news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb University Joins Pastors to Present Video Prayer Vigil

collage of pastors

Leaders Challenge Community to Place Candles in Windows During Covid-19 Crises

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—”Gardner-Webb will light candles in the Dover Chapel as symbolic reminders that there is great brightness in our world and a firm assurance of better days ahead each and every night until we have passed through the worst of this storm,” promised Gardner-Webb University President Dr. William M. Downs.

Downs made this pledge in a video prayer vigil posted to the University Facebook page on March 30. “We invite you to light a candle in your window as a message to your friends and neighbors—One university. One community. One people. One purpose. Be safe. Be Strong. Keep the Faith,” he added.

Joining Downs in the video are the pastors of Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, Dr. Eric Davis; Boiling Springs Baptist Church, the Rev. Keith McKinney; and Green Bethel Baptist Church, the Rev. Wade Wallace. Also participating is Tracy Jessup, vice president of Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University.

Through scripture and prayer, the leaders presented a message of faith and hope. “Often we find ourselves lost and afraid of the darkness, but we come together this evening to remind one another, our campus, our community, and our world that the God who said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light is still more than able to speak light into the midst of our darkness,” Jessup asserted. “As we light our candles individually and as we place candles in the windows of Dover Chapel on the campus of Gardner-Webb University, we affirm our hope and our faith in Jesus Christ, and we declare the truth of John 1:5 that the light of Jesus Christ shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Additionally, Gardner-Webb invites the community to use the hashtag #GWUnited when posting to social media to connect and share stories. #GWUnited represents the resiliency of the University, its calm in the face of crisis, and calls on all Runnin’ Bulldogs to join the community to rise up as one voice through this crisis,” noted Kim Kreuzman, GWU social media manager. “The hashtag creates an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, alumni, the Boiling Springs community, and friends of the University—near and far—to connect, to share their stories, and to create community.

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Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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