Christian concert descends on campus to share gospel
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 01:10
It was hard to ignore the highlighter-yellow T-shirts that invaded campus last week. The shirts advertised an event called After Dark that circulates the country and descends on the Texas A&M campus every four years.
Since 2000, After Dark has reached out to more than 350,000 students with music and what they consider to be the most important message a person could hear. The event is affiliated with Kanakuk Ministries and combines a free concert and the Christian gospel message into one campus spectacle at universities around the country.
Designed specifically to target college students from all walks of life, the event’s purpose is to inspire conversation among students and encourage investigation into Christian beliefs.
Joe White, former Texas A&M football coach and founder of Kanakuk Ministries, is the lead speaker for After Dark.
Lindsey Clayton, senior interdisciplinary studies major, attended After Dark the last time it came to A&M. She said she liked it so much she attended again and brought friends with her.
The evening’s special guest was senior A&M tight end Michael Lamothe.
This year’s concert portion of After Dark features American Idol winner Kris Allen and hip-hop artist Fedel, but they were preceded by White’s message “Is Jesus Relevant Today?” which was emphasized by the organization as the most important part.
“There’s nothing more important than an individual salvation,” said Thomas McNutt, co-head student representative to After Dark for A&M. “Nothing is more important than a person’s soul and a person’s heart. Joe White’s message specifically aims at repairing and fixing college kid’s hearts and souls.”
McNutt said the concert atmosphere of After Dark allowed the Christian gospel to be presented in a relaxed and entertaining way that gives students a chance to find hope in an increasingly dark world. The chance to evangelize in this manner is what made McNutt want to be involved with After Dark.
“We go to college campuses because it is the most independent time when they are making the most important decisions that will affect the rest of their lives,” said Geoff Todd, director of marketing for After Dark. “The most important topic they can look at is if Jesus is relevant.”
Kanakuk Ministries employs 1,700 college students from across the country every summer in their camps for children, a large portion of whom come from the student body at A&M.
“Those college kids would invest in kids all summer long,” Todd said. “So [the founders] decided they would love to go where college students are and invest in them just like they were investing all summer long.”
Most attendees said their motivation for attending was to see Kris Allen and they had not heard of Joe White.
Jordan Doss-Lomas, junior education major, said she was excited that Kris Allen was playing.
“I like it,” Doss-Lomas said. “It brings a lot of new people in and allows even non-believers to be exposed to the Word.”