ANADARKO—Following the recent tragic deaths in Anadarko, in which four students ended their own lives, students and Christians from the community are stepping forward in faith to re-focus people on LIFE (Love Is For Everyone) and God.
The response has been wide-ranging and included student-led efforts on campus and various events, including the Life Rally, a multi-day event held at the Anadarko High School auditorium on the evenings of Feb. 22-24.
Several student groups—including the Fish Club, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), Meet in the Middle Prayer Group and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes—are stepping forward to meet the darkness with light. These student groups see the hurt that Anadarko has experienced and are uniting together to bring LIFE through Jesus Christ to Anadarko and the surrounding communities.
Lauren Richey, who leads the SADD groups, says that people in the community are uniting during these difficult times. Dawson Alley, who has provided key leadership for the Life Rally and other events, said, “God is doing amazing things in Anadarko. These events are important.”
The Meet in the Middle prayer group meets once a week to pray, and God is clearly hearing and answering the prayers.
Glenn Alley, pastor of Anadarko, Bethel said, “People are being saved and turning to God. Students are going out of their way to be kind and caring to someone else, starting prayer groups, reaching out to people they maybe would never have talked to before, leaving encouraging sticky notes on walls and doors, and many, many other things.”
Baptist and other Evangelical churches in the Anadarko community came together for the Life Rally, including Bethel, Anadarko, First, Anadarko, Virginia Ave., Caddo Association, and other Baptist groups. The speaker for the event was Mike Keahbone, pastor of Oklahoma City, Cherokee Hills.
“There is an army of people praying for this community. What the devil meant for bad, God will work out for good,” he said. Sharing his testimony of coming to Christ, Keahbone shared the Gospel during all three Life Rally evening events, and an invitation was given.
Many were saved through the Life Rally and other student evangelism efforts. More than 2,000 were in attendance over the three nights, with 75 professions of faith, 33 rededications and numerous other decisions recorded.
At the Life Rally, various musical groups led in worship. Students and sponsors alike wore wrist bands that had the Bible verse, John 8:12, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
Keahbone said, “People in Anadarko have seen enough darkness. It is time for the light to shine. It is time for God’s people to shine.”
Connected to the Life Rally, Oklahoma Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers from the area fed the students in attendance.
“Only God knows the future, of what He will do through this,” said Alley. “For any good that happens, we will give Him the glory. These efforts are not just a Baptist thing. This is all about Jesus.”