.m. in Berry Bible Building room 218. Refuge, Ouachita’s weekly, student-led worship service, will be held at 9 p.m. in JPAC.
Christian Focus Week will conclude with a final worship service Friday morning at 11 a.m. in JPAC.
“I hope each student will experience the transforming grace of the gospel,” Taylor said. “That will look a little different for every person, but it will come from the same God in whom we are rooted and who bears fruit in our lives.”
Steven Weathers is a PhD student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS). His passion for interethnic and interracial leadership in the church has driven him to pursue academic and practical research that leads to healthy interethnic relationships and structures in church organizations. Prior to TEDS, Weathers served as a teaching pastor at Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas. He also served for six years with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention as a campus minister to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Southeast Arkansas College. Steven received his Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Morehead State University in Kentucky. He and his wife, Lisa, have three children, Steven II, Johnathan and Nia.
Justin Hardin teaches New Testament at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Before moving to England, Justin taught New Testament at Oklahoma Baptist University. Hardin earned his undergraduate degree from Ouachita and went on to earn his Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School at Samford Univeristy. He then earned his Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Cambridge University. He and his wife, Jill, are both from Henderson, Texas. They have three children, Ethan, Drew and Annie.
Jarrod Morris, the worship leader for the week, studied musical theatre at Ouachita and is a native of Arkadelphia. He met his wife, Laura, at Ouachita and they have two children, Morgan and Keenan. He currently serves as a worship pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tenn.
Phil Wickham is a singer/songwriter from San Diego, Calif. His most recent albums include “Canons,” “Heaven & Earth” and “Response.”
Trey and Elise Atkins represent the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) and currently serve as OBU’s missionaries-in-residence and teach English as a Second Language. The Atkinses have served with the IMB in Europe for 14 years and have two college-aged children, Brett and Ryan. Individuals interested in student missions opportunities with the IMB may contact Trey Atkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Garrett represents English Language Institute China. She graduated from Ouachita with a degree in mass communications and history. She has spent a total of three years teaching English in China through ELIC. Garrett also has a Master of Arts degree in intercultural studies and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Wheaton College and has taught in a variety of ESL contexts, including teaching one semester at OBU. A Hope, Ark., native, Garrett resides in Fort Collins, Colo., working with recent college graduates who are preparing to teach English in Asia with ELIC’s Teaching Fellowship Program.
Matthew Miller served for two years in East Asia and for 2010-11 at Ouachita as a representative of the IMB, helping college students find ways to serve overseas during and after school.
Nathan James is a co-pastor of Epoch Church, Little Rock, which he planted with Grant Harrison. He graduated from Ouachita in 2004 with a degree in Biblical studies. He attended Golden Gate Seminary in Brea, Calif., before moving back to Little Rock in 2005. James has served on staff at Memorial Baptist Church in Baytown, Texas; First Baptist Church in Arkadelphia, Ark.; and California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif. He and his wife, Natalie, have one daughter, Audrey.
Grant Harrison is a co-pastor of Epoch Church, Little Rock, and also works as a photographer. He graduated from Ouachita in 2004 with a degree in theology. He also attended Golden Gate Seminary in Brea, Calif., before beginning work with Epoch in 2005. Harrison has served on staff at First Baptist Church in Arkadelphia, Ark., and California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif. He is married to Kim, who is also an OBU graduate.
For more information about Christian Focus Week, visit www.obu.edu/cfw or contact James Taylor at email@example.com or (870) 245-5536.
By Lara Overman