Florida Church, Warner University Partner to Host Event for Teachers

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Colleges & Universities, Loving and Serving, Southeast

By Julie Campbell

While many churches host back-to-school events for students, Warner University and South Lake Wales Church of God recently joined forces to create a unique event just for teachers.

RISE UP (Rejoicing, Inspiring, Supporting Educators and Uplifting the Profession) was a night specifically designed to encourage educators at all levels before they returned to the daily grind of teaching. The event was the brainchild of Warner University’s chair of teacher education and associate professor Dr. Lori Hutto, who noticed a need in the Lake Wales, Florida, community to build up and support educators.

“She came to us asking if we would partner with her in hosting the event,” said Austin Morgan, worship and Next Gen Pastor of South Lake Wales Church of God. “We simply came alongside and helped with anything she needed.”

Pastor Chad Tingley, senior pastor at South Lake Wales, was happy to host the event, which was designed to promote worship through music, Scripture reading, prayer, and fellowship.

“We also had some goodies to eat because, at South Lake Wales Church of God, we understand the importance of food,” joked Morgan.

Between 30 and 40 educators attended the inaugural event, and the church is planning to host it again in the future.

“We look forward to it growing each year,” said Morgan. “We got a lot of great feedback from those who attended. Many said that it was exactly what they needed before going back to school.”

The church is strategically located in central Florida and has the ability to reach educators in three counties—Polk, Highlands, and Hardee.

“We know that being an educator is no small task,” Morgan explained. “Having many educators both active and retired in our congregation along with the education department at Warner University, we understand that the turnover in education is great, and we have an opportunity to minister to those education graduates from Warner along with those in our congregation who are getting burned out.”

Throughout the evening, educators had the opportunity to make connections with others in their profession as well as to simply feel celebrated by the church.

“Ministry is seeing a need and knowing how to effectively meet the need and point those people to Jesus Christ,” said Morgan. “At South Lake Wales Church of God our mission and vision is to help people be with Jesus, become like Jesus, and do what Jesus did. We do this not only through internal ministries, but also by partnering with Warner University.”

Julie Campbell is an editor at Warner Press and a freelance journalist. A former city girl from Chicago, she enjoys country life with her husband Russ on a five-acre apple orchard in Madison County, Indiana. She is a blessed mom of three wonderful young adult children and one very spoiled red Doberman puppy.

Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.

Start typing and press Enter to search