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June 24, 2020 | Andrew Hurst

Waxahachie, TX

From the early ’90s into the 2000s, it was common to see a group of visitors from a church gathered on the Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) campus sidewalks and praying for the university. ​These church prayer teams made their way through the Waxahachie campus, praying for students, faculty, staff, finances, and most importantly, for God’s presence to be evident on campus. At its peak, this intercessory prayer campaign resulted in more than 15 churches per year sending prayer teams consisting of ministers and church members.

During this season of focused prayer, SAGU experienced dramatic enrollment growth, expanded academic programs, and successful financial campaigns; however, the defining characteristic of this remarkable season was a growing spiritual fervor that fanned flames of revival. Throughout its history, SAGU has experienced seasons of revival and such spiritual fire keeps us connected to our roots and the Kingdom mission that defines who we are.

SAGU President, Dr. Kermit Bridges, indicated the impact of the campaign is still felt today. He went on to share, “On various occasions during these subsequent years, I have contemplated re-launching the campaign, but these past months dominated by the pandemic and racial division have confirmed in my spirit that now is the time to restore the campaign because it is only through prayer and the power of God that SAGU can effectively minister in the face of such overwhelming challenges.”

“As God faithfully met the needs of this university 25 years ago as we humbled ourselves and prayed, even so today we must cry out to God in prayer for the supernatural help needed to effectively lead in this time of societal chaos and become the instrument of hope and healing that our nation and world so desperately needs.” – Dr. Kermit Bridges, President of SAGU.

President Bridges indicated it was the generous response of two donors with a burden to fund the restored prayer campaign that provided the final confirmation that now was the time to re-launch the initiative in the Fall of 2020. As was the case before, the campaign will be administered by the office of University Advancement with regular input from President Bridges who will be actively engaged with the prayer groups.

Rev. James Bridges
Rev. James Bridges

The facilitation of the campaign requires a coordinator to recruit prayer teams from local churches and organize and host campus visits. The search for a candidate to head the campaign led to a familiar face, Reverend James Bridges, who since 2018 has been serving the university in a part-time role directing the Harvesters traveling ministry group. In this capacity, he has proven experience as a SAGU representative who is already familiar with pastors through his ministry in individual churches and district events. He will continue to lead the Harvesters as part of this expanded assignment.

James graduated from SAGU with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2016. Since then, he has served as a Young Professionals Life Group Leader at Life Church in Midlothian, Texas, and for the past three years has been on staff at the Waxahachie branch of the AG Credit Union. In 2019, James received his ministerial credentials with the North Texas District of the Assemblies of God. He is currently pursuing a Master of Organizational Leadership degree.

As James steps into his new position this July, he is most excited about reintroducing the prayer campaign with a modern approach. “The core tenets will remain, but I can’t wait to see what new things we can incorporate, such as the possibility of remote prayer gatherings or using tools like smartphones to engage others in the prayer experience,” he said.

James also indicated the goal for this fall is to coordinate approximately ten prayer teams on the SAGU campus. He plans to host the first team this September and shared, “We are looking to start with more local prayer teams and as the campaign grows, we would love to see more regional teams become involved.”

James went on to say, “We hope that our vision will remain close to its original purpose – to create prayer allies and ambassadors for SAGU in churches and organizations across the country and the world. We really want to engage individuals who will develop a heart and burden for Southwestern as they have the opportunity to experience the campus through chapel, prayer times, and interaction with our personnel and students.”

As a leading Christian university, SAGU educates and prepares individuals who want to serve Christ and others. SAGU helps students discover and develop their God-given callings in a Spirit-empowered, learning community.

We believe in affordable tuition, made possible in part through the financial support of donors who embrace the mission of SAGU and the importance of affordable, accredited programs to train Christians for leadership in ministry, business, education, and service.

Most majors are available in-person in Waxahachie, TX, and online through a wide range of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

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