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Volume 31 • Issue 17

Fighting poverty

‘13 Lynchburg, Va.

An everlasting promise

SGA holds banquet Tiffany Samuels tksamuels@liberty.edu

“Where will you sit?” This question was the slogan for the first Hunger Banquet hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA) at the Schilling Center Friday, Feb. 28 in order to raise awareness for poverty. When guests arrived at the banquet, they were each randomly given a ticket that placed them in one of three categories of income: high, middle or low. Once they received their category, participants sat at the corresponding areas. Those with high incomes sat at decorated dining tables with ornate table cloths and silverware as they were served tea and water. Those assigned to middle class sat at plain benches, while those classified as low sat on the floor. According to Dylan Eagle, vice president of the SGA, the idea behind the dinner was to serve the participants with a meal that would help them visualize what a person in their income bracket eats on a daily basis. “The groups represented here are basically proportionate toward current poverty statistics in our world today,” Eagle said. “This event is a simple example of how resources are fought for and distributed today.” The banquet, catered by Sodexo, featured a three-course meal including salad, grilled chicken and cheesecake, which was served to all the tables no matter the income category.

See HUNGER, A3

Officer cleared

Report details events of Annex shooting Sophia Hahn shahn3@liberty.edu

There will be no charges filed against a Liberty University security officer after the shooting of a student last November at Residential Annex II, according to a report released Feb. 25. In the 10-page report written by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey Bennett, Bennett concluded that A.S. Mulberry shot Joshua Hathaway in an act of selfdefense in the early morning of Nov. 19, 2013. Bennett received the complete case file from the Lynchburg Police Department Feb. 12, after they received the autopsy report Jan. 20, according to the report.

See REPORT, A7

Photo Provided

HONOR — The late Dr. Jerry Falwell shakes hands with former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1980 after receiving the Jabotinsky Centennial Medal for his service and friendship to Israel.

Liberty’s loyal legacy lives

Liberty University carries on the passion of its founder by supporting Israel Gabriella Fuller gfuller2@liberty.edu

Greg Leasure gleasure@liberty.edu

Inscribed into stone above the world’s greatest Holocaust memorial are the Hebrew words “yad vashem.”

Literally translated, the phrase reads “a place and a name.” Taken from the Lord’s promise to his people in Isaiah 56:5, these words stand as a testament to the endurance of the nation of Israel. In its 66 years of independence, the nation of Israel has faced recurring

threats of elimination. Since becoming autonomous May 15, 1948, the small country — which is home to 8 million people — has faced attacks and threats from surrounding Arab nations intent on eradicating the Israeli people.

See ISRAEL, A2

Students prepare for Hollywood “Son of God” producers choose two winning teams in the Elect Jesus competition Gabriella Fuller gfuller2@liberty.edu

After more than one month since launching the competition, producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey announced the final winners of their video contest Monday, Feb. 24. The contest, intended to promote the couple’s new film “Son of God,” prompted 65 total video submissions with more than 2 hours of content. After narrowing the field of competitors to top 10 and top three, the final two teams were both awarded as grand

prize winners. The two teams, a total of 10 students, will be flown to Los Angeles to personally meet producers Burnett and Downey and to attend a taping of the hit television show “The Voice.” Senior DJ Judd won first prize with his video entitled “Google Search.” The video, which shows viewers the desperate online search of a man struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts before landing on a trailer for the movie.

See SON OF GOD, A6

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

TRAILER — Judd spent 20 hours making his video.

INSIDE THE CHAMPION News

Sports

Feature

Blush Network hosts Freedom Found Conference A8 at Liberty, March 1.

Six seniors play final basketball game in the Vines Center, March 1.

Tour of London, Oxford and Paris in May to focus on the life of C.S. Lewis. B8

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News Opinion Sports Feature

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NEWS

A2/Liberty Champion

MARCH 5, 2014

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3. Photos Provided By Les Schofer, Alex Towers and Duke Westover

LEGACY — 1. The late Dr. Jerry Falwell preaches in Thomas Road Baptist Church. 2. Falwell meets with Duke Westover (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right). 3. Liberty University students visit Israel each year to visit sites such as Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock. 4. Falwell in his Moral Majority days.

ISRAEL continued from A1 Despite the improbability of the young nation’s survival, the country of Israel has been sustained through each declaration of war. According to Duke Westover, lifelong friend and former executive assistant to the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, the survival of the Israeli nation is without a doubt due to the providence of God. As outlined in the Abrahamic Covenant — God’s Old Testament promise to protect his chosen people — those who bless Israel will be blessed, and those who curse Israel will be cursed. “Jerry took that seriously,” Westover said, describing the Abrahamic Covenant. It was a sincere belief in the covenant that led Falwell to support a country surrounded by Arab enemies. According to Westover, Falwell’s influence among Israeli leadership helped foster good will between Christians and the Jewish people who have historically struggled with the coexistence of religions in their land. “You go to Israel right now … and the people say the evangelical Christians in America are the only friends they have in the world,” Westover said. “In my opinion, that started with Jerry Falwell.” Excelling at using the media to amplify his message, Falwell first gained notoriety from his 1956 television show “The Old Time Gospel Hour,” which was broadcast from Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va. As his influence grew and he began presenting his views on current events, Falwell became a regular guest on radio and television news networks. Falwell went on to create the Moral Majority in 1979, an organization that existed to promote four principle beliefs — pro-life, pro-family, pro-national defense and pro-Israel, in addition to several other Judeo-Christian issues. Despite Falwell’s many appearances in the media, becoming a media personality was never his primary goal. According to Ed Hindson, dean of Liberty’s School of Religion and an advisor to Falwell, it was Falwell’s passions which prompted the widespread media attention. “Jerry was bigger than life,” Hindson said. “Jerry was a dynamic, powerful leader, period, let alone a pastor. He had great theological concerns that motivated his message, which he expressed through the media. In other words, he wasn’t just trying to be a me-

1. CENTER4ME PUTS ON THEIR FIRST PLAY FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

dia personality. He was really trying to say, ‘I’m concerned about abortion and homosexuality, and I’m concerned about Israel, and I’m concerned about the future of America.’” Falwell developed a unique rapport with international leaders such as former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. His personal relationships with world leaders allowed him to simultaneously support the cause of both Israel and Christianity. His support of Israel was so extensive that in 1980, Begin presented Falwell with the Jabotinsky Centennial Medal for friendship to Israel. “Jerry was a major figure on the world stage,” Westover said. “It’s hard for the people in Lynchburg who knew him as old Jerry to understand the influence that Jerry had on the world.” Although Falwell died in 2007, and the Moral Majority no longer exists, the concept behind their work is still evident throughout the world. Johnnie Moore, senior vice president for communications at Liberty, is one of several people in the Liberty administration who is still stressing the need for Christians to be politically active rather than shying away from divisive issues that tend to foster avoidance among the Christian population. “Christians have to be first concerned about their Christianity — their own heart and the church,” Moore said. “But I believe that Christianity is holistic. It has public policy implications, and Christians that are avoidant of politics are either naïve or they are uneducated when it comes to Jesus’ own political engagement.” Upholding the tradition of Christian involvement within the political arena is a chief goal of Liberty. In this way, Liberty operates under a belief often demonstrated by Falwell: Christianity and politics are not mutually exclusive. “I think that if you take your faith seriously, it is not going to be long before you run right up to politics,” Moore said. “And then you have a decision to make — you can shut your mouth and become a part of the problem, or you can open your mouth and become a part of the solution.” Through Liberty departments such as the Center for Global Engagement and the Center for Judaic Studies, Liberty students and professors have traveled around the world in an effort to both engage new cultures and to spread the gospel message.

2. THE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING HOSTED A CAREER FAIR FEB. 25.

“I can’t tell you how many students here at Liberty who were previously uninformed about something that is very important either in history or in the present can (now) talk competently about it,” Moore said, referring to students who have traveled abroad. “They are personal advocates for it, and I believe the world will be better because of it.” Although Liberty students are provided with the opportunity to travel all over the world, Falwell, Westover, Hindson and Moore agreed that a trip to the country Falwell once called “the most important piece of real estate in the world” is unique in the fact that it will change the way Christians both perceive and practice their faith. Falwell wrote in the book “Jerry Falwell and the Jews,” a book by Jewish author Merrill Simon intended to clarify Falwell’s views on Jewry, that he believed every Christian should set a goal of traveling to Israel at least once. This sentiment is one that Westover not only agrees with, but also personally promotes. In the years since meeting Falwell, Westover has traveled to Israel 75 times, leading tour groups of both students and outside interested parties. “I like to tell people that before you go to Israel, you read the Bible in black and white,” Westover said. “But while you’re there and afterwards, you read it in living color.” Liberty sponsors yearly trips to various locations around the world. This year, 20 teams will travel the globe, and students will be provided with the opportunity to travel to Israel on three separate occasions through three separate departments: Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, the Center for Judaic Studies and the Center for Global Engagement. “We want our students to be able to study the land of the Bible in the land of the Bible,” Hindson said. As Liberty continues to follow in the footsteps of its founder, Israel remains a topic of interest on both the spiritual and the political level. Though the region may be one plagued by conflict and perpetual political tension, both the history and future prophecy of the nation of Israel remain rooted in the Biblical promise of Isaiah 56:5 — the people of Israel will receive “an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.”

Dr. Gauthier backs Israeli land rights Gabriella Fuller gfuller2@liberty.edu

FULLER is the opinion editor.

Liberty University continued to show its support for Israel by welcoming Dr. Jacques Gauthier, an expert on Israeli land rights, to the Liberty University School of Law Wednesday, Feb. 26. Gauthier, a Canadian lawyer who has served as legal counsel to various governments around the world, presented a lecture entitled “Israel’s Legal Rights to the Promise Land” as a special discourse held in the law school’s Supreme Courtroom. Throughout his presentation, Gauthier discussed Israel’s right to Jerusalem and its rights to exist in the Middle East as a free nation under the precepts of international law. According to Gauthier, it is necessary for people to leave political agendas aside and focus on the facts if ever a difference is going to be made concerning Jewish sovereignty. According to Ed Hindson, dean of Liberty University’s School of Religion, hosting Gauthier and exposing students to this topic was important due to Liberty’s longstanding commitment to Israel. “(We want students) to gain a better understanding of Israel’s legal position in regard to the ongoing crisis in the Middle East so as to dispel the false claims of those who would deny Israel their legal right to the land,” Hindson said. Liberty will continue to strengthen its pro-Israeli ties, a tradition begun by the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, by sending students and faculty on multiple trips to Israel this year. The upcoming Israel study tour, offered to both residential and online students by the Center for Global Engagement, will consist of one week in Israel from March 6-14 as students explore dozens of historic sites in the Holy Land. An additional trip to Israel will be led by Dr. Randall Price, executive director of Liberty’s Center for Judaic Studies, June 7-18. The tour will provide students with the opportunity to study the history, archeology, geography, religion and culture of ancient and modern Israel.

LEASURE is the editor-in-chief.

FULLER is the opinion editor.

