By: Varun Maheshwari
Regularly congregating over lunch in the Gilman room, the Gilman Bible Study, led by Mr. Kevin Hudson, has cemented itself as one of the most attended meetings at the school. After the departure of Gilman Football Coach Biff Poggi, the program’s former leader, Mr. Smyth requested that Mr. Hudson head the Bible Study at Gilman given that he had a similar position to Coach Poggi’s at his previous school in Westminster, Georgia. “It's been fantastic this year, with a tremendous growth in numbers,” says Mr. Hudson. The idea of a tri-school bible study came about after Gilman learned that FOCUS, a group that leads Bible Studies in the nearby private schools, was preaching at both RPCS and Bryn Mawr. The senior leaders along with Mr. Hudson saw this as an opportunity to bring the brothers and sisters of this tri-school community together for the first time and talk about the word of God. The purpose of extending Bible Study to the sister schools was to grow fellowship and for everyone to come together to learn about the Bible and absorb spiritual wealth that is spread throughout each meeting.
The first meeting, held in Centennial Hall, had a total attendance of ninety students along with ten faculty members. The leaders of the program have made it clear that they aim to hold this Tri-School Bible Study once a month, though they have had recent difficulty in sticking to this goal. Each meeting has a strict syllabus, with the first two-thirds of the meeting dedicated to Bible Study and the final third dedicated to large group prayer. “The prayers have been a huge part of our Bible Study this year and it has been the most unifying and encouraging part of each meeting,” Mr. Hudson explains.
Brian Nelson, one of the senior leaders, reflects on the last four years of his time with Coach Poggi and Coach Hudson, saying, “It’s kind of a nice break in the middle of the day, it allows you to take a step back from your normal routine and to also hear about your classmates and their lives.” The message of the Bible Study has affected many people at all three schools. “You don’t have to be religious to come to the Bible Study,” says Brian, “the lessons in the Bible are universal things everyone can apply in their lives.”
The leaders emphasize that “no prayer is too small,” allowing the corporate prayer segment of the meeting to be one of the most powerful parts because it lets people to become vulnerable for a short moment and to understand each other’s feelings and struggles that often go unnoticed.
The Tri-School Bible Study has had a tremendous impact on many students within all three schools, and Coach Hudson and the senior leaders encourage more people to come out for the food and God.