Jessie Still said he first heard the voice of God when he was 8 years old. Almost 30 years later at age 37, he’s looking to bring God’s voice to students and others on campus through The Furnace Prayer Movement at MSU, which started in 2006.
“As I began to get familiar with campus, I really felt God was calling me to give myself, my time and energy to praying to the campus,” Still said.
Still, the director of the movement, met in classrooms in McDonel Hall and in Brody Complex Neighborhood before moving to the basement of Pregnancy Services, 1045 E. Grand River Ave., for a year and a half.
Once Pregnancy Services needed the space back in May, Still found a vacant space at 213 1/2 E. Grand River Ave., the former site of East Grand Record Company.
The nondenominational Prayer Room opened last September for students and residents to have an open space close to campus to pray and share their thoughts about God, Still said.
Interdisciplinary studies in social science senior Alex Beaudry said she first heard about the movement her spring semester of her freshman year.
Beaudry said she helped find the new location of The Prayer Room and raised donations to help pay the leasing costs.
“We just really felt the Lord wanted us to have a permanent place where we can come and do prayer,” she said.
Lansing resident Garrett Anderson met Still at his church, Spirit of Christ, 8170 Coleman Road, in Haslett, and started coming to The Prayer Room when it first opened.
“I just like praying, so I came here,” he said.
The Prayer Room holds meetings every day of the week for students and community members to discuss religion or ask others in the group to pray for them.
During a Sunday meeting, members clasped each other’s hands as they asked for God’s guidance and to look over the members of the group.
While The Prayer Room focuses on Christianity, Still said anyone from any religion is free to attend.
“(The) things we do are gonna be centered on Jesus Christ,” he said. “We would love for any kind and any religion to be with us.”