Students throughout Texoma gathered outside their schools early Wednesday for a moment of worship and prayer as a part of See You at the Pole. The annual event, now in its 28th year, seeks to bring together students from each school campus under shared faith. Around 75 students attended Wednesday’s event at Sherman High School and around 200 students gathered outside of Denison High School to take part in the annual time of fellowship.

“See You at the Pole is pretty much like a worship service, I’d say,” Austin Emery, a member of Denison’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team, who helped organize the event, said. “It gives people a chance to come and talk about what they need prayer over. A lot of people do not believe prayer does anything but it is the one way to talk to God.”

See You at the Pole started as a small gathering of students from a youth group in Burtleson over the summer of 1990 and has grown into an annual event, held on the fourth Wednesday of September, that encourages students to gather outside their schools prior to classes for a time of fellowship and prayer. The first official See You at the Pole event saw more than 56,000 students gather at 1,200 campuses and the following year, the event went international with schools outside the U.S. participating.

The individual events are organized by students, often affiliated with Christian-based clubs and organizations. Senior Kayla Boykin, with Sherman’s Reflections Club, organized Wednesday’s event at Sherman High. A community service-based student-lead group, Reflections Club was one of several student organizations attending the event.

“It’s so important because we’re coming to the flagpole as a sign of unity,” Boykin said. “We need the school to unite with each other instead of disunite each other. It’s just a good sign for everyone as a whole. It stands for worshiping Christ together. It brings us together as a family.”

The Sherman High event began at 7:30 a.m. when students gathered around the flag pole at the entrance to the school to listen to songs and readings from other students. Students in Denison gathered on the steps of the high school for worship songs before moving to the school’s flag pole for a moment of prayer. Following this, the students broke into smaller groups to talk about prayer requests from each student.

Peyton Reed, who also serves on Denison’s FCA leadership team, said the event often brings together people from different social circles that don’t always interact.

“There are athletes and nonathletes, people you’d see at FCA and people you wouldn’t see at FCA,” he said. “Ultimately Christ is the one who can shorten the distance between people and bring them together.”

Head of music for Sherman’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes group Ender Zambrano explained the event’s significance for him lies in the opportunity to interact with other like-minded students.

“This means a lot to me because it’s a chance to meet other fellow Christians that go to my school,” Zambrano said. “You don’t have to be Christian alone — you can make new friends. It’s also an opportunity to share the gospel with a lot of people that don’t know Christ. It’s a lot of fun.”

Through events like See You at the Pole, Reed said he hopes to bring the Christians of Denison High together in the form of a revival. He added that many times he feels alone in his faith, but events like Wednesday’s serve as a reminder that he is not.

“When it comes to it, it doesn’t matter who is popular and who is an athlete,” Reed said. “What we all have in common is Jesus is our savior.”

Sherman’s FCA President Gregory Parks said the event is the largest gathering of the year for the group and explained it promotes inclusivity and kindness.

“This helps us try to grow throughout the year because this is the biggest Christian event that the school has the whole school year,” Parks said. “The issue that I am focusing on is how kids treat other kids in the hallways. It’s sad when you’re walking down the hall and you see some kids that people try to stay away from.”