Two years ago, the ReAction Group organized by First United Methodist Church of Apalachicola began to pray at the flagpole each morning before class at the Franklin County School. They were continuing a tradition that started about 25 years earlier in Burleson, Texas..
Last year, Scott Shiver, youth pastor at Eastpoint Church of God, organized a morning prayer at the flagpole, and often 15 students would join him.
This year, only one young man is carrying out the tradition and he would like company. If you would like to join him at the pole, Max Davis is waiting.
A senior at the Franklin County School, Davis is class president, president of the National Honor Society and finishing up his second year of dual enrollment in college courses.
The 17-year-old is weighing a career in the medical field and the ministry, and has applied to colleges, including Florida State University and Emory University.
Davis is among those who have led the prayer Friday evenings before the Seahawk football games and he is a member of the ReAction Group but he would like to take his faith a little further.
Every morning, sometimes as early as 7:30 a.m. Davis stands at the pole, often alone, and offers a prayer. Why is he alone? Time is a factor. Buses are sometimes late and breakfast is served prior to classes.
Florida law allows two minutes during school hours for silent prayer or meditation. Prayer meetings are also allowed before or after school but this year, no adults are involved in organizing religious activities.
“We’ve always let this be a student led prayer group,” said the Rev. Themo Patriotis, pastor at the Methodist church. who leads the Reaction Group said,. Maxwell is a compassionate and wise young man and dedicated disciple of Jesus.”
In terms of the origins, according to the website for the “See You at the Pole” website, a small group of teenagers in Burleson, Texas, came together for a DiscipleNow weekend in early 1990. On a Saturday night, the website reads, “their hearts were penetrated like never before, when they became broken before God and burdened for their friends. Compelled to pray, they drove to three different schools that night. Not knowing exactly what to do, they went to the school flagpoles and prayed for their friends, schools, and leaders.
“God used what He did among those teenagers and others who were holding similar prayer meetings at their schools to birth a vision in the hearts of youth leaders across Texas. The vision was that students throughout Texas would follow these examples and meet at their school flagpoles to pray simultaneously. The challenge was named “See You at the Pole™ at a brainstorming session during a meeting of key youth leaders. The vision was shared with 20,000 students in June 1990 at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas.”