“The Stand” – Featuring Oakwood Alumni – Hopes to Re-ignite Student Outreach in Nashville

by Patrice T. Conwell, APR

Into the institutions of learning at Nashville, the truth is to find entrance. There are those in these institutions who are to be reached by the third angel’s message” ( Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 233).
These words spoken by Ellen G. White were fulfilled by students at Meharry Medical College in 1975, sparked by one student’s decision to stand in answer to a professor’s question. Dr. Anthony Lewis, an Oakwood student from 1972-1975, was that student.
“On the first day of class,” Lewis says, “the professor shared that Seventh-day Adventists lived 10-15 years longer than others, but they didn’t know why. Then he asked, ‘Is there anybody here who’s a Seventh-day Adventist?’ I immediately stood up.”
The professor asked Lewis to tell the class about “that funny food you eat” and other health practices. This sparked an interest Adventism that evolved into Friday night bible studies held on campus for Meharry students, and those attending Fisk and Tennessee State universities. The studies resulted in 50 students being baptized into the Adventist church.
On May 17-18, 2019, Lewis will host, “The Stand: Forty Years in Retrospect,” at Hillcrest Church in Nashville, Tennessee. This free event will commemorate the 50 students who were baptized as a result of students’ on-campus witness. Lewis also hopes the event will re-ignite a spiritual outreach mission on college campuses across the nation.
“The Stand” will open with Friday night vesper featuring Pastor Debleaire Snell, ’99, senior pastor of Huntsville’s First SDA Church. Dr. Wintley Phipps, ’76, will speak for Sabbath divine worship and present a concert. The event will close with a show by well-known comedian, Jonathan Slocumb, ’84.
Plan to experience “The Stand: Forty Years in Retrospect,” and join the campus spiritual outreach mission. For event details, follow the Facebook page, Adventist Professional Association.

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