Mississippi College chapel has gotten some big upgrades this semester.
Students no longer trek to First Baptist Clinton; the service is now being held in the heart of campus at Swor Auditorium. Students can also ditch the Arkaive app. Attendance is being taken through a quick and easy scanning process. Worship music is being provided by the chapel band, which is a small branch of Worship Collective. Chapel also got a new Instagram account where students can receive announcements, meet the chapel crew and see recaps of weekly services.
Chapel host Michael Washington said, “The location is one of the most beneficial changes. It’s closer to where most students reside it is literally like walking to the Caf.”
This year chapel has three student hosts: Noah Hancock, Paola Hernandez, and Michael Washington. The chapel hosts pray over the students, read scripture, introduce speakers, and above all can be a familiar face for students to go to if they need guidance for chapel or anything across campus.
“Student-led gives you the opportunity to hear from someone that is your age, enduring the same struggle, it just makes things more relatable,” said Washington.
Students also have roles like production and worship coordinating. As a chapel producer, the students are responsible for how the services goes from the lights to the slide show.
MC Worship Collective member Chandler Greenwood is leading the chapel band this year. Greenwood plans everything from the songs they sing, to the order, and beyond.
“We wanted to give our students the opportunity to get some real world experience while they’re here,” said Jonathan Ambrose, Associate Vice President for the Student Experience and Dean of Students.
This year’s chapel style is taking a contemporary turn. Chapel leaders are aiming to have faculty, staff, and students use a story approach to tell their testimonies and share how God walked with them during a time in their life.
“We want chapel to be organic – for students to get something out of it and for it to just be a place of rest and encouragement,” said Ambrose.
Chapel’s first message was brought by chapel host Michael Washington. “I really loved the message because it was short and engineered to the people in the audience. Very concise. He hit his points and went on with it. I also liked the music. Some chapel services you go to a lot of it is fluff, but this one was really good,” said student Parker Brooks.
Students have also been given the opportunity to attend what is now called “Chapel+ events.” “Chapel+” is six events across the semester where students can attend to receive extra chapel credit.
“We’re giving our students the opportunity to have more chapel opportunities, to mold their experience to what fits their worship style best,” said Ambrose.
“Chapel+” will include two prayer nights, a traditional service, a service day, and a student led worship night. Students can pick the type of services that fits their worship style the best, thus making chapel more adaptable.
Becca Benson, Director of Christian Life & Leadership, describes the traditional services as being a liturgical style of worship. “Chapel+” will also host an event in which Benson describes as a “conversational panel service” on the topic of the Gospel and postmodernism. This service will be more of a discussion setting. Each semester the panel will be about the gospel and a changing topic.
“‘Chapel+’ gives students the opportunity to worship in their own way. If they feel like sitting in chapel doesn’t do it for them and they need to actively be the hands and feet of Jesus, we offered a chapel + service day,” said chapel host Noah Hancock. Students who wish to attend both chapel services and a “Chapel+” event in the same week can do so for double the credit.
“In the future, I see chapel being one of the most unforgettable experiences students get at this school. It’s going to be one of those things that you can’t find anywhere else. I can’t wait to witness it,” said chapel host Paola Hernandez.
If you’re interested in learning more about the new chapel or just need a place to clear the mind, chapel is open to all students on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:50 a.m.
“Anyone is welcome to come and check out chapel. I find it fun and very encouraging,” said Benson.
For weekly updates or more information on chapel, check out their Instagram @mc_chapel.