Regent’s Now Makes a Post-pandemic Comeback
For the first time since COVID-19 precautions shut down the Virginia Beach campus in March 2020, Regent University welcomed students and the local community to gather in Shaw Chapel for a Night of Worship (NOW). These signature events feature well-known and respected Christian music artists who are passionate about worship. NOW has been uniting students and the local community through music and praise since September 2013.
On November 19, 2022, Regent United Night of Worship attracted over 800 registered students, guests, worship leaders, and band members from 29 local churches. Dr. Jeff Gossmann (SBL ’22 & DIV ’17), Regent’s director of Campus Ministries, kicked off the first NOW event since the fall of 2019 by opening in prayer.
“I prayed that our mind’s attention and heart’s affection be turned toward the Lord Jesus, who was present with us in the room. We prayed that lives would be changed and that broken hearts and physical ailments would be healed in the presence of God,” Gossmann remembers. “The rest of the evening was an exciting time of worship leaders and teams praising. It was one of the best Nights of Worship I’ve been to at Regent.”
Ryan Meadows, founder and producer at COLLECTOR Studios in Norfolk, Virginia, collaborated with the university and local talent to organize the event. He called it “a powerful time of worship that ushered in the presence of the Lord with humility and confidence.” “After years of not being able to gather with the entire community to worship with one voice, Regent’s ‘United Night of Worship’ came back louder than ever,” Meadows says. “We hope for many more beautiful nights where we can bring the whole community together to lose ourselves in the presence of the Lord.”
Regent NOW aims to empower young people on and off campus to have a transformative experience with God without denominational or church boundaries. The university invites the entire Regent/CBN family and the surrounding community to attend, not just students. Thanks to the faithful support of NOW donors who help underwrite the cost, participants are able to enjoy these uplifting worship experiences for a minimal fee and, in many cases, for free.
Longtime Regent friend and NOW supporter Richard “Bake” Baker is a firm believer in the power of praise. “We need to put praise in every aspect of our lives,” Baker says. “Praise breaks down the walls.” This firm belief and Baker’s heart for Regent students are the motivation behind his continued support of NOW.
“These events wouldn’t be possible without generous friends who are committed to financially supporting NOW through their continued giving,” says Regent University’s Vice President of Advancement, Chris Lambert. “Donors are making an impact in the lives of Regent students and on attendees from the surrounding community.”
Regent undergrad Arjola Mullaj (CAS ’24), a business student from Albania, attended the November event. She says NOW is important because it highlights the beauty of worship and strengthens the body of Christ.
“After a season where masks and lockdowns became the new normal, having an in-person worship event was refreshing and needed,” Mullaj recalls. “Hours felt like minutes as people danced and praised at the altars. Unity and gratitude reigned as people from different denominations joined in lifting up the King of kings.”
Sage Thomas (CAS ’23) from Virginia Beach studies cinema television at Regent. She started attending NOW events in high school and was in the audience on November 19.
“This one felt like we were shaking the rust off an old treasure,” Thomas explains. “I think NOW is incredibly important to spiritual life on campus. It was something that really caught my attention as a prospective student and something I was excited to be a part of. It’s a beautiful picture of what God can use Regent to do to help unify the body of Christ in our community through worship and service.”
On March 24, the university welcomed worship leader, songwriter and Bethel Music artist Cory Asbury for a sold-out Night of Worship in Dede Robertson Theatre. Asbury was returning to campus for the first time since February 2018, when his #1 hit Reckless Love climbed to the top of Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs.
Regent will always prioritize worship and prayer in students’ lives. But the university is also committed to uniting the campus and surrounding community through music, celebration and praising God.
“There are many stories of students whose lives have been transformed through the vibrant and active spiritual atmosphere on-campus,” explains Regent University Founder, Chancellor & CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson. “Our NOW events are just one example of how God is getting the glory at Regent. In return, we have seen the Lord intervene to bless this school.”
“These events are critical in the spiritual formation of college students and for a Christian university in general,” Gossmann insists. “But it seems like this recent Night of Worship was a sign of a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been traveling through since the pandemic. God’s people are ready to assemble and worship the One who has sustained them through it all.”