High Point University

Charles E. Hayworth Sr. Memorial Chapel offers new worship service

In addition to hosting Wednesday evening services and numerous religious-affiliated associations on campus, the Charles E. Hayworth Sr. Memorial Chapel now offers Sunday morning worship. Photo by Breanne Valentine

By Elise Coby

Staff Writer

The Charles E. Hayworth Sr. Memorial Chapel is offering Sunday morning worship for the first time this year. Chapel was previously held only on Wednesday evenings. Members of Chapel call this new worship “HPUSunday.”

Laila Jones, an HPU freshman, shared what Chapel means to her.

“My favorite part about being involved with Chapel is the sense of community,” said Jones. “There is something so comforting about being in a safe space, surrounded by a diverse group of like-minded individuals.”

Rev. Preston Davis, minister to the university, commented on the HPU community’s response to having another day to worship.

“It is going really well,” said Davis. “We think of HPUSunday as a worshiping community more than a service. It is not so much a program as it is people singing, praying and thinking deeply about who we are called to be. Wednesday Chapel is still going strong. While HPUSunday is completely contemporary worship, Wednesday Chapel is where students go to experience all different forms of Christian worship.”

According to Davis, each Wednesday Chapel this semester has been different, with influences from African American, non-denominational, mainline and contemplative traditions.

“Every week we come alive in a new way,” Davis said. “This is in great thanks to the leadership of the Board of Stewards, Chapel Choir, Genesis Gospel Choir and Collision Worship Band.”

Sunday Chapel reminds Jones of her home.

“Sunday morning services are small compared to Wednesdays, but it helps stimulate a close-knit environment,” said Jones.

“It feels like we are a family on Sunday mornings. It reminds me of the environment of my church back home which helps me to feel more at home on campus.”

HPU hosts many religious-affiliated associations, and Chapel is where these organizations can come together.

“There is also Communion at noon on Wednesdays for a brief time of discussion, prayer and communion,” Davis said.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. Catholic students gather for mass on Sundays at 6 p.m.. Hillel, HPU’s Jewish community, gathers on Fridays and Sundays.

We have a growing interfaith community that gets together for an interfaith dinner club on Mondays. I have not mentioned all the campus ministries like Young Life, ADT, Campus Outreach and others.”

Another aspect of campus religious life is the ability for anyone to become involved and feel welcome.

“Students should know there is no expectation on the kind of person you need to be to come,” said Davis.

“You are going to meet people who are warm and inclusive, and you will find a worship experience that will make you ask deep questions and live a more meaningful way.”

Jones offered advice for anyone interested in joining Chapel services.

“Try it out because you have nothing to lose by coming to one of the services,” said Jones.

“If anything, you will probably gain something by attending, whether it is meeting a new friend, starting or picking back up your relationship with God or gaining a new perspective on a passage from the Bible. I feel like I have grown much closer to God since I have become more involved in the religious activities that the Chapel has to offer. If you feel like God is pressing on your heart to go to Chapel, you should attend.”

HPUSunday, or Sunday Worship, is held at 11 a.m., along with many other religious- affiliated associations that meet at various times throughout the week.

A schedule for Chapel and other worship gatherings can be found at www.highpoint.edu/religiouslife/ worship-schedule/.