BMS students unite for prayer

Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Clockwise: Derek Lark (far left), assistant principal at Bueker Middle School; fifth-grader Leah Simmons; Wesley Price, youth and children's minister for First Baptist Church in Marshall; eighth-grader Jeffery Deutsch; Margaret McCampbell, a substitute teacher; and fifth-graders MacKenzie Gosey and Allyson Bittner gather around the flagpole to pray during See You At the Pole Wednesday morning at BMS.

See You At the Pole is an annual prayer event that began in 1990, before some Bueker Middle School students were born. Although they weren't the founders of the idea, several local middle-schoolers wanted to be a part of keeping it going this year.

BMS eighth-grader Jeffery Deutsch and his sister, Kimberly Deutsch, a sixth-grader, heard about See You At the Pole last year during a rally held a few days before the marked day of prayer. They met with other students around the flagpole in front of BMS and prayed before school started.

Returning to participate in the brief annual prayer meeting, the Deutsches prayed Wednesday morning with fifth-graders Leah Simmons, Brandon Pace, Allyson Bittner, Jacob Phillips, J.C. Cook and MacKenzie Godsey. The plan was to meet at the flagpole at 7:30 a.m., which was the same time Phillips and Cook came out to raise the American and state flags.

Fifth-graders J.C. Cook and Jacob Philips unfold the American flag Wednesday morning before they meet with other students for prayer at the annual See You At the Pole event.

Joining the students were Margaret McCampbell, a substitute teacher for the day, BMS Assistant Principal Derek Larkin and Wesley Price, youth and children's minister for First Baptist Church in Marshall.

Before circling up and holding hands for prayer, Pace led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and the students and adults took turns stating one reason why they are thankful to live in the United States. Several students said they were glad they have the freedom to speak out and state their own beliefs. Others said they enjoy living in America because they can do things that make them happy, such as being with their families or meeting in public for prayer, without being arrested or harmed.

BMS Principal Lance Tobin said although he has never participated in See You At the Pole, he is thankful to know students are praying for their teachers, friends, community and nation.

"I think it's something that's really positive," Tobin said. "It makes these kids feel good and it's a good thing if they feel comfortable doing that. Anybody they can touch with that event, it's generally positive. They always tell me they're going to pray for me."

Contact Naomi Campbell at

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: