With building relocation and booming crowds, the student-run Midnight Worship ministry plans for possible future changes.
Roy Cervantes, a senior kinesiology major from McAllen, is one of Midnight’s founders and worship leaders. He said the ministry was born as mixed-worship for the college student community.
“I saw that something needed to be done to unite students from different worship contexts,” he said.
The praise and worship service is held in University Baptist Church’s sanctuary on Friday nights, bringing together students who attend different schools and belong to different denominations.
What started as a small gathering with an average attendance of 70 people has turned into a huge event, drawing in hundreds of students.
“The first four weeks, we have been floating between 250 and 300 students from across Abilene,” Cervantes said. “I think this increase in attendance is a result of favor found in God along with being good stewards of what we have and the relevance to college students.”
Ethan Alexander, sophomore worship ministry major from Ft. Worth, said he first visited Midnight as a freshman who had no idea how to spend his Friday nights.
“It started in a small room crammed with 30 people and awful acoustics, but at the same time, it was wonderful,” he said. “I look back to it and it was so low-key, but still had the same intensity it has now.”
Alexander began to help run the audio and visual side of Midnight Worship before becoming further involved.
“I started playing with the band after becoming better friends with Roy and the rest of the team, along with understanding the core mission of what Midnight aims to do,” he said.
In the future, Cervantes said he would love Midnight to become a self-sustaining ministry.
“We are currently using University Baptist’s facilities as well as receiving a small amount of funds from a bible study of another church,” he said. “If we were to become a self-sustaining entity, we could continue to create a culture that focuses on unity in bigger and more creative ways.”
But with UBC planning to relocate soon, Midnight Worship looks as if it will be temporarily out of a home.
“I know God will provide a place for it to continue and flourish,” he said. “That’s just a part of doing God’s work, not knowing what’s around the corner.”