Public School Revival
Back in 2000, the FCA leaders of Pearl River Central High School in Carriere, Ms, were discussing plans for the remainder of the school year. "Everyone was writing down goals and plans when suddenly a teacher suggested we reach our school for Christ," said Cary-Anne Dell, a member of the FCA's leadership team. "That's pretty much how it all got started and the Lord took it from there."The plan involved an in-school rally during which FCA members would perform skits and share testimonies about what it means to be a Christian.The 18-year-old Dell, who is a member of Pine Grove Baptist Church, said the FCA members shared their plans with churches throughout the area. "We had people praying for us all over south Mississippi," Dell said. "It was incredible to see how all those prayers were answered."Tim Tolleson, youth pastor at First Baptist Church in nearby Picayune, Miss., said his entire church was involved in praying for the rally. One of his youth, 16-year-old Ben Helger, was also a member of the FCA leadership team."Ben spoke during our Sunday night worship service and in the course of his speech he told us about plans for the rally," Tolleson said. "Our church is known as a praying church and we took up the challenge to lift up those kids."One prayer involved a sound system. The acoustics in the school's gymnasium were terrible, Dell said. "We didn't have a sound system so we started praying. The next day, two churches called the school and offered to provide one."Since the entire event was student-led and student-organized, Lee said the club didn't have to seek permission from the school board. "In other words, they had my blessing," Lee said.A team of 16 students wrote skits and prepared the rallyТall except for the closing. "We just decided that the Lord was going to figure out the closing,"
Well, You remember how we started. The FCA of Pear River Central High School wanted to reach their school for Christ, so they decided to have a special assembly for their school. But what started as a special presentation by the Pearl River Central High School's Fellowship of Christian Athletes turned into a full-fledged revival that has transformed the Carriere, Mississippi school and left school administrators astounded."It was the most incredible thing I've seen in all my years as an educator," said Pearl River principal Lolita Lee. "The meeting couldn't be stopped. You could tell something spiritual was happening in the lives of those students."The revival started during a special program sponsored by the Carriere, Miss., school's FCA and attended by nearly 90 percent of the school's 670 students. The program was originally scheduled for one hour, but when the bell rang, Lee said there were more than 100 students standing in line to pray and make spiritual decisions. So Lee did something that she said probably doesn't happen in normal public school settingsТshe let the service continue. And continue it did for more than four hours. Through three class periods and lunch, students wept, prayed, sang and made amends with one another."It was heart-stopping," said Lee, a member of Lees Chapel No. 1 Baptist Church. "When I realized how many students needed to pray, I went ahead and let the program continue."Following a hastily arranged telephone call to the school superintendent, Lee went back to the gymnasium where the revival was taking place. "Who was I to say to these students, 'Hey, you aren't important. Go back to class.'"And nearly one month later, Lee said the results of the revival are manifested in the hallways of Pearl River Central High. "I've had teachers and staff tell me how much better the students are," she said. "This has been a wonderful thing for our kids.П