Leesville Students Show Faith


On Wednesday, Sept. 23 approximately 15 students gathered at the flagpole in the front of Leesville Road High School.  They formed a circle and prayed for their school, faculty and students. 

See You at the Pole is an annual event which gives Christian students the chance to take a stand for what they believe in and lift up their school in prayer. Schools all over the country, elementary, middle and high, participate in this event.

 “See You at the Pole is a way to show my faith… I love Jesus, and He’s important to me,” said Allison Bass, a junior who helped lead this year’s event. 

It started in 1990 in Burleson, Texas by a small group of teenagers.  The group was meeting for a weekend in which they would learn more about God.  On Saturday night, they all felt the sudden calling to go to their schools and pray.  Not knowing where else to stand, they stood around the flagpoles at their three different schools and prayed.  A few months later, this calling was also felt by youth leaders across Texas.  They in turn shared it with 20,000 students and See You at the Pole became a reality. 

The first See You at the Pole took place on Sept. 12, 1990 at 7:00 a.m.  About 45,000 teenagers in four different states participated.  On Sept. 11 of the following year, one million students across the country took up their place around the flagpoles of their schools and prayed.

Now, See You at the Pole is not just country-wide, but worldwide.  The count of participants has reached over three million students in the United States alone, not to mention those who are not in the US.

Students who take a stand during See You at the Pole face persecution, and not just the ones in other countries.  Students in the U.S. face discrimination, insults and the loss of friends from those who do not participate. 

Last year at Leesville Road High School, insults were hurled loudly from bystanders but the students continued to pray.  As the group dispersed, many were laughed at and made fun of, but they kept their heads held high and ignored the jeering.

Many students feel very strongly about their religion and feel that See You at the Pole is a good way to express it.  “I think that everyone needs to hear about [Jesus] and what He’s done in my life.  I want others to experience that change too,” said Bass

Doughnuts were given out by Chris Leader, Cross Culture Church’s youth minister, as a treat to those bold enough in their faith to take a stand.  They were not meant to be a reward because simply being able to pray was reward enough for the students. 

“[Being able to pray is] always enough reward.  Praying is one of the times I feel closest to God.  It doesn’t matter when or how long you do it,” said Nolan Coffey, a junior who participated this year.


  1. Susan, your argument is known as Pascal’s Wager, a tried and fallacious argument.
    “The problem with this line of reasoning is that there are thousands of gods that humans have imagined. A person who believes in Allah can make this statement, and so can a person who believes in God, and so can a person who believes in Vishnu. This multitude of fictional beings shows the silliness of the argument. There is no way to know which god to choose, because there is no evidence whatsoever indicating that any of them exist. ”

    “Christianity has done more for mankind than anything or anyone else. Hospitals, orphanages, universities, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, the abolishment of slavery, these are but a few of the acts that have been done in the name of Jesus for the good of mankind.”

    Christianity has damaged mankind tremendously. Crusades. Inquisition. Abolishment of slavery? Ha! Those arguing in favor of slavery used the Bible in their argument! The bible was the reason people fought bitterly against interracial marriage, and is the reason people even today direct hate towards homosexuals. Christianity has been attacking science since it reached a position of power – from Copernicus in the Medieval times to evolution today.
    And that’s just Christianity. If the argument is broadened to all religions, the damage is even greater. If there were no religion, the Twin Towers would still stand today. Terrorism, cults, holy wars. Over-reproduction. The pope spoke out against condom use.
    Indeed the world has never been the same, and it is sad, for the world would have been a much better place if the delusion of the resurrection of Jesus had never been passed down.
    An empty tomb isn’t hard to explain. Grave robbers are a simple explanation, and you can go on from there. And who is to say that even happened? All accounts of Jesus’s life were written around 80 years after his death.
    I could go on, but there is no point, as you will not see beyond your personal delusion. Most Christians will retort the same, and I am okay with that. Raised Christian, I became aware of the flaws, the questions religion could not answer. I have searched and searched for a reason to believe in god, but to no avail. I wish I could. I know why people do, it is a comforting thought. But I simply cannot delude my mind into believing something that is simply not true. We are completely alone in this world. At first that idea may seem depressing, but it’s actually beautiful – you have this one life to live. You will receive no consequences for your pleasure. When you die you will sleep with kings and counselors, your body broken down to give life to those after you. Without God, I have found greater happiness than I ever had in religion. I doubt your beliefs will change, anyone who may read this, and that’s okay. I’m not asking you to do that – just think. It’s good for you.