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NEWS

Liberty Champion/A3

Cafe attracts students Jerry Falwell Library food court offers increased dining options James Ebrahim jebrahim2@liberty.edu

Students are flocking to the Jerry Falwell Library, but not necessarily for books. The Tinney Cafe is drawing in the students with its four new dining options, according to Todd Reynolds, Sodexo’s retail manager. One of the dining options, Brioche Dorée, is “a Parisian-style cafe bakery, specializing in French urban cuisine,” according to the company’s website. Liberty University has the only retail site of Brioche Dorée in the state of Virginia, according to Reynolds. “Brioche Dorée has some nice sandwiches and salads that are healthy and made with whole grain breads and lots of veggies,” Robin Quay, registered dietitian at Liberty, said. “You can choose carefully at Brioche Dorée and get something healthy and yummy.” Reynolds also mentioned the food court’s new coffee shop. “Starbucks is completely new because this is a full store,” Reynolds said. “The other Starbucks in the Tilley is much more condensed than a regular retail Starbucks.” According to Reynolds, from a sales standpoint, Starbucks is the most popular retail location on campus. Quay said the best drinks for

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

OPTIONS — Students can now choose from several new dining locations. your health at Starbucks are the non-sweetened ones, such as a latte. The two other stores in the Tinney are Tsunami Sushi and Pizza Hut Express. Both of these stores were available to students in the Hangar before the Jerry Falwell Library opened. According to Reynolds, the retail locations in the Tinney Cafe have been successful. “We have exceeded our sales goals in everything so far,” Reynolds said. The Tinney stores took extra precaution at the opening to ensure good service, Reynolds explained. “We scheduled extra staff because we knew we would be very busy initially,” Reynolds said. “We made sure we had

plenty of product in so we didn’t have any issues with running out.” Reynolds said there was a little bit of an effect on sales at other retail locations on campus, but since then, everything has gone back to normal, and they have not felt any long-term consequences. “I think the hype has actually started to die down already,” Reynolds said. “We are seeing sales growth in Brioche Dorée, Pizza Hut and Starbucks. We have settled in a slow, growing trend in sales right now in all three locations.” Freshman Brayden Hogan said he enjoys being able to chose from several locations. “The thing I like the most about the Tinney Cafe is the variety,”

Hogan said. “If I want to get a full meal, I like the sandwiches at Brioche Dorée, but if I just want a cup of coffee, I go to the Starbucks. I’m in here at least once a week.” According to Reynolds, because the restaurants are in the library, students are more likely to go to them while they are studying. “I think it is a very convenient location for folks who are coming to do work in the library,” Reynolds said. “They can just come downstairs and get something to eat.” For more information on retail and residential dining options, visit libertydining.com. EBRAHIM is a news reporter.

MARCH 5, 2014 HUNGER continued from A1 However, Eagle said the reality of poverty that the participants faced for the short time was nothing compared to poverty in the world. “The thing is, we get to go back to living the way we were once we leave this place,” Eagle said. “The person someone may represent in the bracket doesn’t.” Speakers at the banquet included representatives from Sodexo and the Liberty Campus Garden who encouraged participants to help fight hunger. Eagle said the goal of the Hunger Banquet is not only to inform, but to promote action. “(The banquet) is geared to show how we as Christians should be proactive and taking care of not only our environment, but as we will learn tonight, (taking care of) each other,” Eagle said. According to Eagle, there is an estimated 2.5 billion people living in poverty in the world today. He said that even though the issue of poverty is a huge one, it can be solved. “Some people may view the hunger problem in the world today as being caused by too many people and not enough food,” Eagle said. “In reality, that is not the case. The world that God created for us is capable of producing enough food so that every man, woman and child can have enough food to eat.” Alicia Cripe, manager of the Liberty University Campus Garden, spoke to participants about the details involved in growing food. Like Eagle, Cripe said she believes there is enough food on the earth for every person.

“If you look at the cucumber that you ate in your salads tonight, you will see seeds,” Cripe said. “If you save those seeds, you can plant them again and grow other cucumbers. The world God has created is very fascinating.” Tanveer Bhatia, director of public relations for SGA, said it is important for people to know what poverty in the world looks like in order to help. “A lot of people don’t see it firsthand and aren’t really exposed to it,” Bhatia said. “People see the issue, but they don’t really understand how much of an issue it is.” Bhatia said SGA hopes the event will encourage participants to do their part to stop world hunger. “Hopefully, the students will be motivated by the food they are served and even by the food they aren’t served,” Bhatia said. During the service, Eagle read from Matthew 25:35, which says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Eagle said this verse sums up the duty of a Christian concerning poverty. “The same principle applies to us today,” Eagle said. “We are blessed beyond reason to be where we are in America and on this campus — to have food, and above all, to have salvation in Jesus Christ. Tickets were $5, and the proceeds went toward the Liberty University Campus Garden and to missionaries in Bosnia, according to Eagle. Sodexo dining services matched the money made from the banquet. SAMUELS is a news reporter.

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OPINION

A4

MARCH 5, 2014

‘Son of God’ highlights life of Jesus Burnett and Downey’s film premiered in theaters nationwide Friday, Feb. 28, making more than $5.2 million Tré Goins-Phillips dgoinsphillips@liberty.edu

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s “Son of God” took center stage in a big way at the Thursday night opening, rolling out with a $1.2 million premiere and $4 million in presales. When the Los Angeles Times asked Burnett, one of the producers, about the film, he said, “Yes, it’s a movie, but it is more than a movie. This is an evangelizing tool.” Christine Caine, Australian pastor and founder of the A21 Campaign, a non-profit seeking to eliminate human trafficking and slavery in the 21st century, said, “It’s time for a fresh look at the ‘Son of God’ in a way that really connects with this generation.” It has been nearly 50 years since the entire life of Jesus — from birth to resurrection — graced the camera reels in theaters across the nation. Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” told the story, “Son of God” proclaims the gospel, and everyone is talking about it. From names like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren to Kris Jenner and Brad Paisley, Jesus flick is rounding up support from every corner of pop culture. Burnett and Downey’s “The Bible” miniseries boasted hundreds of thousands of viewers — 11.7 million tuned in on Easter Sunday alone last year. The miniseries put the Bible on a holy projectile, sparking interest across the nation in its wake. The powerhouse couple, self-described as the

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PREMIERE — The film was adapted from History Channel’s “The Bible” series. “noisiest Christians in Hollywood,” told “TheWrap” that “Son of God” will be seen by a billion people over the next four years. One thing is clear: Burnett and Downey have high hopes for the film and great faith in its message. Liberty University has equally high hopes for the Bible blockbuster. The University bought out all 14 screens in the Regal River Ridge Stadium 14 Theater, hosting around 2,500 students for the midnight premiere. When asked why Liberty did this, Johnnie Moore, the university’s senior vice president

of communications, said, “Because our students think it is cool.” When Moore arrived at the Lynchburg theater, he tweeted, “Massive line of thousands of students coming to see Jesus on the big screen!” He was right. The theater was filled with anticipation and high expectations. At the start of the Jesus epic, I knew something was different. The message was all the truth of Christ and the delivery was all the talent of Hollywood. From the film score to the elaborate set, “Son of God” was a beautiful presentation of Jesus’ life: birth to resurrection.

“As I was sitting in the theater at the midnight ‘Son of God’ premiere, I couldn’t help but think that I was a part of a moment in history,” Kelsey Baker, associate director for Liberty’s Office of Student Leadership, said. “I am so happy to be a part of a university that wants to support life-giving movies, wants to be a part of change and wants to spread the word about the good news of Jesus.” This film is an opportunity for the unchurched to see the heartbeat of the Church. If you came to the movie, and you didn’t know anything about Jesus, you would really get a sense of the journey of his life. Compassion International, a Christian relief group, purchased 225,000 tickets to screenings of the “Son of God” premiere and donated them to churches in 40 cities across the United States, reported the Los Angeles Times. “Everything we do is about Christ, and we feel like this was a perfect opportunity for us to further the message of our savior,” Tim Glenn, Compassion’s communications director, said. The film knocked the “Lego Movie” off of its three-week box office reign and is projected to bring in anywhere from $21 to $25 million, Dave McNary, a film critic for “Variety,” said. GOINS-PHILLIPS is an opinion writer.

American freedom of speech threatened A Federal Communications Commission study shows government issues may now be more closely monitored Sara Warrender sewarrender2@liberty.edu

Recently, the country has been up in arms over the government’s infringement on their Second Amendment rights concerning gun control. Now, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sponsored study of media and newsroom pieces is a possibility. With the FCC plan, government researchers would enter newsrooms around the country —including radio broadcast stations — to ask reporters, managers and other media personnel in-depth questions about the news stations’ coverage of government-determined, newsworthy issues. The plan was intended to take effect in 2013, but now in 2014, it has been held again. According to an article published by Fox News, the pilot study in South Carolina will not take place until a “new study design” is finalized. With this new design, the agency claimed interviews with “media owners, news directors or reporters” will not be included. If I trusted the government’s general sense of ethics, then maybe this claim would put my mind at ease. What are they saying when they determine they will not interview those

in the newsroom? Simply, they will not interview. But, with that statement, they are voiding only one method of entry. If there are loopholes in this new plan to gain information, we can be sure the ones who created it will know and plan to use those loopholes, regardless of interviews, to reach their intended goal. Also, a plan roughly 78 pages in length must have taken the government extensive time to prepare. Would they really disregard the plan because the people have spoken? Looking at President Barack Obama’s administration track record, it seems as if the American people and their opinions are not top priority. “(The Radio and Television Digital News Association) views this as an important admission by the FCC that questions regarding editorial policies and practices are off-limits to the government,” Mike Cavender, director of The Radio and Television News Directors Association, said in a Fox News article. “We are eager to see the revised study to insure there aren’t topics or questions that could be construed as a ‘back door’ attempt to gather the same type of information.” The government will be hardpressed to subtly pass another

by Greg Leasure In more than three years as a residential Liberty University student, I have experienced almost everything there is to do on this campus. I have used countless swipes at the Rot, learned how to snowboard at Snowflex and attended more Con- LEASURE vocations than I can remember. I have taken a class with

compromising plan under the nose of America’s watchdogs. The original FCC plan listed what government officials believe the average American should hear first when turning on their favorite news station. This extensive list included 25 points of news topics. Listed in descending order, it began with crime and continued with health issues, business and economy, environment, education, public issues and human interest, as well as others. According to this list, the government expected newsrooms to cover environmental issues— No. 4 on the list—before wars in Iraq, Afghanistan or the war on terror—No. 16-19. So, if erosion is an issue or, God forbid, global warming, you can be sure to be educated on those issues before you hear about a terrorist attack. Remember, environmental issues on this list are different than fires or other disasters, which are ranked No. 15. Let us hope this list does not make it on the new plan. News should be based on relevance, time sensitivity and, of course, America’s need. However, the need of America is not accurately portrayed in this list, because if it were, I would hope wars on terror would be far above environmental issues.

