Williams Baptist University is mounting a renewed focus on prayer, and it is calling on its supporters to join the effort. WBU has announced the formation of a new group, the Eagles Wings Society, whose sole purpose is praying for the university and its people.
WBU President Dr. Stan Norman led in the formation of the Eagles Wings Society, and the group has been formally approved by the universityâ€™s Board of Trustees. The president said the group has been in development for several weeks, but that the COVID-19 outbreak provides an ideal time to launch a prayer initiative.
Norman said he became convinced of the need for such an organization following several years of his own reading, preaching and commitment on prayer.
â€œIn the course of my studies, teaching, and praying, I came to an obvious but somewhat startling realization â€“ if prayer is so important, so absolutely crucial to the faith and service of Godâ€™s people, why have we not organized and mobilized the employees, students and friends of WBU to pray for the university and its mission?â€ Norman said.
â€œIf Jesus prayed about His mission, why are we not praying more diligently and strategically for the mission of WBU? This realization brought a conviction that led me to develop a plan, and to have our Board of Trustees approve the plan, to have a university-sponsored group whose sole purpose is to pray for the mission of Williams Baptist University.â€
The Eagles Wings Society will be co-chaired by Dr. Johnny Hutchison and Dr. Bob Magee. Hutchison is pastor of Highland Drive Baptist Church in Jonesboro and a member of the WBU Board of Trustees, while Magee is chair of the WBU Department of Fine Arts and director of the Williams Singers.
Norman said the society will be composed of people who commit to pray for Williams on an ongoing and strategic basis. Some will be employees of the university, and others will simply be friends of WBU, both far and near, who are willing to engage in focused prayer for the institution.
â€œThis group will be charged to engage in the ministry of prayer in all its biblical expressions (intercession, supplication, confession, thanksgiving, etc.). Members must be people who will commit to a ministry of prayer that is consistent, diligent and strategic in expression and practice, praying faithfully to our God on behalf of the people and mission of WBU,â€ Norman commented.
â€œGuiding values for membership in the Eagles Wings Society will be: (1) a sincere commitment to pray for WBU; (2) a matured consistency in the spiritual discipline of prayer; (3) a sustained intensity in the expression of prayer; and (4) a willingness to pray in individual and corporate contexts.â€
The president noted that universities form many types of boards with the intention of raising support from other people, in one form or another. This group, however, is designed to seek support from God.
â€œIt is common for universities to have various types of advisory board (fundraising, advisory, athletic, etc.) – these types of groups are extremely helpful to schools. In fact, we have some of these types of groups at WBU. The Eagles Wings Society is a different type of organization. Membership in the EWS is not an honorific appointment, an award conferred or recognition given for some type of achievement. This is a board of â€˜working hard in prayer,â€™ and the members of EWS must be committed to this crucial work,â€ he noted.
Above all, Norman said, the intensified focus on prayer is intended to fortify WBU and its mission in todayâ€™s culture.
â€œThe effectiveness of our mission is connected to our praying. To be candid, we will not as Christians in todayâ€™s world faithfully and effectively serve the Lord if we do not study His word and pray. And as this matter relates to WBU â€“ Williams Baptist University will only faithfully fulfill the mission that God has entrusted to us through prayer,â€ the president said.
â€œThe devoted servants of God who worked and served here in the past were a people of faithful praying, and this university known as a â€˜Child of Providenceâ€™ will only move forward in the future that God has for us through prayer. Our ability to continue to be a campus of Christian purpose is directly tied to our faithfulness to pray.â€
For more information on the Eagles Wings Society, check out https://williamsbu.edu/eagleswingssociety/ .
Williams is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.