Students across Grayson County came together for a moment of prayer and fellowship before classes Wednesday morning as a part of See You At the Pole celebrations. The annual event held at about 7 a.m. in September, brings together students from different denominations in their shared faith in a student-led gathering.

“See You at the Pole is an event where teachers and students can come together to pray over the students, school and the community where it (prayer) isn’t as present as it once was,” said Ethan Bedgood, president of Sherman High School’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter.

See You At the Pole started in Burleson in 1990 following a DiscipleNow weekend retreat. A group of teenagers felt compelled to pray for their friends and gathered at the flagpole at three schools in one night for a moment of reflection. This inspired other youth leaders to follow suit and hold a similar event later that fall.

“Only God had envisioned how many students would step up to the challenge. At 7:00 a.m. on September 12, 1990, more than 45,000 teenagers met at school flagpoles in four different states to pray before the start of school,” said SYATP’s official website. “Reports came into toll-free number for days after the first event.”

For this year’s event, See You at the Pole focused on 2 Chronicles 7:14 and its call for Christians to turn to prayer and repent for their sins. Bedgood said this is an important message as it can resonate with all groups and is an important part of his faith.

“Prayer really is just how I feel you can best connect with Christ,” he said.

Following a brief moment of fellowship, the group of students in Sherman broke off into smaller groups for prayer and prayer requests. Students then joined together in a circle around the flagpole for one final prayer before the start of the school day.

During a typical FCA meeting, Bedgood said he normally sees about 40 to 50 attendees. However, Wednesday’s gathering brought out a crowd of about 150.

Nick Estes, who serves as the community service chair for the Sherman FCA, said the large gathering is an important part of what makes SYATP special. Even if for a few minutes, the events gives a chance for followers of Christ to set aside political denominational and background differences and instead focus on the connections.

“See You at the Pole just presents an opportunity to gather together and form a community with all the Christians in this school,” he said.