Students prepare for annual day of service

Bisons for Christ 2016 | Photo by Amanda Floyd

April 3, 2017 |

Every Monday and Thursday at 4 p.m., University students collect donated pizza from Bailey’s Pizza and bring them to a trailer park behind College Church of Christ. After sharing food with the community, the students play with the children and teach them that Jesus loves them.

Approximately five years ago, student-led Pizza Ministry evolved from a project organized by Bisons for Christ, an annual service day hosted by The Original Rock House, a campus ministry of College Church of Christ.

Senior Kai Bishop has participated in the Pizza Ministry for more than three years. He said Bisons for Christ not only introduced the neighborhood to students, but it has also continued to schedule Pizza Ministry as one of the projects for the annual day of service to support the continuation of the ministry.

“Bisons for Christ showed us the need within the community,” Bishop said. “I have no doubt on the continuation of Pizza Ministry after I leave [Harding], and Bisons for Christ has a lot to do with that. I think the biggest thing we do at Pizza Ministry is show the people that someone cares and loves them more than anything.”

Harding University’s 11th annual Bisons for Christ event will take place Wednesday, April 5. An estimated 1,500-2,000 students will participate in approximately 150 service projects in the Searcy area.

Volunteer projects will include serving widows in their homes, visiting retirement communities and children’s homes, tending to animals at the Searcy Humane Society, assisting in cleanup at local camps, working with after school programs, hosting sport clinics and more.

“Bisons for Christ lets students see that they have talents they can use in this community,” said Todd Gentry, outreach minister at College Church of Christ and co-director of Bisons for Christ. “We think it brings glory and honor to Christ. It shows people this is what ministry looks like, this is how I love, and this is how I get involved in what’s going on.”

This year’s Bisons for Christ theme is “Continue,” based on Hebrews 6:10, and was chosen in order to inspire students to continue serving the other 364 days of the year after the event. During the day, students will be exposed to ongoing service opportunities like tutoring at the Carmicheal Community Center, volunteering at College church’s His House, or participating in Pizza Ministry.

According to Gentry, additional projects will occur throughout the week, including participation from nearly 100 students in study abroad programs in Italy, Greece and Chile.

“The great thing is a lot of people will continue from that one point to do ministry,” Gentry said. “People’s lives are changed — those giving and those receiving.”

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