Summit Opens on Rousing Note


The opening worship session of ACU’s Summit sounded a little like an old-time revival meeting Thursday afternoon, with plenty of handclapping and standard hymns sung acapella style.

The only thing not “old” about it was the projection of the hymn lyrics onto a wall of the Chapel on Hill. Not that the audience, or congregation, needed a prompt. They all knew the hymns well–old favorites like “Faithful,” “Shout Hallelujah,” “Firm Foundation,” and “Cornerstone.” The sing-along ended with the rousing, “Our God, He is Alive,” and its signature line, “He Is Our God, the Great I Am.”

Summit Director Jennifer Schroeder welcomes guests to Summit 2023 on the ACU campus.

That drew shouts of “Amen” and the crowd was set for an afternoon of sessions, ending with Anchor Point, a dinner with keynote speaker Dr. Kristin Kobes Du Mez, author of “Jesus and John Wayne.” 

Summit director Jennifer Schroeder was pumped and ready for two days of Summit, with its Living Word theme.

“I hope you felt the joy that filled this room,” Schroeder said after the opening worship session and welcome. 

The spring version of Summit is the third consecutive session in the current two-day format. The first was held in spring 2022, followed by the second last fall. In years past, Summit was held Sunday evening through Wednesday. 

Attendance for the spring session was slightly lower than last fall, Schroeder said, with most attendees coming from the Abilene and Dallas areas. The Anchor Point dinner, keynote address and panel discussion scheduled for Thursday night, drew a number of people who didn’t sign up for Summit sessions, called “communities.”

Stephen Maxwell leads the singing at the opening of Summit on Thursday, March 30. Maxwell serves at the North Atlanta Church of Christ as a worship and communications minister.

A change is expected to come in the scheduling next fall. Summit will still be held twice a year to coincide with homecoming in the fall and Sing Song in the spring. However, beginning next fall an extra day will be added. It will be held Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 11-13, with homecoming activities that weekend. 

Schroeder said the extra day was added in response to feedback from attendees. People wanted more time to be together, she said. Feedback also showed that people like the current structure, with a session on the Bible, plus the “community” sessions. This year’s sessions were family, Hispanic, preaching, and worship ministries. A general session was held on the book of Hebrews. Schroeder said the people in charge of Summit before she was named director in January 2022 were good at listening, and she is following their lead.

“We’ve tried to continue listening,” she said. 

Loretta Fulton is editor of Spirit of Abilene

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