Thursday, Sept. 28, looked a little different than the average school day for many Freed-Hardeman University students. Instead of being found in classrooms across campus, 931 students were instead spread across the community practicing spiritual skills in practical settings for FHU’s third annual University Servants’ Day.
FHU Vice President of Student Services TJ Kirk helped to organize this year’s Servants’ Day. “Our students do an amazing job of representing Jesus in their living,” Kirk said. “The university’s willingness to cancel all classes for the day [in order to focus on service] really speaks to our priorities as a university.”
Servants’ Day was first instituted in order to address the needs in the local community and match tasks with volunteers who are willing to tackle them. The service projects were largely organized by the FHU staff, in conjunction with various academic groups and social clubs, to provide students with the chance to spiritually enrich the lives of others.
Instead of attending their regular classes, each student signed up for a service project commissioned by the local community or the university itself. Between playing games with Southern Oaks residents, painting a mural at The Wall, cleaning campus facilities and helping organize a Chester County school storage facility, the students certainly had plenty of opportunities to choose from this year.
One group of students worked with Chester County Elementary fine arts teacher, Becky Hartle, by cleaning and organizing a theater storage facility as well as by moving heavy piles of wood and trash to the Chester County recycling center. “The students were great. They had positive and willing attitudes,” Hartle said. “I am very thankful in many ways. They agreed to help me for Servants’ Day at the last minute, and the students were all encouraging throughout the day.”
FHU senior Nate Cass joined a group of around 50 other students to package meal bags for the Jacks Creek Church of Christ outreach efforts. Each bag made by the students would feed six people. “It was work, but everyone was happy to be helping and enjoying the fellowship with each other,” Cass said.
University Servants’ Day is just one of many ways that FHU shows dedication to promoting Christ, not only through education, but also through Godly service, in keeping with the scriptures: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16)
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees. More information is available at fhu.edu.