Sep 8, 2009


by Daniel Martinez

Hundreds of students pressed together, shoulder-to-shoulder, filling the floor in front of the Vines Center stage, as thousands of their peers cheered. As shouts of praise mingled with yells of joy and hands pointed toward heaven, worship music filled the arena.

Senior Laura Faidley called it “the perfect way to start the year.”
From Monday, Aug. 31, to Wednesday, Sept. 2, Liberty University held its regular Spiritual Emphasis Week (SEW), starting the new semester with extra church and worship services.

With popular evangelist Clayton King on hand for the fifth straight year, thousands of students packed the Vines Center three nights in a row, praying, worshipping and listening.

“It’s like Johnnie (Moore) said, ‘We’re all getting a heart check this week,’” Faidley said.

King, who frequently tells the students that Liberty is his favorite place to speak, delivered five messages – the three night services at the Vine Center and Monday and Wednesday Convocation. He spoke on owning one’s faith, genuine conversion, discouragement, God’s grace as revealed through the parable of the prodigal son and overcoming sexual temptation.

“I love when Clayton speaks. He’s one of my favorite (speakers) who comes down here,” sophomore Sarah Mahr said. “He brings humor to the stage, but he still has such a solid message.”
Mahr saw multiple girls in her dorm accept Jesus as their savior or make decisions to rid themselves of harmful burdens or habits as a result of King’s messages.

While more than 200 students chose to accept Christ after King’s message on conversion Monday night, the following messages continued to impact students.

“The discouragement message definitely stood out,” senior Patrick Sims said. “Everyone goes through times like that.”
“The messages are very challenging and convict us as Christians,” freshmen Robert Brink said. “Spiritual Emphasis Week is not long enough. We should have services every night.”

King said the students’ reaction to his messages has always been his favorite thing about visiting Liberty.

“I can’t take five steps across campus without two or three students coming up to me and opening up a conversation about Christ,” King said.

He has gotten encouraging feedback from students over the years that his efforts have been well worth it and have made a difference in people’s lives, according to King. He cited their “response, excitement, energy, warmth and friendliness” as things that make him excited to come back every year.

For King, the point of SEW can be found in John 3:30: “God must increase, and I must decrease.”

Contact Daniel Martinez at

Printable Version

» Female steps up as president
» Keep Talking
» Getting back to the basics
» Values Voter Summit unites conservatives
» SPC Mitch Roberson Student fights obstacles at home and abroad
» Seeking a safe haven
» Seeing the Unseen
» Clayton King new campus pastor