  2. Nice job Sarah Beth. As a reporter your job is to report the events as accurately as you know how. Comments posted about your articles, both positive and negative, show that people found your writing interesting enough to read.

    Brad, your comments are interesting because they show a complete lack of contextual understanding of scripture and history. First, if you deny even the possibility of the supernatural existing then no argument for the validity of the Bible will make any difference to you because its pages are filled with the supernatural acts of God. It will make no difference to you the number of extant copies of manuscripts that date to within 25 years of the actual events (unparalleled among ancient documents). The historical accuracy will not impress you. The uncanny fulfillment of predicted prophecy will no doubt be excused away. All of it matters not to you because you begin with the premise, “God does not exist,” therefore this book about God cannot possibly be true. “Don’t confuse me with the facts” could best be used to some up your position.

    Speaking of facts, your reference to “Mirtha” is, I assume to mean, “Mithra” the sun-god of the roman elite. Remember Brad, neither the Bible nor Christianity claims that Jesus Christ was born on December 25. That date was chosen by the early church to be able to celebrate the Savior’s birth rather than having to participate in the pagan celebration that was taking place on that date. Also keep in mind there is little to no documentary evidence of Mithra.

    Also, keep in mind Brad that the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ are historical facts substantiated by both biblical and secular historical documents. If you want to debate something, tackle the resurrection because quite frankly all of Christianity stands or falls on the validity of that one single event. In fact, the resurrection is what separates Christianity from every other religion of the world. All of the other ancient religious leaders have long since come and gone. Their graves are monuments to the failings of their religion. For two thousand years Brad men have been trying to explain away the empty tomb. Great men of science and intellect have attempted it and many of them have become believers as a result of having openly and honestly examined the evidence (Simon Greenleaf, Professor of Law at Harvard University, C.S. Lewis, Professor Literature at Oxford University to name a couple).

    As to your comment, “Religion is nothing more than a group of barbaric ideas for primitive cultures cowering in fear and ignorance. I can only hope that one day these children will expand their minds beyond that of the church” I can only say that I hope one day you will expand your mind by reading history and discovering that Christianity has done more for mankind than anything or anyone else. Hospitals, orphanages, universities, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, the abolishment of slavery, these are but a few of the acts that have been done in the name of Jesus for the good of mankind.

    Not everything done in the name of religion throughout history has been good. In fact evil acts have been perpetrated upon peoples in the name of God, but that does not mean God had anything to do with it.

    As I said Brad, if you choose not to believe in even the possibility of the supernatural then little if anything I say will make any difference to you, but the tomb is still empty Brad. The tomb is still empty. And the world has never been the same.

  3. You make an interesting point Brad, but a point totally dependent on the literal interpretation of the Bible. Many Christians believe in the presence of God and Jesus, while still understanding the Bible was written by MAN and therefore not infallible. The essential goal of a Christian is to bask in and share God’s love (and I fail to see how this is contradictory to “values of kindness and reason”). The basis of the Ten Commandments (written by God, not man) is to love; love your parents, love your God, love yourself, love your neighbors. If you have a problem with love, I’m sorry. As a kid who has asked many of the same questions you have about God and religion, I can understand where you’re coming from; the Bible raises a lot of questions and is in fact contradictory. However if you take it as a whole, the theme of the book is that Jesus loved us so much he died for our sins. I’m sorry that you can’t see that. I also have a problem with how you say that religion is “beneath the dignity of intelligent human beings”. I would argue that being humble and being able to acknowledge a more intelligent power is NOT degrading for humans; a truly wise person acknowledges that he doesn’t know everything, and suggesting that humans in general are too intelligent to imagine anything better is not only cocky but naive. While I won’t argue with you that there aren’t some deluded Christians in the world, or that evolution doesn’t exist and the world was created in six literal days, I think your viewpoint on Christianity as whole is pedantic and provincial at the same time- if you stop thinking of Christianity in a box, and stop looking down on everyone else, you might just learn something.

