01 May 2013

University Comes Together in Prayer

Prayer in schools has been an issue as long as I can remember. It is uncommon to see large prayer groups while walking through a college campus, but today at The University of North Alabama, a large group of students stood in the middle of campus to pray for a beloved professor.

Dr. Larry Nelson is known by every person on UNA's campus and he is loved by all. He is a history professor and a mentor. He teaches religious classes and holds Bible studies for all types of students. He  welcomes students into his home with he and his wife.

UNA Family Comes Together 
Dr. Nelson was in a car accident on Monday April 29 and returned to class shortly after. After complaining about a headache, his wife and daughter encouraged him to go to Hellen Keller Hospital where doctors found a tumor on his brain and rushed him to Vanderbilt Hospital in Tennessee. http://mc.vanderbilt.edu

At 1 am Monday night, over 50 students gathered at the amphitheater to pray for Dr. Nelson and praise God. The same thing happened on Tuesday at noon. Students walking by joined in to pray for a man that some of them did not even know.

Tweet, Pray, Share
Social media sites were full of prayers for Dr. Larry Nelson and his family and updates were sent out every few hours to be reposted by students and faculty. It was amazing to see what an impact one man has made and the influence he has had on the faith of the students. He openly expresses his love for Jesus Christ and he and his wife use the campus as a mission field.

What do you think about this revival on campus due to the unfortunate news about a beloved faculty member? Do you think it's a big deal that such a large number of students met to pray in the middle of campus? Do you think it should happen more often?


  1. What a sweet man. While, I have never had Dr. Nelson personally, he has always been very kind to me.

    I find it absolutely amazing how social media can get the word out on issues so quickly. I found out about his situation through Twitter. Since then, my Twitter feed has been filled with the hash tag #prayfordrnelson

    If only Twitter and other forms of social media could be used for good, like this case. Social media is a great way to be informed about what is going on in the world when you can shuffle through all of the drama and inappropriate pictures that go along with it.

    Overall, I think social media is a great tool for microblogging and staying informed.

  2. Well to start off with, he is definitely in my prayers. I’ve never been a student of his but I’ve heard nothing but great things about him. This is a very sad situation!

    But to answer your question, I don’t see anything wrong with students who are believers meeting up to pray together. The only way that it could be a problem if it is forced and in this situation, it was not forced.

    I believe in God and I am definitely a praying student so I love that this happen, it is absolutely beautiful. And with him being such a BIG name on campus, I know that it was appreciated by his family and those close to him. But should it happen more? I’m not sure. Religion tends to cause a lot of heated debates and I don’t think that UNA really would want that. But if it could happen more, that would be awesome.

  3. This is a very sad moment in UNA history, but like Kenisha said, I am a praying student and understand that everything is in God's hands!

    I actually found out about Dr. Nelson through social media, and this goes to show us how effective and positive it can be. I think we are sometimes negative when it comes to the idea of social media, and in this case it was used for good.

    The First Amendment allows for students to express their religion and faith (even on campus) and with that, I do not think it is a big deal. I think if we had more students praying, there would be less anger or even more tragic situations...suicide.