Morgan Homecoming Church Service Brings Young and Old Morganites Together

By Bijan Glenn

The normally quiet and peaceful University Chapel will soon be loud and bustling with alumni, family and friends who have come to celebrate their former colleagues and classmates. On Sunday at the annual 10 a.m. homecoming service, a candle will be lit for deceased alumni and family members as their names are read.

“It is a very moving ceremony because it points to the rich contributions of Morganites from the past. It’s a very fine way to pause and remember them during Homecoming Week,” said the Rev. Bernard Keels, the director of the University Chapel. “Current students will be able to see the tremendous sacrifices alumni made in order to matriculate.”

This is one of the largest services held in the chapel every year. It will give students a chance to connect and network with alumni and discuss their Morgan experience.

Keels has been the director of the University Chapel since 2008, when he came to Morgan from a 5,000-member, predominantly-white church he pastored in Delaware. He said he felt that it was time to give back to the younger generation.

“I was looking at what I thought was a sad situation that existed in the chapel. Attendance was way down, the building was dilapidated, and students needed to quickly understand spiritual formation. Their road to understand their purpose was not being served,” he said.

Keels has been working closely with the director and assistant director of student relations to plan not only the order of worship, but to make sure that the sermon appropriately speaks to the gathering of people coming to honor a deceased alumnus. He is simply trying to remain relevant and reach each person at their needs.

“I want to be compassionate to the intergenerational gathering,” he said. “I’m just hoping I can be that thread or that link to say, ‘Been there, done that and doing it now.’”

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