Liberty co-founder Elmer Towns and met Justin Kintzel, Johnnie Moore and other Liberty campus celebrities. Despite having been through all these things and more, I will always consider my experience at Liberty incomplete for one reason. I never met the late Dr. Jerry Falwell. I, like nearly every student who has spent even one semester at Liberty, can recite the story of the university’s founding backward and forward, but it was not until I talked to a few of Falwell’s closest friends and colleagues this week that I began to realize exactly how influential this man really was. Even if you never had the chance to

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CENSORED — New regulations may soon be seen in the media. “From its inception, the Obama administration has proven that it’s not only intolerant of critics, but that it will use the full power of an increasingly partisan bureaucracy to intimidate Americans and rein in dissent,” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, wrote in a Fox News article. “The administration turned the IRS on the Tea Party, it unleashed the Department of Justice on wayward reporters, and now the FCC is preparing to snoop into America’s television and radio studios.” The truth is, they are still preparing the plan. It is simply extended to a later date. With

meet him, all you have to do in order to discover how much of an impact he had on others is to find someone who knew him and ask one question: What was Jerry Falwell like? The response you get might surprise you. Whether they met Falwell one time or 100 times, those who knew him still talk about him as though he was their best friend in the world. With each new story I hear about things such as his passion for God, the audacity of his dreams or the depth of his caring for others, I am even more amazed at how universally loved he was by those who knew him personally. Although it is disappointing to think

those feeding on a power-hungry kick in Washington, D.C., we never really know what to expect. Many Americans, those in and out of newsrooms, grasp the importance of standing up for our First Amendment, so it seems safe to say Americans will stand together against the next attack aimed toward our fundamental freedoms. Stand tall Americans, because an infringement on America’s newsroom truly affects each and every one of us.

WARRENDER is an opinion writer.

that each new class of Liberty students will never get to meet Falwell, I believe that his life and the friendships he left behind are a testament to just how much is possible when you wholly give your life to God. No, there will never be anyone else with a personality quite like Jerry Falwell, and no, I never had the chance to meet him. But if I have learned one thing from the example his life set, it is that God’s capacity to use those who are willing to serve him will never cease.


OPINION

MARCH 5, 2014

Liberty Champion/A5

Furtick’s philosophy under fire The pastor’s methods have been criticized, but where do we draw the line between authenticity and manipulation? Gabriella Fuller gfuller2@liberty.edu

The Christian community has been in an uproar in the weeks following the most recent scandal surrounding Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church. Furtick’s ministry — which draws approximately 16,000 attendees weekly to multiple campuses in and around Charlotte, N.C. — has been the subject of intense criticism as attackers claim Furtick and his church have been manufacturing “spontaneous” baptisms of thousands of people and passing it off as miraculous. I understand this issue may be concerning, but the question of whether or not Furtick has indeed been manipulating the system is, in my opinion, misguided. Yes, we as Christians are absolutely obligated to search the scriptures and hold leadership accountable for what is said and done in church. In no way do I condone blindly following our pastors simply because they hold a title. We are exhorted in Hebrews 10 to balance biblical submission with standing up against false teachings and leadership. But, on the same note, if Christians are taking salvation personally and responding to a true prompting of the Holy Spirit, no amount of special effects will be able to influence this calling. The core issue in the allegedly manipulated baptisms is the more important fact that church members are so easily swayed into responding from emotion. If Elevation were to be charged with anything, it would perhaps be with not preparing its baptism participants with the truth of how significant and consequential an event like baptism truly is. Are people

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CONTROVERSY — The megachurch’s method of baptism has caused disputes. being rushed into this decision? But, again, the responsibility falls back to the individual. The church is intended to be a system of support for the believer who is daily in the word of God and constantly seeking after him, not a once a week refill of encouragement provided by a cookie cutter, feel-good message. Yes, Elevation may provide a flashy, atypical version of church: The music is loud and pounding, the atmosphere is clouded with dense fog, the technology is modern and pricey. But, as a good friend of mine once explained, the church is telling the greatest story ever told — why should it not do so using the very best equipment and products available? Warren Cole Smith, a critic who wrote concerning Furtick for World magazine, claims unease about the mega-church pastor’s character and doctrine. “People were willing to excuse his flamboyance and extravagant lifestyle by saying, but ‘he’s doing such great work,’”

Smith wrote. “Now, this new controversy calls into serious question the legitimacy of conversion rates the church has been claiming.” And yet, the legitimacy of conversion rates is not a standard that man is qualified to answer. Despite any of our best efforts, we will never see the true intentions of the heart. If critics are primarily worried that salvation statistics have been skewed, I would retaliate with equal concern as to whether or not socalled believers have the best interest of the church and of Furtick in mind. We speak the truth always, but we do so in love. To the critics insulting for no other reason than to cause controversy and chaos for a pastor who is provably dedicated to preaching the word of God, you too will stand before God to answer for your words. As Furtick said in his rebuttal against the media, “This is not the last thing that is gonna be said about us unless we put the fire out, unless we just stop growing.” I am as wary of the mega-church movement as the next Christian skeptic, but I

am equally as cautious to speak out against a man of God. Christians are cautioned throughout scripture not to speak wrongly against God’s anointed. Neither Furtick nor his congregation are in any way immune to sin. Furtick, like the rest, is human and thus fallible and prone to err. As Christians, we recognize the shortcomings inherent in humanity, and we remain ever-conscious of the fact that we follow a perfect God who has called on an imperfect people to carry out his work. Elevation Church is still young — it has only just celebrated eight years of ministry. Furtick and his team have a long way to go as they continue to learn and to grow. It is unfair to place the amount of expectations and standards of perfection that have been donned on this young pastor and congregation. If sacrifices are being made for the sake of an image, and if numbers are being used to shape that image, there is a question of integrity that indeed begs addressing. Church members should not be pawns in a self-serving religious system. And yet, wrestling with the answers to these questions and discussing the role of the church is precisely what strengthens the Christian faith and pushes us out of our complacency. I am confident that God both has and will continue to move in the ministry at Elevation Church. And as a Christian who is earnestly concerned with seeing the gospel preached throughout our nation and our world, I pray continued anointing and boldness for Furtick and the members of his congregation. FULLER is the opinion editor.

Ukraine on the brink of disaster The Ukrainian military is on high alert as the country appeals for international help against a Russian invasion David Van Dyk dvandyk@liberty.edu

World leaders are watching Russia with a wary eye as Ukraine fights to keep political independence away from the old ties of the former Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Crimea, a peninsula off of Ukraine, is fighting for their own right to be a part of Russia, with Pro-Russian demonstrators taking over buildings and squares, declaring that Crimea will always be Russia. As the Sochi Olympics came to a close Feb. 23, Viktor Yanukovych fled Ukraine two days earlier after military vowed to support a new government because of his deadly crackdown on protestors. He first ran to Crimea, and now is suspected to be in Russia near the Ukraine border, according to the Associated Press. With the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy based in Sevastopol, Ukraine, and major military installations found throughout Crimea, tensions are escalating quickly. President Vladimir Putin has vowed to respect Ukraine’s territories, but Secretary of State John Kerry made it clear actions speak louder than words. “Any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge, a grave mistake,” Kerry said in a roundtable interview with reporters Feb. 26. “The territorial integrity of Ukraine needs to be respected.”

Watching events unfold in Ukraine has reminded me and many others of the not-too-distant Arab Spring when MiddleEastern countries began fighting their governments in favor of democracy and free elections. Seeing Ukrainians move away from Russia makes me wonder if we will see a domino effect with neighboring countries. Associate Dean Ron Miller of the Helms School of Government said he sees this as a time of potential adjustment from Russia’s influence. “All the nations bordering Russia, which have significant Russian minorities and strong ties from the days of the Soviet Union, are watching these events with interest and apprehension,” Miller said. Whereas we have witnessed nations either embrace democracy and western influence or yield to Islamic sway, countries like Ukraine are caught in a delicate balance. “Unlike the Baltic states, which chafed under Soviet rule and gravitated to the west immediately after the breakup, or the central Asian republic, where the influence of Islam is growing, nations like the Ukraine are caught in the middle between the west and the east, and the topic of aligning with one side or the other, or remaining neutral, is the most pressing foreign policy initiative these governments face,” Miller wrote. I have no doubt Russia will do

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CONFLICT — The threat of war has resulted in tension in the Eastern European region. what it can amid watchful eyes, since Ukraine is an economic and strategic platform for Putin. Though Putin has communicated understanding and tolerance during this revolution, his actions might not be so noticeable. “The worst case scenario, in my opinion, for Ukraine, might be the loss of its primarily Russian speaking territories, primarily Crimea, in an annexation by Moscow,” Miller wrote. “Russia needs a stable Ukraine for economic and military reasons, however, so they will seek to quell tensions to the extent that their influence isn’t significantly diluted.” So far, Russia has scrambled fighter jets along its border, conducted military exercises across from Ukraine number-

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ing 150,000 troops and provided asylum to Yanukovych. Also, two highly coordinated men have taken over major installations in Crimea with rocket-propelled grenades and sniper rifles in the name of Russia. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warned that Ukraine was on the “brink of disaster” and asked the international community to stand by his government in Kiev. “This is the red alert — this is not a threat, this is actually a declaration of war to my country,” Yatsenyuk told reporters in English a day after Russia’s Parliament approved the deployment of troops to any part of Ukraine where Moscow deems Russians to be in danger. With the White House warn-

LETTER TO THE EDITOR POLICIES & INFO

ing Russia not to get involved and world leaders watching Putin’s movements, I do not see Russia intervening directly. I do see Russia making life difficult for a Ukraine free from Russian influence. As the world watches and waits to see what happens, I see a world that is growing tired of governments taking advantage of its citizens. I see a world where people are finding their voices and finding that their voices carry weight. It is a time for people to take back their freedoms and remind their governments that the people do not serve the government — the government serves the people. VAN DYK is an opinion writer.

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NEWS

A6/Liberty Champion

MARCH 5, 2014

Fear 2 Freedom encourages victims Students to gather in the Schilling Center to raise awareness and assemble kits for the sexually abused Emily Webster ewebster@liberty.edu

“We can help stop the cycle of abuse in our generation, and I truly believe that this generation of young people, and especially those at Liberty – you all have a servant’s heart, you have a mission’s heart – you all want to make a difference.” Rosemary Trible, president of Fear 2 Freedom (F2F), said she began hosting Celebration Events across Virginia two years ago, an event that will take place in Liberty University’s Schilling Center March 20 from 7-9 p.m. According to Trible, the Celebration Night will give students the opportunity to put together 250 kits that will meet the needs of those entering hospitals as a result of sexual abuse. “My dream has always been to be able to do something right at that point of greatest trauma for someone that’s been sexually assaulted when they first go to that hospital,” Trible said. “So, providing them T-shirts and underwear and the toiletries and a little freedom bear, which is a beautiful counseling tool and a picture of comfort as well … helps get their mind off it.” Trible said this event at Liberty will consist of putting together the F2F kits, listening to speakers, including Trible, tell their personal experiences of being victims of sexual assault, enjoying refreshments and writing letters to victims. “When (victims) come to the hospitals, they don’t always realize that their clothes have to be kept for evidence, and so literally … so many times they’re leaving in paper scrubs or hospital gowns,” Trible said. “And this just broke my heart. And so, we actually formed (F2F) in 2011 and began the following year with doing the Celebration Events, and next year we’re adding on Northern Virginia and actually, we’re considering moving onto a national campaign.” According to F2F’s website, the idea for the kits – which include sweatpants, a Tshirt, underwear, toiletries, gum, a washcloth, a freedom bear and a journal – began after Trible spoke with Jean Cheek, the coordinator of The Forensic Nurse Examiner Team at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, who explained the added trauma of a victim’s hospital experience. F2F partners universities and hospitals together in order to provide kits for vic-

Photo Provided

COMFORT — Fear 2 Freedom works to provide kits, like the one above, for victims of sexual assault. tims, according to Trible, who said she is proud to be involved with Liberty and Lynchburg General Hospital. “(Lynchburg General) makes a determination of how many women, how many boys and girls, need the kit, and so Liberty was a perfect matchup for that,” Trible said. “Our mission is to redeem and restore those sexually assaulted, bringing them hope and heeling … and secondly, to partner the universities and hospitals, so that we can provide the Celebration Night. … But it allows these university students to be empowered to be part of a solution, that they can actually make a tangible difference in the life of someone.” Trible said she will be sharing her own story of sexual abuse, which she said is where her mission and passion comes from.

