MOBILE, Ala. – A student-led praise and worship service where more than 300 students gathered around the university’s new president to pray for him was the first event of several in the inauguration of Dr. Timothy L. Smith as the fourth president of University of Mobile.
“Lord, we pray for Dr. Smith. We thank you for what it means to have a leader who chooses Christ daily,” prayed Cam Ulmer, a junior majoring in worship leadership and philosophy. Ulmer was on stage as part of the student Chapel Band that led worship for students, faculty and staff March 21 in Ram Hall on campus.
They prayed for revival on campus, for students to finish the school year strong, and for the university’s leadership. In a moving worship service, students sang, prayed, then gathered around Smith and his wife, Penney, to place hands on the couple and pray specifically for them, their family, and for wisdom in the daily decisions the new president will make.
Smith then called faculty and staff to the stage to pray for the students.
“We don’t come to stand before you; we come to stand with you,” Smith told students. “We come to help you understand….that God is real. That what we did tonight, what we do every day at this institution, is about coming to understand Christ, coming to understand who He is, and coming to understand how we can be transformed by Him.”
Smith told students, “You’ve heard me say before, I went to many, many schools and never heard the word Christ preached. But here, you hear it every day – in the classroom, in the dining halls, across campus.”
As students left the nearly two-hour service, junior history major Tina Orth described the experience as “awesome.”
“You don’t normally get to pray over the leadership, you normally don’t see a president on campus as involved with his students, and I think it’s really great. Mrs. Penney makes it a point to know our names and know who we are and say ‘hi,’ and give us a hug,” she added.
Orth said having students, faculty and staff worship together was special, particularly the opportunity to pray for and with the university’s new president.
“It’s such a vulnerable time to spend with the students, and they’re willing to do it. I think it’s fantastic,” she said.
The inauguration and investiture ceremony is set for Friday, March 24 at 9 a.m. at Cottage Hill Baptist Church in Mobile.
About University of Mobile:
University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.
For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.