By Kendall Patterson
For Freed-Hardeman University, last Thursday began with a chapel focusing on Jesus washing the apostles’ feet and teaching Christians that they need to be servants also. The day transitioned into a talent show event for special needs individuals ended with the university faculty, staff and students serving the community of Henderson/Chester County in various ways.
This was FHU’s first annual University Servant’s Day.
Forty-five different services took place across the community.
The FHU Nursing Department and Communication Sciences and Disorders program conducted a donor drive to defeat blood cancer and blood disorders. There were prayers offered for local medical providers. Some university representatives helped at local schools. Others helped individuals and more.
“A part of our strategic planning was to make sure that we truly honor the completeness of our mission…To help students develop their God-given talent for His glory by empowering them with an education that includes Christian faith, scholarship and service,” said FHU President David Shannon. “Our students, faculty and staff have been very active in service all throughout the years… We just thought that since our mission statement talks about that as a university, we are devoted to these three areas, that we ought to do something at least once a year where we all focus on service on the same day.”
Several years ago, they university started University Scholars’ Day in honor of FHU’s pillar of scholarship, and Shannon wished that FHU could take a day every year toward their pillar of service.
“Scholar’s Day has gone really, really well to just bring a spotlight on excellence in learning, and so what we want to do with Servant’s Day, even though wonderful acts of service take place all the time around Freed-Hardeman and around the community, and even around the world, we wanted to make sure that we pause on one given day and focus on this together,” Shannon said.
For their first time, Shannon said that the event seemed very successful. He said that it was “just a lot of good taking place in one day.”
“The day was really successful. If it were a one time event and nothing more, I would say that it was very successful,” he said.
The plan is for Servant’s Day to be an annual event though, so more service to the community is to come.
“Us having a mindset that we’re wanting to do this annually, it’s really exciting to think of how it will improve in future years when faculty, staff and students, and even people in the community know that this is going to take place.
“When we think about being a good neighbor, love is not just a feeling. When we’re doing it right, love is a verb. We truly want to follow the teaching of the Lord and the example of the Lord, that when He loved his neighbor, He did good to them. That’s what the focus of this day was.”