Singer/songwriter John Mark McMillan will headline Ouachita Baptist University’s 2014 Christian Focus Week concert on Tuesday, Feb. 11. The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center.
Christian Focus Week, an annual campus event hosted by Campus Ministries, features daily worship sessions, breakout sessions and related events. This year’s emphasis is set for Feb. 9-14 on the Ouachita campus.
McMillian, who released his first album in 2002, has been described by Relevant magazine as “a true worship pioneer.” His 2005 album, “The Song Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down,” features the popular worship song “How He Loves.” Recent albums include “The Medicine” and “Economy,” with his latest project, Borderland,” set to release in March.
McMillan, a three-time Dove Award nominee, said he seeks to write “dangerous songs that give you permission to wear your heart on your sleeve before Jesus, unencumbered by the grave cloths of mindless tradition.”
As a preacher’s kid from North Carolina, McMillan also is described as “part storyteller, part poet” as he “crafts spiritually-minded, emotionally-packed songs.”
“John Mark McMillan is one of the most important songwriters in Christian music,” said Jake Fauber, a senior church music major from Marion, Ark. “He’s an honest writer and his use of poetic devices paints a picture of the gospel of Christ in his music.”
The Tuesday evening concert will open with a performance by former Ouachita student Noah James Mitchell, who also will lead worship during Christian Focus Week. Concert tickets are $10 each for the general public and $5 for Ouachita students and are available online at www.obu.edu/boxoffice or at the Jones Performing Arts Center box office.
“Christian Focus Week is about focus and growth on who Christ is and what He called us all to do,” said Connor Goad, a senior Christian theology and philosophy major from Hot Springs, Ark. “It’s a time that we come together as a campus and a community and grow as one body.”
The theme for this year’s Christian Focus Week is “words,” based on Ephesians 4:29. “We chose this theme because we felt that it was very prominent and relatable to our campus and to Christians in general,” Goad said.
Among the breakout sessions will be one on a biblical view of sarcasm led by Dr. Danny Hays, dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies. “We live in such an instant age that we forget that our responses affect others,” said freshman Haley Martin, a mass communications major from Little Rock, Ark. “This week will take a deeper look into how to use our words positively,”
The week’s activities will begin Sunday, Feb. 9, at 9 p.m. with Pancakes and Prayer in Evans Student Center.
Dr. Terry Carter, associate dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies, will speak during a 9 a.m. worship service in JPAC on Monday, Feb. 10. A social club service at 6 p.m. in JPAC will be led by Dr. Chris Brune, assistant professor of finance. The day will conclude with a coffeehouse, art and worship in the Tiger Den at 9 p.m.
The Tuesday morning chapel service in JPAC at 10 a.m. will feature Rick Bezet, pastor of New Life Church. He will lead a 3:30 p.m. breakout session in Berry Chapel highlighting his story of planting New Life Church. A women’s tea with guest speaker Becky Horne will be held at 6 p.m. in Walker Conference Center. That will be followed by the John Mark McMillan concert at 7:30 p.m. in JPAC.
Wednesday morning worship at 10 a.m. classes will feature Joel T., a Southern Baptist international missionary. At 9 p.m., students will share their testimonies in a breakout session in Berry Chapel.
Thursday’s 10 a.m. worship session will be led by Brandon Barnard, Klayton Seyler and Aaron Williams. Dr. Hays’ breakout session on a biblical view of sarcasm will be held at 4 p.m. in Berry Chapel. A men’s dinner will be held at 5 p.m. in Walker Conference Center and Refuge will be held at 9 p.m. in JPAC.
The week’s final worship service will be held on Friday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m. Christian Focus Week activities will conclude with live music in Dr. Jack’s Coffeehouse at 12:15 p.m.
For more information, contact James Taylor, director of campus ministries, at email@example.com or (870) 245-5536.
By Jessica Stewart