No apologizing: Gospel loud, clear

Moved to respond — Students came to the altar praying individually and with others to respond to Clayton King’s message during SEW. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

King’s message touched students during Spiritual Emphasis Week

Spiritual Emphasis Week kicked off with a full house Monday night, Sept. 5, at Thomas Road Baptist Church with speaker and campus pastor Clayton King.

King was on Liberty’s campus Monday through Wednesday night, speaking to students about various topics, including being bare before God, distance from God, true belief and God’s calling. He encouraged students not to wear masks with God and to be truly open to his plan for their lives.

“Sometimes God must speak to you in the time that you least expect it, sometimes he speaks to us most clearly when we are at our most broken,” King said.

King challenged students to work hard in their daily lives, saying, “Hard work is not a curse, it is a blessing.”

Some students who attended SEW said it was a fresh start, and senior Kim Thompson said that it was very different from other sermons.

“It wasn’t our typical Spiritual Emphasis Week. We had such unique messages, and it was very spiritually driven, not emotionally or climax driven — very spiritual,” Thompson said.

For senior Brooke May, Tuesday night’s message, which dealt with feeling distant from God, was a very special message.

“It’s something we don’t always talk about and everyone struggles with,” Thompson said.

Students agreed that the personal responses they witnessed were another high point of the week, as many lives were changed following each message. Some students even found new callings and career fields.

“God changed my heart, and I changed my major. Tonight was phenomenal,” freshman Kati Bowlin said of Wednesday night’s message. After a special time of worship, Bowlin realized that she was not meant to be a psychology major, but a worship major.

“I was like, ‘I play six different instruments, and I love it. What am I doing? This is dumb, really dumb,’” Bowlin said of her decision to change her major.

Beyond offering students a fresh start to a new year, SEW also acted as an introduction to what Liberty University is about to new students.

“It’s such a good perspective setter for the year. It’s the heart of the ministry side of Liberty and a good set for us to jump into lives,” Thompson said. “It’s a good eye opener for freshmen, because it’s kind of Liberty’s way of saying ‘this is who we are and we don’t apologize for it.’”

Thompson went on to say that she appreciates that King is the speaker for SEW because, much like the school, King is honest with students and does not apologize for spreading the gospel.

Honesty is a principle that King himself promises students he will promote for their best interests, in hopes of being genuine.

“This is my promise to you. By the grace of God, I do not intend to fake it with you when I preach to you,” King said on Monday night.

King will be speaking 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night at campus church.

For more information about Clayton King, visit his website at

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