Selma University welcomes new year with prayer

Published 7:06 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2012

At Selma University the students, because of the school’s religious studies and focus on the Bible, attend chapel every Wednesday of the school year. This Wednesday the university students and faculty gathered for their first chapel and an opening convocation.

“You might have been born into a bad place, but you can have the will to get out of that bad place,” Dr. Alvin Cleveland, president of the university, preached. “…God can do what he wants to do in you if you only let him.”

Cleveland said he decided to speak to the students about self-esteem and wanting more out of life because some students don’t believe in themselves.

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“Today I was just trying to encourage them to think positively about themselves and what they can do and to just trust God and work hard,” Cleveland said. “A lot of times we have students that don’t have high self-esteem that don’t realize what they can achieve in life, so today was a way of trying to get them to understand how they can overcome.”

Cleveland spoke on not only self-esteem but also being the change they want to see in the school. The service also began with a responsive reading on substance abuse awareness by Travia Jones and several musical selections performed by the choir.

The weekly chapel is an intricate part of the Bible College atmosphere, Cleveland said.

“Many of our students who came here who had no interest in ministry are now ministers and have gone on to lead great churches,” Cleveland said about what he thinks the chapel services have given the students. “Every so often I run into students who are in the ministry or they are doing well.”

He said the college just hopes to start something in the students spiritually with the chapel services, like the opening convocation on Wednesday, and then hope that eventually turns into something in addition to higher education.

“We just try to plant a seed and then we hope that seed germinates and they turn into productive citizens,” Cleveland said.