“If you can hear me right now, make some noise.”
Those were the first words GRAMMY nominated Musician SaulPaul spoke into the microphone during Middle School chapel on Monday. His words were quickly followed by cheers from students, staff and faculty. The inspirational speaker, rapper/singer-songwriter has a real talent for connecting with young people, and being very honest and authentic – making him the perfect person to lead off our Martin Luther King, Jr. events, which were rescheduled from January 15th due to inclement weather.
“There are sometimes when I’m in places where I can be the full me, and since I’m here I can be the full me,” SaulPaul told students.
During the powerful hour with students, he beautifully and seamlessly weaved in facts about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. SaulPaul explained how MLK used his talents and gifts to make a difference in this world, and shared songs about being a light to others.
“I’m encouraging you to recognize that you have a gift, but like Dr. King, you too can use your gift for God’s glory,” said SaulPaul.
During both Middle and Upper School chapel services, SaulPaul summoned several middle schooler volunteers on stage, and asked them to think of a word to share out loud with the audience. Students came up with words like water, leaves, butterfly and ‘leggo!’ (a slang term for “let’s go”). SaulPaul turned those words into a freestyle rap song – which is one of his many gifts. He ended the special time by playing an acoustic arrangement on his guitar of his new song “Rise.” The song opens with lyrics, “Rise, rise. Open your eyes. Now is the time for you to shine.”
He added a twist to the Upper School chapel service by inviting volunteer students, staff and faculty to learn a new two-step dance.
“We about to get chapel lit like never before!” said SaulPaul – a quote that may very well go down in St. Stephen’s history.
SaulPaul also shared his Be The Change challenge, and talked about his SaulPaul Foundation. It is a launchpad for young people and a platform for community members to serve as community leaders through acts of kindness, volunteerism and philanthropy.
SaulPaul’s appearance was the first of several MLK Day events. The gospel group Christopher Spivey and Company will deliver an hour-long program in both Upper and Middle School chapels on Thursday, February 22 and Dr. Batiste, Chief Catalyst for With Respect Consulting will join us on March 18. We are grateful for the commitment these special guests have shown to the St. Stephen’s community and our students. Thank you for rescheduling your visits to our campus – after we had to postpone our original plan to celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. together on his birthday, due to inclement weather.
We encourage students, faculty and staff to wear their MLK Day 2024 t-shirts on these special days. Read more about our special guests and get updates about the special schedules which will be posted here
as these events get closer.