2019-04-10 / News

Chapel plays an important role at EBA

True Citizen intern

After the 8:10 bell finishes ringing, the students settle down and all bow their heads for prayer. This is how a typical chapel session begins at Edmund Burke Academy. Every Thursday in Murray Gymnasium, a worship service is held for the students and faculty of EBA. These chapel sessions usually consist of prayer, worship songs and a featured guest speaker.

The speakers from all over the area come to the school to meet and talk with the students, sharing both their life experiences and their journeys with Christ.

Initially the program began as a small Bible study in the library, led by the late former headmaster of the school, Brent Cribb, and then student Davison Hogan. Over the years, more and more students became interested; as their interests grew, so did the program and the need for not just a bigger space but for more frequency.

Gail Rockwell has been in charge of lining up speakers for the event for several years. She says while the speakers are oftentimes preachers, many times those taking the mic are community leaders or even students themselves. “It’s great to have these speakers come in and share their faith with students,” Rockwell said, adding that it is not always necessarily the Bible verses that students need to hear, but how Christ has influenced others. “You can quote a Bible verse, but you have to live your faith. That is what is important.”

“It is great to watch the students grow in their faith each and every Thursday,” EBA Headmaster Gregg Bunn said. “Gail is a godsend and we are thankful to have her here with us.”

Chapel events are planned and coordinated by the school’s Fellowship of Christian Students organization ( FCS) which is comprised of a small number of student members in grades ninth-twelve.

“The FCS may only be comprised of sixty students, but there is one hundred percent participation from students in grades seven through tweve,” said Sam Winkler, sponsor of the FCS. Winkler assists the club in leading the praise and worship portion of chapel as well as outreach projects the students do within the community. One project in particular, Luke’s Wings, is a program dedicated to helping reunite injured military with their family during the holidays by assisting with travel expenses. Other projects taken on by FCS members include hurricane or disaster relief efforts, fund raising for local cancer patients and transplant recipients and assisting with the Helping Hands ministry at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.

In addition to weekly chapel, the school offers worship programs for students in younger grades as well. They have prayer days for children in lower elementary school, Bible studies for students in second grade and a “mini chapel” for fifth and sixth grade students.

Students of the school are very enthusiastic about the chapel program. “I really enjoy listening to the speakers and relating it back to things that I am going through in my life,” said junior Holly Hill. “My favorite thing about chapel is that there is no lack of support. If we need something, everyone comes together to try and find a way to make it work out.”

This family mentality is something that senior Sally Kate Blackburn is proud of as well. “Chapel is the perfect example of how EBA works as a family – to not only build each other up, but strengthen us in our faith.”

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