YouTube Screenshot

PROVISION — “Unwanted Girl” emphasized God’s love. SON OF GOD

continued from A1 “I definitely wasn’t expecting so many hits,” Judd said. “I posted it everywhere I could think of. I got it out there, and I’m glad people watched it.”

According to Burnett and Downey, videos were judged on originality, creativity, quality of filmmaking, brand effectiveness and the number of views on Liberty’s YouTube channel. “I had seen a documentary from a Canadian film festival

“I truly believe it was the Lord that helped me overcome,” Trible said. “I had always been a very trusting and open person, and suddenly, I was just living in fear. And (overcoming) was actually through the power of forgiveness.” According to an F2F press release, somebody is sexually assaulted every two minutes in America. “One in six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime and one in 33 men, and half of these are 18 years old or younger,” the press release states. Describing her desire to create awareness for this issue, Trible said she hopes this event will leave students empowered to make a difference and change people’s attitudes about victims of abuse as well as teach students how to handle someone approaching them with information about sexual assault.

about a breakup over Facebook,” Judd said, explaining the inspiration for his video. “It was in the same style as the way that I did first person on my video. Watching that documentary of a breakup made me feel like I was breaking up with someone. It was really intense, so I knew how powerful the first person perspective on screen was. That’s what really led me to pursue the onscreen-only aspect.” According to Judd, the video took him and his partner, Tiernan McGrath, 20 hours in total to record and polish. “(McGrath) helped me with the pre-production and post-production,” Judd said. “He did all the script work and paperwork in pre-production, and then he actually made the part where the 30-second movie trailer plays, and then I plugged it into the overall video.” Judd discovered he had won the competition after a surprise visit from Johnnie Moore, Liberty’s senior vice president for

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“(This event will help) them have the tools to make a difference in the lives of someone that’s wounded,” Trible said. “And then, to be really encouraged when they take those kits, and they … put those kits in an ambulance – to realize they actually, tangibly, have helped transform a life … And even that very night, their box may be opened by someone else. Their box might be read by a student that’s gone to the hospital or a woman that’s been under domestic violence … The extraordinary thing is to see that (in) this issue, we can make a difference.” With volunteers needed, Trible said anyone interested can arrive at the Schilling Center at 3 p.m.

WEBSTER is a copy editor.

communications. “It was really a 180,” Judd said. “When I walked up to the door, I was really upset. My (resident assistant) told me that my (resident director) wanted to see me, but he didn’t give me any other information. I thought I was in super trouble because when do you ever get called into your (resident directors’) But I was really surprised. I had no idea that it was going to happen right then.” According to Judd, the victory was especially satisfying as a student of the School of Communications and Creative Arts. “Since the cinema department was founded, there has been a rivalry between cinema and digital media and broadcasting, so it felt really good to come out on top,” Judd said. “That was part of the reason that I went with the onscreen approach. I had other ideas that would have required filming with cameras, but I knew that since it was open to all the students, the cinema students would be entering. I know that

they have $50,000 Red cameras, so that’s why I took the onscreen Google search approach. I knew that it would stand out and most likely be different from what everyone else was doing.” Though the students do not have their itineraries yet, Judd is excited to travel to the West Coast for the first time and to see the impact the movie will have in theaters. “I think it’s really exciting for people who maybe wouldn’t read the Bible or for someone who has heard about Jesus but has never really been explained or told in detail about his life and what he did when he was here,” Judd said. “Hopefully, they will see this movie as something that they can go to with one of their Christian friends or even by themselves and really get to start answering some of the deeper questions.” FULLER is the opinion editor.

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NEWS

MARCH 5, 2014

Liberty Champion/A7

Advertising student founds firm Isaac Schea launches digital marketing business, strives to establish strong online presence for companies Joshua Janney jjanney@liberty.edu

While some students spend their senior year trying to get their foot in the door of the fields they want to work in, Isaac Schea has essentially created a door for himself through starting a digital advertising agency while still attending school. Schea said he initially wanted to start up an agency on Liberty University’s campus, but was unable to get anything approved. After a professor suggested starting up a business instead of merely running the agency at the school, Schea decided to take the extra step. “It was probably the scariest thing I’ve had to do so far,” Schea said. “Since I was a freshman in high school, I’ve been working on campaigns as a volunteer or as a staff member on the communications end of things, and I’ve seen the real need for someone who knows how to be able to run good digital advertising. Being able to have a good website that shows how good you are and engages your audience goes a long way.” According to Schea, he announced his vision in August 2013 to a team of communication students. They agreed to make it a business by October and

REPORT continued from A1 “The investigation of any death takes significant time to complete in a thorough and exhaustive manner,” Bennett wrote. “We strive to make decisions and release information as quickly as reasonably possible.” To come to his conclusion, Bennett explained in his report that he examined DNA and forensics tests as well as interviews, search warrants and computer analysis. According to the report, Hathaway entered the Annex II lobby holding his bleeding head telling Mulberry he had been mugged and his car had been stolen. After radioing for a medic and a

officially opened Schea Communications in December. “I’ve got about 10 people who I have hired, and they work as contractors,” Schea said. “And so I’ll find the clients for us to partner with, and then my team will work with them as contractors for the duration. We work with clients for six months or so.” Schea explained that one of the largest problems with failed companies is a poor web design. He notes how many people today check out companies online before they even bother looking inside the building. For this reason, Schea Communications places a heavy emphasis on establishing a strong digital presence. “The first thing we usually do for them is make them a logo,” Schea said. “Most places in Lynchburg have terrible logos and identity work. We then find out if they need social media help and then get them started up with a Facebook page or Twitter to give them just ground level digital presence.” According to Schea, his business also helps to promote other businesses online by building them a website. “Most of the clients we are working with needed websites,” Schea said. “Whether they need a website or not though, that’s

Kyle Erikson | Liberty Champion

BUSINESS — Schea hopes to start reaching clients outside of Lynchburg. usually the one that’s difficult to get sold want you to get better at the things you because that tends to be a little more ex- don’t know how to do. I want you to push pensive and time consuming for people.” yourselves.’” The charge for services depends on In addition to providing clients with the tools and tips to make their respective how much the clients have for a marketing businesses as effective as possible, Schea budget. According to Schea, the business’ said his company has also improved the service is relatively inexpensive. skills of the team members. “I tell my team, ‘My goal is to be able to make you as good at what you do as possible,’” Schea said. “I tell them, ‘You For full story, see know how to do certain things, but I LIBERTYCHAMPION.COM

There is no question that the officer feared for his life when he shot. — JEFFREY BENNETT

police officer, Mulberry asked Hathaway to sit down while Mulberry retrieved a first aid kit from his car, but Hathaway began to follow him. “At this point, Mulberry estimated Hathaway was ‘maybe a pace away’ from him when his demeanor changed entirely and he ... produced a yellow-handled mallet from under his shirt and raised it.” Bennett wrote that Mulberry and Hathaway began to grapple

with one another, which resulted in Hathaway dropping the mallet, but that did not stop him. “Mulberry felt Hathaway ‘starting to claw at (his) neck,’ and again attempted to put space between himself and Hathaway,” the report stated. Mulberry and Hathaway continued to struggle. Hathaway pushed Mulberry to the ground and tried to reach for Mulberry’s gun, Bennett wrote. The two continued to struggle,

and Mulberry eventually broke free and fired his weapon. Although initially in question, the autopsy revealed that no drugs or alcohol were found in Hathaway’s system. He died from a gunshot wound to the chest, the report stated. According to Bennett, after interviewing several people, Hathaway’s motive never became clear. Some claimed he was experiencing pressure from school and finances or finding it hard to sleep and struggling with depression, while others said they noticed nothing peculiar about his behavior. “There is no question that the officer feared for his life when he shot,” Bennett wrote. “The threat to his life was not only rea-

sonably perceived, but based on the evidence, quite real.” According to the Lynchburg News & Advance, Mulberry will not return to work for at least another week. “There is no reason to doubt (Mulberry’s) veracity or recollection,” Bennett wrote. “The condition of the crime scene and the physical evidence are consistent with his recall of the morning’s events.” The report is a public document on file at ftpcontent.worldnow.com HAHN is the news editor.

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NEWS

A8/Liberty Champion

MARCH 5, 2014

Taylor Streelman | Liberty Champion

GATHERING—Women met for a conference to fellowship and celebrate Christian freedom. Autumn Miles (right), president of the Blush Network, spoke at the event.

Blush Network holds conference Hundreds of women gather in Towns Alumni Auditorium to worship and focus on freedom found in Christ Gabriella Fuller gfuller2@liberty.edu

Hundreds of women gathered in Towns Alumni Auditorium Saturday, March 1 to attend a day of worship and fellowship with Blush Network. According to their website, Blush Network exists to spiritually challenge the way young women think and to see them transformed by the power of God’s word. This year’s conference was entitled “Freedom Found” and focused on teaching women that freedom exists in Christ. According to Autumn Miles, founder and president of Blush Network, understanding freedom is an issue that most women struggle with today. “I see this all the time,” Miles said. “When I talk to a girl one on one, they

are trying to find freedom. Most problems are because they don’t understand the concept that they are free. So we entitled (the conference) Freedom Found because I really like authoritative statements. In Christ, we do have freedom. We can entitle it something so authoritative, because we have seen and experienced it.” The conference began at 9 a.m. and consisted of breakout sessions throughout the day, including times of worship, teaching, spoken word and reflection. Speakers included Miles, pastor Cheryl Luke, poet Jenette...ikz and Liberty University’s associate professor of women’s ministry Monica Brennan. Miles, who suffered three years in an abusive marriage, said she intentionally created the conference to defy the grain

of culture and encourage young women through the heeling she herself received from her hurts and past mistakes. “I didn’t want to do the ministry that was real cushy,” Miles said. “Even though I’m a girly girl, I really wanted nothing to do with bringing in a celebrity chef or hairstylist or anything like that, because when I was in an abusive marriage, I didn’t need that. I needed Jesus. That was all I needed. I wanted to make a conference that was solely focused on the heart.” According to Miles, Blush Network will host eight conferences and five additional events around the United States this year, only four years after launching with one conference in 2010. “It’s about the heart,” Miles said. “That’s what

it’s about, it’s about nothing else. If God can get ahold of someone’s heart, that’s what changes a life. I believe that one person who is sold out 1,000 percent to the Lord can change the world.” Miles, who attended Liberty from 2002-2003, recognizes her time here as having a major impact on the launching of Blush Network. “I was married at 18 when everyone goes to college, but I didn’t do that,” Miles said. “After my divorce, I decided to go to college, but I knew I didn’t want a secular education. I really wasn’t interested in the book studies, I was interested in the Biblical studies department. I wanted to know God, I wanted to know him more and know him deeper. I wanted to be taught. So that’s why I came to Liber-

ty, and it changed my life.” According to Miles, there is no greater lie than the devil telling women they are worthless. “There’s a lot to my story, but one of the main things is that my church rejected me when I got divorced,” Miles said. “One of the deacons, when they were getting ready to bring me to church discipline like Matthew 18 talks about, looked at me and said, ‘If you do this, God will never use you.’ And I sat there as this 21-year-old girl who had suffered abuse, and something in me ignited. I almost couldn’t believe what he was saying, because that is so counter the Christ that I had just fallen passionately in love with.” Through events like the Freedom Found conference, Miles reminds women of what she herself was reminded of by God: His

