Inside of Conquer the Night: Students gather together for an evening of communal fellowship and worship.

      On Friday March 22, students of the Eastern community gathered for Conquer the Night, a tradition that has been consistently kept for several years. The event is put on by the Office of Faith and Practice, however, it is primarily led by the Chapel Worship Team.

      Conquer the Night takes places once each semester of the academic year on a Friday evening, and it is a time where students take part in worshipping with each other throughout the night. This event was particularly significant as it was held during the celebration week of President Matthews’ Inauguration.

      The night began with a prayer by Sophomore Aliia Matthews, in which the theme for the night was introduced and it was titled, “No Bondage.” The theme of the night represented a declaration and a hope for everyone to be free from anything that may have them bound.

      Chapel and Wednesday Night Worship leader, Mariella DiStefano, believes that the theme of the night directly correlates to Old Testament scripture where Isaiah declared the prophecy of God. DiStefano believes that this prophecy is relevant in this day and age as she holds tight to the “new thing” God is doing.

      “God is doing something new, He’s doing a new work, and He’s bringing streams in the desert and we’re waiting to see how He is going to restore and revive this campus,” DiStefano said.

      Followed by the prayer came a reading by first year student, Jabre Harris, from Isaiah 43:16-19 which details the promise from God to the Israelites.

      Conquer the Night is not just limited to the voices of the University’s worship teams, rather it is inclusive and welcomes various different forms of worship. Following the Chapel Worship Team’s acoustic based team ministry, Transformed, Eastern’s drama ministry, performed a series of skits that were designed to bring to light the life and journey of young Christian college students. The purpose of the ministry is to “spread the gospel, focusing on the truths that all Christians need to hear again and again.”

      After Transformed came another segment of worship through a sermonic message by Hector Diaz. Following his message was another worship through song segment with worship leaders Josh Guenther and Davier Daniels.

      Next came a liturgical prayer followed by a performance by Eastern’s dance ministry, Precious Movements. This ministry is dedicated towards committing themselves to “lives of worship, including, but not limited to, the Spirit-led movement of their bodies.” The purpose of the ministry is use their dancing gifts to worship and honor God with the bodies they were given. They often minster on Wednesday mornings at chapel, as well as at local churches.

      First-year student and Audacity member, Mike Weatherbe, performed a self-written rap  as an act of worship. Audacity is a spoken word club that is committed towards working on their “writing skills for the purpose of impacting lives through Spoken Word Poetry.” The club believes that their poetry can serve as “prophecy,” as well as it can potentially help transform the lives of those who listen.

      The night ended with a sermonic message from Malicka Encarnacion followed by worship leader El-Fatih Chase leading the crowd through one last round of worship.


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