  4. If people who believe as Brad does are correct in their beliefs, we Christians have absolutely nothing to worry about. If we are correct, however, Brad has everything to worry about. Brad, please don’t feel sorry for the students who prayed around the pole on September 23. They are living in God’s will. There is no more fulfilling place to live. Since the Bible tells us to pray for those who “persecute” us, I’m sure those students even prayed for you.

  5. Thanks for the article. Its refreshing to know that there are Leesville High students who are not ashamed to express their faith in God, the Creator of the universe. You are supported by many fellow believers who do not accept the poisoned rhetoric and verbal attacks of this world which attempts to elevate the depravity of man above the Creator and Savior of the world.

  6. I sat here for hours trying to figure out how to respond to this. Trying to come up with the right words to reflect my feelings for the students that partook in the “See You at the Pole” and any religious event for that matter. So I tried to put myself in their shoes. Believing that Christianity is the answer for my life, that Jesus was born of a virgin, that the earth was created in six literal days, that a snake, a donkey and a burning bush spoke a human language, that the sun stood still to help Joshua win a battle, that witches, wizards and sorcerers really exist, that mental illness is caused by demons and that a “devil” exists with wings exists and causes evil. I would have to ignore the many other versions of Jesus that were also born of a virgin and sacrificed to save human kind. For instance Mirtha, the ancient sun-god born around 600 BC. He too was born of a virgin, which was also celebrated on December 25th, Magi brought him gifts, his first worshippers were shepherds and was followed by 12 companions who which he also celebrated “Last Supper” with , he was slain upon a cross to make atonement for humankind and take away the sins of the world, and his ascension to heaven was celebrated at the spring equinox (Easter). I also ignored the many contradictions in the bible pertaining to killing our fellow man (Ex. 20:13, Ex. 32:27), slavery (Lev. 25:45-46, Is. 56:8), telling lies (Ex. 20:16, 1 Kings 22:23), and if god is good or evil (Psa. 145:9, Is. 45:7), and overlooked the degrading things said about women (1 Tim. 2:11-14, Ex. 22:18). Ignoring the great works of so many great scientist/philosophers and all the religious dogma’s that are no longer tenable, I then tried to answer a few questions that someone of the Christian faith should be answer and logically. Is a higher judge of truth than reason? What is morality and is it possible without a deity? Why did god create evil? What is wrong with skepticism? What is god exactly and why do you think he exists?
    Well, the truth is that I feel sorry for these students. Not only for how they were treated by their fellow peers (let’s hope that the Leesville High students can show a little more respect and have a bit more self control in the future), but with their beliefs. They are in fact delusional. I would like to quote the great Robert Pirsig’s observation in Lila that “when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.” Have these children really researched other religions, religious history, evolution, natural selection, physics, and philosophy? I think not. More than likely, as with most of the faithful population, they have been attending “Sunday School” since they where children and have been brain washed to believe in god, just as many children are raised to believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. We must start believe in ourselves and throw away the notion of original sin (a primitive idea for which salvation is religions offer to solve a problem of its own making), substitutionary forgiveness, external punishment, and humble worship. All of these are concepts are beneath the dignity of intelligent human beings and conflict with the values of kindness and reason. Religion is nothing more than a group of barbaric ideas for primitive cultures cowering in fear and ignorance. I can only hope that one day these children will expand their minds beyond that of the church.


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