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love and grace are sufficient to cover all unrighteousness. “The Lord reminded me, ‘Remember Noah?’” Miles said. “‘Remember David? Do you remember Peter who denied me? I used them. I’m going to use you.’ That’s what I stand on today when that line that Satan uses still plays in my head. God reminds me, ‘Look at who I choose to use: It’s those who are available, those who are willing and those who are empty of themselves.’” FULLER is the opinion editor.


SPORTS

MARCH 5, 2014

W. Basketball Liberty Longwood 69 47

M. Lacrosse

Liberty Tennessee 15

5

Wrestling

Softball

SBU

Liberty

11

2

B1

W. Tennis

Liberty 4

1st in MAC Tournament

Coastal 3

Streak extended

home sweet home

Men’s track and field claims 17th straight title Emily Brown erbrown@liberty.edu

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

Pitchers dominate DEALING — The Flames only allowed seven runs during the four games in the Liberty University Invitational.

Flames take three of four games in Invitational against Rider and Ball St.

Tom Foote tfoote2@liberty.edu Greg Leasure gleasure@liberty.edu Liberty 13, Ball State 0 The Liberty Flames baseball team (7-6, 0-0 Big South) used a combination of small ball, timely hitting and dominant pitching to piece together a 13-0 annihilation of the Ball State Cardinals (9-3, 0-0 MAC) Saturday, March 1 in the first game of the Liberty University Invitational. The Flames combined for 15 hits from 10 different players, including six of the extra base variety, while a combination of four pitchers held the Cardinals to just four hits in the contest. The Flames wasted no time get-

ting on the board, as Ashton Perritt started the bottom of the first inning with a walk and advanced to third base after a perfectly executed hit and run by Nick Lacik, who singled through the left side of the infield. Ryan Seiz then drove home Perritt with a sacrifice fly to left field, giving the Flames an early 1-0 advantage. “It’s really nice when we can actually support our pitchers,” Seiz said. “We haven’t really been scoring early in the games. (Trey) Lambert gave us a real nice start, so we felt like we needed to get some run support for him.” That one run was all the Flames needed as Lambert shut down the Cardinals with six innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits and striking out two, improving his

See PITCHING, B3

Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

SWING AWAY — The Flames had little trouble scoring runs during the weekend.

After two days of competition, the Liberty men’s track and field team brought home a 17th straight Big South Indoor Track and Field Championship, while the women’s team secured second place in the meet Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1. The Flames held off the second-place Campbell Fighting Camels, 161.5-137, in the smallest margin of victory in history. The streak is the longest active conference championship streak in NCAA Division I (DI) history. The team has also won every Big South indoor championship ever contested. The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers beat out the Lady Flames in the women’s meet, 203-148. On the men’s side, distance runners sealed the win for Liberty in the 5,000-meter run. Senior Josh MacDonald, redshirt junior Caleb Edmonds and sophomore Jeremie Bourget all finished in the top six in the second-to-last event of the weekend and combined for 15 crucial points for the Flames. In the field, the Flames captured two individual titles and brought home several more All-Big South honors. Despite being sidelined by a knee injury for most of the season, junior Kyle Wheeler secured first place in the high jump after clearing 6-7.5 in only his second meet of the year. Wheeler leaped to his third straight indoor conference victory and became the only Flame to win three consecutive high jump titles since 2000. “(I) haven’t been over many bars this year, and it was a fun environment to get the job done,” Wheeler said. “… I was in a zone of jumping until the competition was over. I did my best to block out all of the factors. … While my body was not anywhere near peak performance, the Lord really gave me a boost and confidence to get over.”

See STREAK, B4

Highlanders overcome deficit

Anderson’s 19-point second half performance guides Radford late to spoil Liberty’s senior night, winning 87-83 Derrick Battle dbattle2@liberty.edu

With a double-digit lead midway through the second-half, the Liberty Flames (11-20, 5-11 Big South) hoped to roll into the Big South tournament with their third straight victory. However, the Radford Highlanders (20-11, 10-6 Big South) late rally spoiled six Liberty seniors’ home finale with an 87-83 victory. Throughout most of the first half, Liberty and Radford traded buckets with one another. A layup by Tomasz Gielo and a twohand slam from Smith ignited a small run for the Flames.

WE’LL SEE YOU AT THE GAME

With 4:26 remaining, Liberty had pushed their margin to five, and by halftime, they had a 4034 lead. In the first half, the Flames displayed a balanced offense, shooting 57 percent from the field and from three. Gielo ended the half with 12 points, and Marshall added eight points. Although their shots were not falling, the Highlanders stayed in the game because of their pressure defense. They forced eight turnovers during the first half, which led to easy shots for forward Javonte Green. Green dominated in the first, showing his paint presence and

W. Lacrosse vs. George Mason March 5 @ 4 p.m.

range offensively. By halftime, he led all scorers with 16 points and six rebounds. At the beginning of the second half, Anderson began to heat up offensively. In four minutes of play, he knocked down two three pointers and a jumper, which gave the Highlanders a 46-44 lead. After taking a three-point lead with 13:15 left in regulation, Liberty began to make its run. Despite struggling in the first half, guard John Caleb Sanders sparred the 16-5 run, drilling two consecutive threes. Forward Andrew Smith added an emphatic dunk during that stretch, giving Liberty a 73-61 lead.

Baseball vs. Kent State March 7 @ 3 p.m.

Radford’s high-paced offense began to click with 7:39 remaining. However, after an 0-3 start from the field, guard Ya-Ya Anderson drained three three pointers from behind the arc. Guard R.J. Price also hit a three pointer, giving the Highlanders a 77-75 lead after a 16-2 run. “(Anderson) knocked down big shots,” Head Coach Dale Layer said. “He hadn’t made any all game pretty much. … When they can get it going from the three-point line and bring it inside, that’s a pretty good combination. I thought we defended

Disc Golf Flamethrower Classic

March 8 @ 9:30 a.m.

See OVERCOME, B2

Baseball (DH) vs. Kent State Mar. 8 @ 1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.

Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

DRIVE— Tomasz Gielo attempts to go by defender.

W. Lacrosse vs. ODU March 9 @ 1 p.m.


SPORTS

MARCH 5, 2014

Liberty Champion/B2

Can Flames replicate dream run?

Liberty hopes to repeat as Big South Champions going into the tournament with the same record as last year

Alex Tichenor atichenor@liberty.edu

The Empire State Building is struck by lightning about 100 times a year, according to ABC News. And they say lightning never strikes in the same place twice. On the eve of the Big South Tournament, the Liberty men’s basketball team is hopeful it will strike again for them as it attempts to replicate last season’s improbable Big South Championship. “I think we have the best talent in the league,” Flames guard John Caleb Sanders said. “We have size. We guard well. We have the ability to knock down shots. I’m not guaranteeing we’re gonna go to the championship and win it again, but if we play well, anything can happen.” Last year, after a more down than up campaign during the regular season, the Flames caught fire during the Big South Tournament in Conway, S.C., and walked away with their first conference championship since 2004. Entering the year with high expectations, the Flames have endured a similar regular season as last year’s team, winning only five conference games. A big part of this year’s struggle has been a season-long shooting slump from 2013 tournament dynamo Davon Marshall, who has hit only 33 percent of his shots on the year, compared to 45 percent last season. On the eve of the tournament, Marshall has begun to find his

OVERCOME continued from B1 well for the most part, but not in the last six minutes.” The Highlanders had an 83-80 lead with 28 seconds left in the second half. After advancing the ball up the court, forward Antwan Burrus was stripped by guard Rashun Davis. Radford nailed four free throws to seal the victory. “We didn’t play well in the closing minutes, and that’s still our Achilles’ heel right now, but I think we played well, and we have confidence going into the tournament,” Sanders said. Along with Burrus and Sanders, senior guards Davon Marshall, Casey Roberts and senior centers Joel Vander Pol and JR Coronado made their final appearance in the Vines Center. “They are great guys,” Layer said.

shot again, however. Besides an off night against Longwood, he has had four solid showings in his past five games, scoring a combined 49 points in those four while shooting 10-24 from beyond the arc. Marshall said he continues to work hard on his shot and is becoming more confident heading into the tournament. “I feel a swagger when I walk into (the HTC Center),” Marshall said. “I just feel it again.” Marshall was really feeling it in last year’s Big South tourney, knocking down 17 of his 24 three-point attempts. He went 6-7 from three in the tournament final versus Charleston Southern. While the Flames look very similar to last year’s team, there are a few different pieces. Highscoring guard Tavares Speaks is gone, but senior forward Antwan Burrus is back after missing the 2012-2013 campaign with a stress fracture in his foot. Burrus, now the Flames leading scorer, was able to celebrate with the team last year, but did so while wearing street clothes rather than a uniform. “It would mean a lot (to be on the floor for a tournament championship),” Burrus said. “I didn’t play last year, so I’m eager to get on that court.” The Flames will need to be able to finish close games if they hope to make another run in the tournament, something they have struggled with all year. Eight of the Flames 11 conference losses have been by single digits, including their final game

“They put a lot of work in at Liberty University and for the basketball program in many ways, whether it was in the classroom or on the floor. I’m extremely proud of them. I’m proud to have them go through our program. No matter what happens, this week they are going to carry a ring with them for the rest of their lives.” Burrus had a team-high 19 points and eight rebounds, Sanders finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. After combining for half of Liberty’s points in the first half, Marshall and Gielo only scored nine points combined in the second. For Radford, Green finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Anderson added 19 points (all in the second half) and went 5-10 from downtown. Davis scored 18 points off the bench. Liberty earned

the fifth seed in the Big South North division and will play the No. 4 seed Winthrop Eagles (1710, 10-6 Big South) from the South division Wednesday, March 5 at noon in Conway, S.C. “We’re playing good basketball,” Layer said. “We played a good team, had them on the ropes, but couldn’t finish, which is frustrating. I think we are playing the best ball of the year, so we’re excited to go to the tournament and see what we can get done.” In the only match with the Eagles Feb. 4, the Flames lost 73-62. “This was the issue last year, when our backs were against the wall, we figured it out,” Sanders said. “Right now, we have six guys that it will be their last game if we lose.” BATTLE is the sports editor.

Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

CAN DREAMS COME TRUE? — Liberty hopes to win its fourth Big South title in its history. of the season versus Radford in which they blew a 12-point lead with a little more than seven minutes remaining. Lightning may or may not strike twice for the Flames, but it is sure to strike for one of the 12 Big South teams in Conway when the tournament concludes March 9, giving the winner an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Teams to watch in Conway: Coastal Carolina (11-5 Big South): The Flames lost the only meeting between the two teams this year on a running bank shot with 1.6 seconds to go in the game. The Chanticleers were the Flames first victim in last

year’s conference title run. High Point (12-4 Big South): One of the Big South Player of the Year favorites John Brown makes the Panthers tick. He is a threat to score anywhere inside 15 feet and can easily go off for a double-double. The Panthers are the hottest team in the Big South entering the tournament, winning their past six contests and 10 of their last 11. University of North Carolina at Asheville (10-6 Big South): Andrew Rowsey, who played his high school ball about an hour from Lynchburg in Lexington, Va., leads the Big South in scoring as a freshman. He shoots the ball as well as anyone in the country, hitting more than

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three three pointers per game. The Flames will have to deal with Rowsey and the rest of the Bulldogs in the first round of the tournament. Virginia Military Institute (11-5 Big South): The Keydets boast the top-scoring offense in the country. Freshman shooting guard QJ Peterson might not be tall (he is listed at 6-foot-even), but he can fill up the points column. His backcourt mate Rodney Glasgow can score too, dropping 27 and 25 points during VMI’s two meetings with Liberty this season. TICHENOR is a sports reporter.


SPORTS

MARCH 5, 2014

Liberty Champion/B3

Lady Flames seek third straight title The Liberty women’s basketball team seeks to continue its history of success in the Big South Conference Ryley Rush rarush@liberty.edu

As the regular season comes to an end, the Lady Flames (19-10, 15-5 Big South) and their 10 fellow Big South Conference women’s basketball clubs have their sights set on Myrtle Beach and the upcoming Big South Championship tournament. In a year when even top-seeded High Point University (199, 16-4 Big South) enters the tournament with four conference losses, the phrase “March Madness” takes on a whole new meaning. Coaches and players are well aware that any team and any seed could take the tournament any game. “This year’s tournament is so well-balanced. … Just look at the conference records,” No. 2-seeded Liberty University Head Coach Carey Green said. “With so much parity, I think this year’s tournament is up for grabs for everyone. … You better be prepared each and every time out.” High Point Head Coach DeUnna Hendrix agreed, admitting that she could see bottom and top seeds swapping spots easily before the tournament’s end. The first round begins Tuesday,

PITCHING continued from B1 record to 2-1 on the season. “We know that we have to crush the ball every time we get out there,” Seiz said. “But it’s also nice knowing that kids like Lambert and Blake Fulghum are going out there and are able to (pitch well). We just need to play good defense when they’re out there.” In the bottom of the second inning though, the Flames added to their lead. A sacrifice bunt by Clay Karenen advanced Andrew Yacyk and Jake

March 4 with No. 8 University of North Carolina at Asheville (10-18, 7-13 Big South) matching up against No. 9 Radford (721, 5-15 Big South), No. 7 Presbyterian College (11-18, 9-11 Big South) versus No. 10 Longwood (8-20, 5-15 Big South) and No. 6 Coastal Carolina (13-15, 10-10 Big South) taking on No. 11-seeded Charleston Southern University (8-20, 4-16 Big South).The March 6 quarterfinals will feature No. 4 Campbell University (18-10, 13-7 Big South) versus No. 5 GardnerWebb (15-13, 11-9 Big South) and the first round winners facing High Point, Liberty and No. 3 Winthrop University (20-8, 15-5 Big South), respectively. Semifinals will take place March 8 and the hard-earned championship game will be played March 9. Each team has its own strategy and strengths headed into the tournament. For Liberty’s own Lady Flames, Green said the plan is simple — stick to what has been working late in the regular season. “As we close out, our team is playing well — shooting the ball well, rebounding well — so we seem to be peaking at the right

Kimble, who reached on a single and a walk respectively. Perritt then doubled down the third-base line, upping the Flames lead to 3-0. Later in the inning, Lacik walked and Seiz reached on an infield single. The next batter, Dalton Britt, drove home both Lacik and Seiz for two of his four RBIs on the day with a single up the middle, giving the Flames a 5-0 advantage. “We played against Missouri, and we were swinging it well, but just right at people,” Seiz said. “Today, obviously, the bats came alive, and it’s nice

time,” Green said. Green also cited Liberty’s depth and bench contribution as a major factor in the Lady Flames favor. Ultimately, both Green and Hendrix agreed that winning it all will come down to heart and toughness. “When you get into tournament play, it’s do or die,” Green said. “I really like the effort our team has been giving recently. The phrase we’ve been using is ‘relentless best effort,’ and positive things have come out of it. As we get into the tournament … we’re excited, and we understand the opportunity we have in front of us.” RUSH is a sports reporter.

FYI

Liberty will play No. 7 Presbyterian College Blue Hose Thursday March 6 at 6 p.m.

because we have such a powerful lineup. Up and down the lineup, it’s a tough out.” Liberty added four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on four hits, including an RBI triple by Seiz to the gap in right field, a single by Yacyk that drove home two more Flames and a sacrifice fly by Keranen to cap off the inning. The Flames scored four more runs throughout the rest of the game, including two in the fifth, one in the sixth and one run in the eighth to cap off a 13-run outburst.

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

FLAME TRAIN — Ashton Perritt collected two hits and two RBIs during the weekend’s Liberty University Invitational.

Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

MOMENTUM — Liberty has won five straight games.

Liberty 3, Rider 1 The Flames pitching staff followed up their shutout of the Ball State Cardinals Saturday, March 1 at the Liberty Invitational with another dominating performance on the mound by freshman Parker Bean in their second game of the day, a 3-1 victory over the Rider University Broncs. Although the Flames offense could not replicate their 13-run outburst in their second game of the day, a couple timely hits proved enough for a win. With two outs in the third inning and Keranen on third base, the Broncs chose to intentionally walk Seiz, who to that point had gone 4-for-5 with two RBIs on the day. Despite the Broncs show of strategy, catcher Danny Grauer drove in Keranen with a single, and designated hitter Becker Sankey followed with an RBI double. The Flames tacked on an insurance run in the fifth inning with an RBI single by Britt, bringing the score to 3-0. The Broncs did scratch out a run in the seventh inning with an RBI groundout, a runner that relief pitcher Jared Lyons inherited after Bean’s exit, but the Flames bullpen retired seven straight batters to end the game. Although Bean did not have as much run support as game one starting pitcher, Lambert, the 6-foot-5inch freshman was able to hold the Broncs in check, never allowing a runner to reach third base. “I think, as a pitcher, you always want the biggest lead possible,” Bean said. “It just makes you that much more comfortable when you have a big lead like that. The tight games are always fun too, because the energy is high, and you’re waiting for that big hit.” Bean made his first collegiate start in a loss against the University of South Florida Feb. 15 and collected his first collegiate win Feb. 22 against Ohio University. After his third appearance Saturday, Bean marked another “first” in his collegiate career — his first postgame towel full of shaving cream to the face. “It’s just fun when you get on a roll like this, and

hopefully we can keep it going,” Bean said as the sound of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” emanated from the Flames locker room. “When you’re doing well, things are up, and everyone is just high-energy. As a baseball team, that’s all you can ask for. It just makes it that much more fun.” Bean further solidified his spot in the Flames starting rotation against Rider, pitching six solid innings and allowing the only run that Flames pitchers would surrender all day in 18 innings. Although the season is only a few weeks old, early indications are that Flames Head Coach Jim Toman will rely on Saturday’s starters, Bean and the senior right-hander Lambert to eat up significant innings as starting pitchers, with junior Carson Herndon and senior Blake Fulghum also expected to make their share of starts on the mound. Bean, who Toman described as a freshman with a good arm who will improve as his knowledge of pitching improves, pointed to his relaxed mindset as a key to his success as a freshman. “It’s just a game, playing the game that I love,” Bean said. “I think it just comes down to that, when you can be on the mound and be comfortable and just pitch your game. It allows you to be relaxed.” The Flames continued competing in the Liberty Inviational Sunday, March 2 with rematches against both Ball State and Rider. Ball State 4, Liberty 3 Just a day after defeating Ball State 13-0, Liberty could not overcome a 4-0 deficit, falling to the Cardinals 4-3 Sunday afternoon in the third game of the Liberty University Invitational. Flames starting pitcher Blake Fulghum let the Cardinals get on the board in the first two innings by way of a sacrifice fly by Brandon Estep in the first and a ground-rule double in the second by Sean Godfrey. In the fourth, Fulghum surrendered two more runs to the Cardinals as they doubled their lead with a two-run home run by Godfrey.

However, the Flames responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs of their own, cutting the Cardinals lead in half. Seiz continued his hot hitting during the weekend with a one-out double to set up Becker Sankey, who drove him home with a double of his own. Two batters later, Britt drove home Seiz with a groundout to cut the deficit to 4-2. In the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, Liberty managed to push across just one run despite loading the bases in the sixth and having runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings. Liberty 11, Rider 2 In the fourth and final game of the Liberty University Invitational, first baseman Alex Close led the Flames with five RBIs in part of an 11-2 victory over the Broncs. The Flames wasted no time getting on the board, putting up five runs in the bottom of the first inning, including a two-run home run by Seiz. Close collected the first two of his five RBIs later in the inning with a single up the middle to extend the Flames lead to 4-0. The offensive onslaught continued in the bottom half of the second inning. After a walk by Will Shepard and a walk by Seiz, Yacyk hit a groundrule double over the rightcenter field wall to drive home Shepard. Close then followed that up with another two-run single, bringing Liberty’s lead to 8-0. Liberty plated three more runs in the sixth inning with RBI singles by Yacyk, Close and Britt. Starting pitcher Carson Herndon evened his record at 1-1 for the season after six innings of shutout baseball for the Flames, allowing just two hits. The Broncs finally salvaged two runs in the top of the ninth to bring the final score to 11-2. The Flames next game will take place in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, March 5 as they take on the Duke Blue Devils. FOOTE is the asst. sports editor. LEASURE is the editor-in-chief.


SPORTS

Liberty Champion/B4

MARCH 5, 2014

Getting a sneak peak behind the scenes Hours of hard work and preparation go into assuring that sporting events at Liberty University run smoothly Nate Haywood nahaywood@liberty.edu

Despite the fact that most people only see what happens on the court during a game or timeout promotion, there are actually many people who contribute to help each event run efficiently. The Liberty Athletics Marketing team does a lot of behindthe-scenes work that ultimately makes these games happen. “We have to have everything set up for promotions for before, during and after the games (to) make sure everyone has radios and stuff, and make sure they’re ready to go before, during and after the games,” graduate intern Caleb Eller said. For example, the men’s basketball against rival the Longwood Lancers, Feb. 26 at the Vines. Tipoff was scheduled at 7 p.m. However, the sports marketing team was already at work at 5 p.m. Luke Walker, a graduate student assistant for Sports Marketing, said there were nine people working for that game.

