Midnight Worship outgrew the space available at the Well Abilene due to rapid growth in attendance this semester.
In addition to a Spiritual Formation credit, Midnight Worship has become a cherished event among the student body, said Caleigh Adams, a sophomore communication major from Fort Worth. Adams said she attends the service regularly and looks forward to it throughout the week.
“It’s always a way to end off the week on a good note, no matter what my week was like,” Adams said. “I was kind of upset about the change of location at first because I loved having it at The Well. But the more I thought about it, I realized it’s an amazing thing that they are having to move it because it means so many more people are coming and wanting to worship Jesus together.”
College students in Abilene gather at the church, located downtown, for an hour of worship each Friday.
Jax Pimentel, junior engineering major from Abilene and executive spiritual formation officer for Midnight Worship said the Well seemed to provide a central location between the schools to encourage higher attendance. About 40 percent of regular attendees attend ACU, 35 percent attend HSU, 15 percent attend McMurry and the other 10 percent are young Abilene residents. Pimentel said the coordinators are in the process of deciding on a new location.
“We’ve seen an explosion in our overall numbers as well as greater numbers of non-ACU members, and we expect this trend to continue through the middle of the semester,” Pimentel said. “We’re now looking for a place that will be able to accommodate the growth we’ve seen, and we plan to relaunch at our new location in October.”
The crowd of students in attendance has outgrown the warehouse space the Well could provide. Last weekend, students were overflowing into the sidewalk area outside of the building to join in worship. Gabi Ramirez, senior advertising and public relations major from San Antonio and singer for Midnight Worship, said the growth has been deeper than the numbers.
“Midnight Worship will always continue to evolve and grow as new generations of Christ followers come to Abilene,” Ramirez said. “Yes, we have grown in numbers, but I would also say our desire to worship deeply and authentically has grown tremendously. Midnight Worship is not just contained in the walls of the churches, it has evolved into a community of believers who pursue relationships outside of Friday nights.”
Last Friday for the first time ever, the service was at Beauchamp Amphitheater in an attempt to comfortably hold the students in attendance. Claire Shipley, sophomore biology major from Fort Worth, said she is closely involved with Midnight Worship and is excited to see the ministry grow.
“Word has gotten out about this incredible ministry,” Shipley said. “We trust that because the Lord has given us an abundance, He will provide us with a location where the hundreds of people can come and gather together in comfort.”
Whether or not the amphitheater will become the regular meeting place for future services has not been announces, but Ramirez said they need a larger space than the Well’s church walls, for now.
“Our goal is to fit as many people as possible,” Ramirez said. “Hardin Simmons, McMurry, Cisco, Dyess, ACU – we are all one body of Christ. If this body continues to grow, as we hope and pray that it does, Midnight Worship will have to seek a permanent, larger space. We know that no matter where we end up, students feel the comforting and peaceful presence of the Lord. The Lord is so good and faithful, and we know He will continue to do incredible things through Midnight Worship.”