Hundreds of worshippers, including university and city leaders, packed into True Holiness Saints Center during its annual Back to School College Day this past Sunday.
"College Day was a huge success," said senior Doneshia Moore, accounting major at the University of Central Arkansas, and an event organizer. "It was a great opportunity for freshman and returning students to meet so many officials of the city where they will be spending the next four years of their life. It was so great to see the entire city and colleges come together for a great occasion for students."
During the fall and spring semesters of each year, True Holiness Saints Center, led by Senior Pastor E.C. Maltbia, hosts a college day for students in the community. The college day service is designed to help students build and maintain a strong Christian character throughout the duration of their collegiate experience, while providing a positive support system for students to glean from both spiritually and academically.
"[College Day] means the students are back and with them the full vitality of our city is in full bloom," Mayor Tab Townsell said. "Hopefully, the students will realize that when so many community leaders come together to extend the hand of friendship to them, they really do matter in this community and they can truly become a part of it. They also get plenty of admonitions and pretty good road map for their success in college. It’s a great day."
Students of the church and the Interdenominational Christian Council, a registered UCA student organization founded in 1995 by Maltbia, led the service. Sponsors for the event include Rep. Linda Tyler, Sen. Gilbert Baker, Major Andy Shock, First Security Bank, Rocky Lawrence, Regions Bank and Larry Billing.
"I have attended College Day every year since I have been at UCA," said Matthew Farr, UCA senior, Instrumental Music Education and vocal Music Education major. "College Day is that reminder that, although you are at a new journey in your life, you cannot forget about those who are there to support you and that includes God himself. I believe college day is just as important for the returning students as it is for the freshmen because we all fall short and need that reminder to get us back on the right path."
The event opened up with singing provided by UCA’s Judah Chorale, and Maltbia’s delivery captivated the crowd as he preached on "The Roadmap to Success." The service highlights included a welcome by Townsell and greetings from UCA President Tom Courtway, Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrough, Hendrix College President Tim Cloyd, and a performance by the church’s Step Team.
"The College Day 2012 event at the True Holiness Saints Center was very encouraging to the UCA, Hendrix and CBC students," said Tiffany Johnson, associate director UCA Career Services. "It is my belief that our students benefitted not just from a spiritual perspective but also from an academic and social perspective. Events such as this further perpetuates the importance of being spiritually, academically and socially grounded."