Revival at NCCU offers help to community
It may have been a back-to-school event, but it wasn’t just for students.
About 100 people lined up on N.C. Central University’s campus Sunday morning as a live band tuned their instruments in anticipation of a community event and revival.
The event, put on by a student organization and a Durham church, was the second annual back-to-school event and focused on bringing people together and offering assistance in all areas of life.
“This is an answer to the community’s cry for help,” said Sadonna Wiggins, executive administrator of Church of the Apostolic Revival in Durham. The event offered free school supplies, from backpacks to flash drives, as well as clothing.
Kamora Avent, an adviser for Students for the Apostolic Revival (STAR) and a professor at NCCU, said they expected more than 1,000 people at the event. The student group in charge of the event was founded by Church of the Apostolic Revival and started with seven members. The group has since taken great strides, with 100 members at its largest point, Avent said.
“They’re sort of acting as a bridge between the community and the church and bringing us all together,” Wiggins said of STAR.
Apostle Bennett, pastor of Church of the Apostolic Revival, agreed. “When we work together, we can really make a difference,” he said, adding that the event offered “all kinds of vendors for the mind, body and soul,” including education vendors who could help attendees enroll in school, employment vendors and health vendors.
“We believe that if we pull institutions together with answers like this, we can bring back the sense of community we’re getting away from,” Bennett said.
The group and the church plan to have similar events quarterly, with the next one in October.
They spread the word about the event mostly through word-of-mouth and a few radio ads.
And the community responded. The event started at 10 a.m., and by 10:30 people were still lined up down the block waiting to register.
“I didn’t think there would be this many people here,” said Shavonne Walker, an NCCU student working toward her master’s degree in special education. “When I drove by at 9:45, there was already a long line.”
Walker said she decided to come out to the event because of the free backpacks. Her daughter Jimella, a fourth-grader at R.N. Harris Elementary School, had different motives.
“She asked me to go home and get shoes and socks so she could go on the bounce house,” Walker said.