Updated UKIRK PROWL Host Homecoming Reunion at Campus Christian Center, once a location for WB's "WE Are Marshall."

Updated 6 weeks ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor

Updated UKIRK PROWL Host Homecoming Reunion at Campus Christian Center, once a location for WB's "WE Are Marshall."
Photo WB
Save the Date! October 26th, Homecoming Weekend. After the game, alums from the former People Reaching Out with Love (PROWL), a Presbyterian campus ministry, will gather at the MU Campus Christian Center for a reunion sponsored UKIRK (translation University Church , no, reference to Star Trek's Commander Kirk) from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 


Rev. Chris, current campus minister, said , "We will l meet at the Campus Christian Center after the game for food, fellowship, and music from the band, 'Where Paths Meet,' featuring some of our very own PROWL Alumni!

"From there, we'll gather for after reunion social. No one was willing to let us reserve space for the After Reunion Social, so we are going to extend the time we spend at the Campus Christian Center, and those who are so inclined, can grab a drink afterward," Rev. Chris said. 

"We'll close out our time together with Student lead Worship at Highlawn Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning! You'll get to hear first hand how this ministry continues to positively affect the lives of students here on campus!
Updated UKIRK PROWL Host Homecoming Reunion at Campus Christian Center, once a location for WB's "WE Are Marshall."
Photo Tony Rutherford

RSVP's for dinner Sunday Afternoon Oct. 27 are due Sunday, Sept. 15  

*** When there was PROWL ***

I endured a traumatic time during not one, but two, "residences" at Marshall University earning degrees and other assorted concentrations. A B.A.J. in broadcast journalism and grad work led me into an offer I couldn't refuse --- edit and publish my own entertainment twice monthly tabloid. The Entertainer published at a time when "entertainment journalism" was as bare as my efforts to establish myself as a film critic, jumping from The Parthenon to The Charleston Gazette before adding The Entertainer and a regional correspondent for Boxoffice Magazine (a Hollywood trade publication).

At that time the correspondent was not timely and wrote a column as Cincinnati film row (film companies had regional distribution offices in Cincinnati) with more interpersonal gossip than cinema releases , film promotions, grand openings, etc. A few years down the line, Columbus, Ohio, became a "hot spot" for motion picture distribution wars. Exhibitors (cinema owners) were dueling with the major studios on how each studio's film rental fees were established.

A high percentage of the admission goes back to the studio with individual cinemas receiving a better percentage the longer it played. At that time studios demanded "guarantees" and a lengthy minimum running period (4 to 8 weeks) at a time when multiple auditorium cinemas were developing in response to the "blind bidding" on an unseen masterpiece that left cinemas virtually empty for weeks. The new concept allowed them to play a "hot" movie in a larger auditorium then slide it to smaller screening rooms as necessary.

Black surrounded the chapel windows as the shot was day for night.
Black surrounded the chapel windows as the shot was day for night.
Photo Tony Rutherford

The importance of the trial to National Organization of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) put my court stories on page one of the national business publication.

Meanwhile, The Entertainer delivered mixed results. My association with Boxoffice helped me gain interviews with Clint Eastwood, Tom Loughlin (Billy Jack), Elliott Gould, Martin Ritt, Otto Preminger, Cheryl Ladd, Bess Armstrong, and MU's star movie exec, John Fiedler ("The Beast"). However, I naively believed that everyone "buying" an ad would pay their bill.

A decade later, I returned to MU for an introduction to entrepreneural skills. Indirectly that led me to the CCC and PROWL which had a rep for "accepting anyone." Rev Bondurant recognized my need to blend evangelical service backgrounds with less "pushy" and "yelling" worship.

To be honest, when I was first appointed into student management  at WMUL, my awkward reaction to a Baptist female student who smoked , drank, cussed, smoked dope and other "sins" which emphasized criticism not acceptance might now have become an alleged religious harassment incident. It was actually, "I don't understand..." But, even, editing The Entertainer I sometimes had issues with friends choices (such as drinking or (erotic) dancing. 

I needed to hear a laid back helping and loving gospel one that permitted debate, embraced equality, and focused on Christ's love and sacrifice not a litany of judging conduct which many saw as a "gray" area (i.e. an addictive  behavior).

One of the funniest moments --- timed perfectly by someone --- was an announcement, to "now call upon the Lord," and my bulky portable cell rang prompting me to say, "there SHE is (my g.f. but fit into the equality teaching). Months later nursing a (still) broken heart, Rev. Bob asked me about "Sunshine." He had seen her. He told me "she will be back."

Updated UKIRK PROWL Host Homecoming Reunion at Campus Christian Center, once a location for WB's "WE Are Marshall."

Believing him to be speaking God's words, I've waited a long time. The convoluted theatrical relationship never struck fire again. She moved away and too many outside influences kept her avoiding calls or letters. I came back to CCC chapel one rainy night finding the chapel cleared of people, a cross, and the pew on which Matthew McConaughey shot a pivotal "We Are Marshall" scene .

The CCC had been used for cast lunches assemblies too, which I knew thanks to director McG allowing me to be an "enbed" on exterior scenes and the Keith Albee interior. I agreed to "observe" not question the cast and ignore any major bloopers that would be bad publicity.

Later, I persuaded McG with added persuasion from his mom ("God picked him to shoot this film") to tell of his own panic attacks flying. Prior to accepting the directing job, he flew to Huntington's Tri State Airport incognito and alone to confront those fears at the site where the Southern Airways jet plunged to earth.

Updated UKIRK PROWL Host Homecoming Reunion at Campus Christian Center, once a location for WB's "WE Are Marshall."

As for that empty chapel night, I had lonely thought of the past on my mind and came there instead of someplace I might have hurt myself.

No, Sunshine never returned, although I startled a few PROWL alums showing up at a memorial service with a professional model who escorted me as a favor. Ironically, her ancestors had attended services there.

Updated UKIRK PROWL Host Homecoming Reunion at Campus Christian Center, once a location for WB's "WE Are Marshall."

Upon a second reading, this recollection has too much about ME and not enough about PROWL. I hinted at diversity. Not only in acceptance of all faiths and beliefs which led to the group being a favorite for members of the high honored Yeager Students and International programs, Rev. Bob reached out to other "faiths" inviting a Catholic father, a Jewish rabbi, a Muslim minister, a Hindu practitioner and others to tell the main foundations of their religion and then Rev. Bob would stress similarities to the Christian faith, meaning we should accept other believers as "brothers" although their stairway to heaven differs. 

Another significant tenant, love the person not their conduct. God's unconditional love was emphasized so "bad choices" didn't merit mere humans to make God's judgmental decisions. And, it was OK to talk seriously about convoluted Biblical passages, which, for instance, could lead to evaluating the concept/verse using other Holy translations. 

Some research led to "man" not "Jesus" speaking passages. Others led to analysis of  current cultural "norms" compared to "norms" at the time of Christ.

 

Rubrics could come from scientific advances, dress codes (a chaplain ran into admonishment with his sponsor due to wanting to "teach" the "flock" barefooted like most of them), or the definition of a potential marriage outside your religion ( a Jesuit priest would have granted my Catholic fiancee's desire to be married by a priest (to not lose church standing) as long as she was not insisting that I convert from Presbyterian to Catholic. It would have been a chapel near the White House. She never knew that as outside influences which resulted in the  "hasty" inquiry interfered before she was told.)

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