Students encouraged at Night of Inspiration

Christina Xan, Photographer

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College Democrats  hosted the Night of  Inspiration on Dec. 1.  Sophomore political science  major and president of  College Democrats Precious  McLaughlin organized the  event.

The event was done  in concert style with  performances from both  FMU students and local  signed recording artists. The  keynote speaker, Bishop  Michael Blue, spoke at event.

“I noticed that I  was having a hard time  balancing my school load  and spirituality, and the two  go hand-in-hand for me,”  McLaughlin said. “I thought  that, like me, other students  could use an up-lifter to get  themselves back on track  spiritually so that they could  knock out exams.”

McLaughlin spent  several months organizing  the event with the help of the  College Democrats.

Boris Thompson, a  Christian hip-hop artist who  performs under the stage  name Jerusalemm, was one  of the main performers in the  event.

“I never dreamt  of anything like this,”  Thompson said. “It was a  wonderful time, and I enjoy  every time I get a chance to  share this gift.”

Another main performer,  a 19-year-old Christian  soul artist Kendra Smith,  performed a solo act and a  duet with Jerusalemm.

“My greatest inspiration  now is just striving to be the  best God wants me to be,”  Smith said. “I had a blast  performing at FMU because  I was able to reach the youth  and the next generation and  inspire them.”

During their  performances, both Smith  and Thompson recounted  their histories with music.

Thompson, who grew up  in Dillon, discussed how he  wanted to perform since he  was 3-years-old, while Smith  said she realized she wanted  to be a vocal artist when she  was 12. Both singers stated  that their biggest inspirations  are the youth and their  personal faith.

“Ever since I could  remember, I wanted to be a  singer but not only just [to]  sing,” Smith said. “I knew  that my voice was given to  me to be used to bless others  and give glory to God.”

Both performers said  that it is important for  students to maintain their  faith throughout hard times  and that praise through music  and through community  are two ways to accomplish  this. They also gave advice  to students who wanted to  perform or share their gifts  by telling them to be unafraid  and to give the performance  and talents to God.

“The event was  amazing and eye-opening,”  McLaughlin said. “The  performers were incredible,  but the biggest and most  exciting part of the event was  the speaker.”

Bishop Blue is the senior  pastor at The Door of Hope  Christian Church in Marion,  S.C. Blue’s goal during the  event was to extend the  church’s mission statement:  “Exalt the Lord. Edify the  believer. Evangelize the lost.  Enhance the community.”

Between 150-200 people  attended this event with  the majority being FMU  students and their families.

“I really enjoyed the  different genres of worship  that the event offered,”  Leah Power, a recent  FMU graduate, said. “I  also thoroughly enjoyed  Jerusalemm and the way  that he presented worship.  Coming from a very  conservative Methodist  church it was definitely a  breath of fresh air for me  and helped relieve some of  the stress I was experiencing  from finals.”

Both Thompson and  Smith said they would like to  return to FMU to perform at  future events.

“We have never held an  event of this sort before,”  said McLaughlin. “The event  was successful with a great  turnout, and we plan to do  another one.”

The College Democrats’  mission statement is to  “motivate and empower  students who share  progressive, democratic  values.”

“We’re a growing  organization on campus, and  we’re dedicated to all things  that promote positivity,  whether it is political or not,”  McLaughlin said.

More information  about the speaker can be  found at dohcc.com, and  more information about the  performers can be found on  their Facebook pages under  their respective names.

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