While a couple of them usually work every game, the other six or seven vary depending on the day and game. The statuses of these students vary as well. Some are graduate students, such as Eller, others are undergraduate students taking a sports marketing practicum, such as Shelton Burkart. “I’ve had a lot of fun with it,” Burkart said. “I plan on learning more on what sport marketing is about, learn more about the marketing department, because that’s actually the path I’m planning on going once I get out of college.” As the game began, men and women on the marketing team got into their positions. Someone may be in charge of the events that surround teams coming out of the locker rooms, while someone else may search for people to participate in on-thecourt events that happen during timeouts. “We usually go around in the stands and find kids to play the games at timeouts,” senior and marketing intern Greg Ray said.

“(We) make sure (promotion participants) know where they have to be, what they’re doing and everything. We have to go back into the tunnel and make sure we have all of the games set up and all of the T-shirts rolled.” Distributing hundreds of Tshirts is also a key component in sports marketing. People may be sitting during the game, but when shirts are being thrown, the crowd tends to rise to their feet. Senior Daniel White said the team has folded more than 600 shirts for men’s basketball games during this season alone. As they continued to prepare for the game, a large group of children poured into the arena. This group was a local league of basketball players affiliated with the Christian athletics program, Upward Sports. The children were not only there to watch the game, but they also stood in front of the court and greeted the teams as they exited the tunnel. Walker and his team had to make sure each of them was in their proper place. The workload does not appear to

turn off people who wish to get involved. In fact, some of sports marketing team members are volunteers, such as sophomore Hunter Hook. “It takes a lot of behind-thescenes work to run the logistics of a game,” Hook said. “There are things such as getting tents set up or getting and making sure fans are supposed to be at their designated positions when the time comes for them to play a game or partake in an activity.” The job continues well after the final buzzer sounds. Most of the marketing team said they expect to get off work 45 minutes after the event is finished. “With postgame, there is just a lot of cleanup,” Walker said. “We have gameday flags outside that need to be taken down. But there’s a lot of breakdown and cleanup.” Just as is the case in any other team, unity is important. Both Walker and Hook used the word “family” to describe the relationship of the group. Others in the group also argued that leadership plays an equally

important role. “We have about 15-18 interns and volunteers that help us,” Dan Adams, a graduate student assistant, said. “So it’s really important to have other people delegate duties and whatnot, because we have several different events going on at once sometimes, and it is really important to have a leader at each one of those event.” With the basketball season coming to a close, the primary focus of the Sports Marketing team will shift to baseball. And after summer break, they will go back to focusing on football, and the cycle continues. Whether they do it for the experience, credits or just for fun, each member of the department has a genuine love for Liberty athletics, and they do their best to make sure everyone in attendance has a memorable experience.

HAYWOOD is a sports reporter.

STREAK continued from B1 Junior thrower Fred Fulton immediately made an impact in his first season with the Flames since transferring. Fulton won the shot put with a 57-5.5 throw and captured Liberty’s eighth consecutive Big South indoor victory in the event. “It was really cool to get the eight straight title since I was coached by both Andy Bartels and Clendon Henderson, who both won the title themselves,” Fulton said. “… I felt like I was surrounded by the tradition, and it was an honor to continue that tradition myself.” Redshirt senior Jacob DeValve and redshirt sophomore David Scouten completed the podium sweep in the event after taking second and third place, respectively. DeValve’s longest throw landed at 52-8.25 and was a new personal best. Scouten threw the shot put to 52-2.75. Fulton and Scouten also earned top-three honors in the weight throw, earning second and third, respec-

Photo Provided

HISTORY — The men’s team celebrated its 17th straight conference title. tively, with 63-10.5 and 61-9.75 throws. On the women’s side, several athletes brought home top finishes. Freshman Oasis Hernandez brought home a win in the 60-meter dash and third place in the 200-meter dash. In the 60, the freshman finished in 7.45 seconds for a new Liberty record, becoming the Lady Flames first Big South champion in the event. In the 200-meter dash, Hernandez also set a new program record with a time of

24.37 seconds. Liberty redshirt senior Meghan Burggraf captured a win in the 800-meter run. Burggraf set a new meet record with her time of 2:09.26, which was more than three and a half seconds faster than her closest competitor. Burggraf also joined the distance medley and 4x400-meter relay teams, which took first and second place, respectively. In the distance medley, Burggraf teamed up with freshmen Hannah Scherlacher and Mary Witmer

and redshirt junior Katie Russo to win the event. The quartet earned a new meet record with their time of 12:04.07. Burggraf and redshirt sophomore Ansley Gebben, freshman Mary Witmer and sophomore Corinn Bedell combined for a new program record and take second place in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:46.28. In the field, the Lady Flames captured wins in the pentathlon and both throwing events. Junior Riley Brandon captured the pentathlon crown with her 3,484-point effort. Lady Flames throwers senior Jocelyn Williams and junior Mychelle Cumings headlined the Lady Flames field competition, as they brought home the top spots in the weight throw and shot put, respectively. In the weight throw, Williams’ fifth of sixth throws went the farthest and broke the Liberty record. Williams added nearly a foot to her previous personal best with her 67-5.5 heave. She became the only Lady Flame to win the conference title. “I got off to a slower

Jamie Hall | Liberty Champion

BOLT — Freshman Stephen Racanelli finished second in the 200-meter dash. start than normal, but I was able to … secure the win,” Williams said. “Having the win and another program record really just shows me how blessed I am and how trusting God and working hard come together to produce great results.” Cumings also broke conference, meet and Liberty records with her 53-3.5 throw. Her heave beat out the competition by six feet and gave Cumings her second consecutive Big South indoor win in the event. She has also won the Big South shot put outdoor title in each of her two previous seasons, making her undefeated in the event in her years at Liberty. “I felt really good going into (the shot put competition) and was just hoping that feeling manifested into a big throw,” Cumings said. “I feel I (displayed)

much more technique than normal, but also in throwing, there’s always something you can do better. … (These records) and win means that there is definitely hope to getting better and throwing better with time and (rehabbing my back injury).” Both Cumings and Williams’ best throws of the season ranked within the top 25 throws in the nation among NCAA DI women’s track and field teams. The Flames and Lady Flames will now send more than 35 athletes to Boston to compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference/Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Indoor Track Championships Friday-Sunday, March 7-9. BROWN is a copy editor.


FEATURE

MARCH 5, 2014

Liberty Champion/B5

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FEATURE

Liberty Champion/B6

Personal reflection: Melanie Oelrich moelrich@liberty.edu

“The Daniel Plan is a groundbreaking, healthy lifestyle program where people get better together. With love as the motivation, it’s a story of abundance, not deprivation. Relying on God’s power and the support and encouragement of friends, get ready to be transformed from the inside out,” the Daniel Plan’s website states. Liberty University Nutritionist Robin Quay desired to bring the Daniel Plan to campus in an effort to raise awareness about health and wellness, and to encourage students to work on their healthy lifestyle with the accountability from fellow students and with the Lord leading them. The program began Jan. 28 with roughly 50 students signed up to begin the journey together. The Daniel Plan, created by Pastor Rick Warren, prestigious doctors and a health and wellness team from Saddleback Church in Southern California, was formed so that congregations and communities around the world would get on track with healthy lifestyles. According to the Daniel Plan website, after baptiz-

ing more than 800 people in one afternoon, Warren realized that many people, including himself, were overweight. A week later, he stood before his congregation and confessed that he had been a poor steward of his health and asked for forgiveness. Warren asked his church if anyone was interested in joining him on a journey to health — more than 12,000 people signed up that day to begin the Daniel Plan. There are approximately 67 days until Commencement 2014 and 158 days until my wedding. As a senior who is juggling two part-time jobs and a full class load, I figured I could juggle something else, which is more important than everything that I listed above — my personal health. I desired to learn more about making healthy food choices and the importance of keeping up with a fitness regimen, and I knew that with the support of Quay and the Daniel Plan team, I could make this happen for myself. The six-session, videobased study is centered around five essentials that help to launch the journey to health — faith, food, fitness, focus, friends and living the lifestyle. “The program incorpo-

BOOKS continued from B8

Bibles, and every week we are sending them out to people.” Kingsbury stated that her goal is to write with the unsaved audience in mind. “I think my books are right at the top of the list of most Scripture and the most salvation message in my stories, and yet people cry, and they

MARCH 5, 2014

Journey to healthy life

Courtney Russo| Liberty Champion

FIT — Oelrich learned about making healthy choices. rates guidance in every life area, so you can not only get healthy physically, but spiritually, emotionally and relationally as well,” the website states. “Beyond access to practical food and fitness tips and resources, you will learn how to focus your mind on those things that will encourage healthy choices.” According to the website, the essentials of faith and friends are what the Daniel Plan team refer to as the

love it,” Kingsbury said. “100 percent, I’m an evangelist first, and my tool is fiction.” According to Kingsbury, God is always in the essence of every story. “In my mind, a story is physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual,” Kingsbury said. “I think that the secular authors take God out. They’re not comfortable with God, so they just take him out, but he

“secret sauce” that makes this journey so effective. “By enlisting the help of friends, you’ll discover not only accountability and support, but the joy of community — we really are better together,” the workbook cited at the beginning of the sixth session. Over the first year of the Daniel Plan, more than 15,000 people collectively lost more than 250,000 pounds, and people from

is in the story. For me, I don’t patch God on, I just tell the whole story.” As a word of encouragement, Kingsbury urged students to unashamedly follow God’s direction in their lives, regardless of vocation. “I always say, do what God is calling you to do,” Kingsbury said. “When I started writing, I didn’t know if anyone would read it, because I wasn’t going

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190 countries participated online, according to the website. Going through the program myself was a challenge in and of itself. I would consider myself healthy and in shape, but I am nowhere near where I want to or should be. I did this program alone, not with my roommates or a close friend, but I went to every meeting by myself and did not know anyone else who was participating. After the first couple of sessions, I was starting to become more and more encouraged that my personal health and fitness goals are achievable, especially since I took the first step out of my comfort zone by committing to meet with Quay and senior health promotions major Emily Rodebeck every week for an hour to study the Daniel Plan with them and the other students who have the same goals as I do. Each week, Rodebeck took each participant’s measurements to see how we had progressed. After the daunting task of standing on the scale in front of someone that I had just met, she encouraged me with the reminder that “you might have to fight hard for the things you want most — the greatest

things don’t come easy, but trust me, this journey to a healthier you is worth it.” Because of the Daniel Plan and a solid, everyday workout regimen, I have noticed that I feel better about myself, internally and externally, and my food choices have greatly improved. I have also noticed that my focus has improved. According to Warren, the secret to an effective life is focus. “Don’t try to do 50 things that you dabble in,” Warren said. “Know what’s most important, and do those things, and don’t worry about anything else.” As the program comes to an end Tuesday, March 4, I and my fellow Daniel Plan friends will leave the last session with a solid understanding of our true identity in Christ, the importance of fitness and being active every day, our personal value and what it takes to keep up with a healthy lifestyle. For more information about the Daniel Plan, visit www.danielplan.com or email rquay@liberty.edu. OELRICH is the social media editor.

to take God out. So whatever element — if you’re a doctor, a teacher, a psychologist, artist, filmmaker, writer — whatever it is, do what God is calling you to do with excellence and in a way that glorifies him, and he will take it as far as he wants it to go.” FULLER is the opinion editor.

