For some, this past three-day weekend was a much-needed break from work and school. For others, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was an opportunity to serve and give back to the community.
Serving a Community
An estimated total of 300 BJU students, faculty and staff volunteered on Monday, January 21 to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. These service projects, which ranged from basketball tournaments at juvenile detention facilities to organizing closets at recovery centers, all centered around BJU’s mission of giving back to the community. This yearly event not only serves to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but to obey Scripture’s command to “serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).
In the piece he wrote for BJUtoday, BJU president Steve Pettit explained, “We stand for the basic civil rights proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and guaranteed in our U.S. Constitution and support this special day of remembrance. . . . While many see this as a ‘day off,’ we see it as a ‘day on.’ It’s an opportunity to devote time to serve your community with a spirit of service towards your fellow human beings.”
Junior Chapman Harwood, who headed the basketball tournament at Greenville County’s Juvenile Detention Facility, explained, “As athletes, I feel like we want to do so much more than play ball. We want to use any sport, but our sport specifically, to impact someone positively for Christ. [And] wake up every day and say to [ourselves], ‘How can I impact someone today?’ . . . I think we impacted those kids in a big way, showing them that they are still people [and] just because they made a bad mistake doesn’t mean they aren’t loved.”
He continued, “The most memorable moment that stood out to me was how thankful the kids were for us coming and playing ball with [them]. [A] little thing like basketball can affect the world for Christ.”
Preserving a Legacy
Ultimately, Dr. King’s impact will resonate for generations to come. He was a beacon of light in a dark time in history. As a university, Bob Jones strives to give its students more than an academic education. Our tagline “Learn. Love. Lead.” means that the students here are encouraged not only to listen to lectures and study for tests but to glorify God in all that they do well beyond the classroom. This means following Jesus Christ’s example of being a servant. As Dr. King put it, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
To see pictures of our students in action on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, check out our Facebook post.