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FEATURE

MARCH 5, 2014

Liberty Champion/B7

Jake Holland takes on new role

The now Vine-famous Liberty grad and former Student Activities personality currently works as a recruiter for his alma mater Elizabeth Brownd ebrownd@liberty.edu

Among Liberty University’s 13,000 residential students, there are a few people who are known by almost everyone. One of those people is Jake Holland, more commonly known as the former host of Coffeehouse. Liberty students may not all know Jake Holland by name, but they might remember his lively personality. He is warmly known as everything from “the funny Coffeehouse guy” to “Waldo with a beard.” While his beard may be his most memorable physical feature, students also remember Holland for his boisterous personality and sense of humor. Holland describes himself as “an extroverted introvert” and “a living, breathing cartoon character.” Originally from Hampton Roads, Va., Holland transferred to Liberty in 2009 to study graphic design. He eventually took a job with Liberty Student Activities (SA) and ended up working with the department for the next three years. “I love people and facilitating events, so the job was a natural fit,” Holland said. Holland’s job involved everything from painting promotional easels to working security at concerts. He said that his favorite

STUDY continued from B8 the British Library and Versailles. Although they originally planned to travel only to London and Paris, Martin said they decided to incorporate places where bestselling author C. S. Lewis lived and worked so students can gain a valuable experience while learning about an influential Christian philosopher and apologist. According to Martin,

part of the job was the entire Coffeehouse experience, both preparing decorations beforehand and actually hosting the events. “It was a fantastic experience,” Holland said. “It became more carefree and fun with each one.” He said his favorite of the Coffeehouses he hosted would be a tie between the 80s Coffeehouse in spring 2012 and the Late Night Coffeehouse in spring 2013. If he could choose any theme for a future Coffeehouse, he said he would like to see a superhero theme. “Videos and skits would be easy, but musical acts would require some creativity,” Holland said. “Maybe the Justice League moonlights as a U2 cover band, or Spider-Man playing drums for a folk band?” Holland said working for SA pushed him out of his comfort zone. While the job was sometimes stressful, he said that he greatly enjoyed it and had a lot of fun. “It was a much more involved job behind the scenes, much more than most people realize,” Holland said. “(It was) stressful at times, but truly a lot of fun.” Holland encouraged other Liberty students to get involved with SA as well. He cautioned that the job may not be for every-

learning about famous people and events from history will serve as motivation to learn from the past and see God’s sovereign plan throughout history. “The Lord still reigns and through studying the past thoughts, times and places,” Martin said. “As Lewis wrote, ‘No doubt all history in the last resort must be held by Christians to be a story with a divine plot.’” According to Babcock, they will tour places associated with his everyday

one, as it requires large amounts of group collaboration and being creative on the fly. Challenges aside, he said that the experience was definitely a rewarding one. Holland now works as a national recruiter for Liberty. He travels around the U.S. visiting high schools and college fairs to talk to potential students about his alma mater. “I love it,” Holland said of his current job. “I’ve been itching to travel for quite a while, which wasn’t really possible during my undergrad years.” He said his dream job would be either working with an organization like Passion City Church or hosting a late night talk show. When he is not working, Holland spends his time going on adventures with his girlfriend, going to movies with his friends and making Vine videos. Holland encouraged current students to make the most of their time at Liberty. “Don’t sit in your dorm all day and don’t stay on campus every weekend,” he said. “Get out and see what else the city of Lynchburg and the surrounding area has to offer. It’s ridiculous how much students miss out on each semester.” BROWND is a feature reporter.

life, such as his home, the college where he taught classes and the pub where he met with J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as his gravesite. Martin said this tour relates to the recently added Philosophy 465 class, which focuses on Lewis’s life. For students who took or plan to take this course, the trip provides valuable hands-on experiences. In addition to learning about Lewis, the tour allows students to explore landmarks and gain a

Hannah Lipscomb | Liberty Champion

ENTERTAINER — Holland said that hosting Coffeehouse was his favorite part of working for Student Activities.

deeper understanding of the culture by immersion, according to Babcock. “We will be immersing ourselves in the rich cultural legacy of three great cities — London, Oxford and Paris,” Babcock said. “Students will have the opportunity to learn by seeing and experiencing, not just reading about things in a book.” This trip not only provides learning opportunities, but students who attend have the opportunity

to earn course credit as well. According to Martin, students will fulfill the course requirements for humanities 101, philosophy 201 or philosophy 497/597 through the tour. He hopes that the trip will impact students’ lives in a powerful way. “Being in the same places and spaces as famous historical people and events allows us to reflect on these events and key figures within them,” Martin said. “(This will) challenge

our students and ourselves to learn history’s lessons and ultimately to go on to achieve great things for the Lord in our lives.” Students interested in attending this study tour should contact Babcock at mbabcock@liberty.edu for more information. DEWITT is a feature reporter.


B8

FEATURE

MARCH 5, 2014

Lauren Adriance| Liberty Champion

PHOTOS — This is the first time the art expo has featured photographs from student artists as the main part of the show.

Art expo attracts large crowd

Students enter their works of art in the first Student Activities expo specifically designed for photography submissions Elizabeth Brownd ebrownd@liberty.edu

Students gathered in the Tilley Student Center Friday, Feb. 28 to view photos submitted by their peers and to judge the submissions in a photography expo months in the making. “Each fall we host an Art Expo and the photography category has the most submissions,” Stephanie Ward, Student Activities (SA) associate director of programming and promotions, said. “We thought it would fit perfect to showcase photos as their own expo so more pieces could enter.” The expo received more than

60 photo submissions from 36 different students. The subjects of the photos included the human eye, a close-up of the recent snow, a water droplet displaying a rainbow of colors and a green tree frog. The exhibit was set up on the stage in the Tilley Student Center on the night of the event. Framed photos were hung on a collapsible wire fence with a white sheet behind it. Spotlights overhead helped to draw attention to the exhibit. Flowers in glass vases and piano music playing in the background gave the exhibit an artistic and professional feel. The exhibit drew quite a crowd through the course of

the evening. Students wandered freely through the exhibit with their friends as they discussed the various photos and pointed out their favorites. Some even took their own pictures of the exhibit. Off the stage, SA had set up an area where students could have their picture taken under a sign that said #SAexpo. The station included a variety of hats for students to don as well. Refreshments, including lemonade and cookies, were also provided. Judging for the photos took place via text message. Students were given a number and keyword to text. They were then asked to respond with the num-

ber of their favorite photo. Voters discussed the decision with their friends as they waited for the winner to be chosen. Many of the photographers were also present, waiting to see if their submissions would win. One such photographer was Lauren Adriance. She took some photos of her entries hanging in the exhibit before showing them to the friends who came to support her. Shortly after 10 p.m., the winners were finally announced. Third place went to Ephraim Harrell for his photo “The Bottle.” Second was awarded to Adriance’s entry “Young Lad,” and her friends greeted the an-

Novelist offers encouragement

Karen Kingsbury credits her success first to the Lord then to her studies in journalism Gabriella Fuller

gfuller2@liberty.edu

Best-selling author Karen Kingsbury returned to Liberty University Wednesday, Feb. 26 to address students in Convocation and participate in a special book-signing event at the Liberty Bookstore. Kingsbury, who has written more than 50 books with dozens of her titles debuting at the top of the New York Times Best Seller’s list, inspired students in her Convocation message to write their own life stories by loving well, laughing often and always looking for the miraculous. With more than 25 million copies of her award-winning books currently in print, Kingsbury attributes all of her creativity to God. “It may sound cliché, but I really do find my inspiration from the Lord,” Kingsbury said. “He puts a movie on my heart, and it comes to life. I can see the colors and smell the smells and feel like I literally know the characters even though they’re not real. He places this movie on my heart, and I just have the privilege of

putting it on the page.” Kingsbury also credits her studies as a journalism major for where she is today. “When people want to be a novelist, I always say you ought to be a journalism major because you learn to write,” Kingsbury said. “All the time, I’ll meet people who are English majors, and I’m thinking that’s a better major if you want to edit. But if you want to write, journalism will teach you to write.” After serving as both a sports and feature writer for the LA Times, Kingsbury authored her first four books on real crime stories that had happened in Los Angeles. “I wrote four of those, and I couldn’t do another one,” Kingsbury said. “That’s when I wrote my first Christian novel ‘Where Yesterday Lives.’ There is no question that the training and the doors that were opened through my journalism degree led directly to where I am and God just used that.” Kingsbury described balancing her work as an author, a wife and a mother as “a constant prayer,” but insists

nouncement with cheers. The first-place award went to Breanne Steindel for her photo entitled “Frozen.” She won $150 from B&H Photo, a company that sells professional gear for photographers and videographers. “There is so much talent of different kinds at Liberty, and we want to showcase that,” Ward said. “We hope that an event like this can bring people together that have similar interests and they build relationships that unify the student body.” BROWND is a feature reporter.

Trip planned Students to learn about philosopher C.S Lewis Kathleen DeWitt

kedewitt@liberty.edu

Ty Hester | Marketing

SIGNING — Kingsbury meets her fans at the LU Bookstore. that her family always receives precedent. “I have a great husband who prays for me and loves me,” Kingsbury said. “He is totally, 100 percent ready to help, and he will do anything to keep things on track. And several of my kids now help out with the ministry, so it’s a family affair for sure.” Kingsbury’s daughter, Kelsey Kupecky, was the inspiration for the main character in the four-book Bailey Flanigan series and is pictured on the cover of all four books in the series.

According to Kingsbury, who is a self-professed Christian, 70 percent of her readership is non-Christian. “I know it’s hard to imagine, but that’s what the demographic shows,” Kingsbury said, commenting on the percentage. “I get a lot of letters from people who have given their lives to the Lord. I put in the back of my books that if you don’t have a Bible or you can’t get one, I’ll send you one. So we keep boxes of

See BOOKS, B6

Three faculty members and approximately 25 students will embark on a journey to learn about philosophy and the life of C.S. Lewis as they travel to London, Oxford and Paris May 18-26. “We wanted to offer a unique, one-ofa-kind tour to accentuate the excitement of traveling abroad, studying where philosophy and humanities intersects powerfully with our own lives and cultures, and focusing on such a key Christian thinker as C.S. Lewis,” Dr. Edward Martin, cochair of philosophy, said. Martin and Dr. Michael Babcock, professor of humanities, started planning this trip in summer 2013. According to Martin, they considered how to incorporate the studies of philosophy and humanities in an impactful way. They will spend four days in London and Oxford and three days in Paris, according to Martin. Some anticipated destinations include Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral,

See STUDY, B7


Liberty Champion March 5 2014