by Shawna Goemaat
As a way to celebrate the end of the semester and get a break from studying for finals, students are invited to “An Evening of Laughter” with Michael Jr. on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at Gateway Nazarene Church.
Michael Jr. is a comedian who travels across the country with his clean, faith-based humor. He has appeared the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” Comedy Central and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He is described as funny and genuine, with a humor that is very up-to-date and performs in both churches and clubs.
“If I’m in a club, my material has to be clean enough to work in a church. If I’m in a pulpit, it has to be funny enough to work in a club,” Michael Jr. wrote on his website.
Michael Jr. began doing comedy on a dare. When the projector malfunctioned at a crowded Grand Rapids, Mich. movie theater, Michael Jr. accepted a challenge and jumped in front of the crowd. As the theater manager tried to usher him out, the audience demanded he stay.
Rob and Robin Hammann are College Ministry leaders at Gateway Nazarene Church and believe this event is a great way to reach out to college students. The couple saw Michael Jr. perform two years ago and thought he would be a perfect comedian for Penn students.
“Penn is a vital part of our community,” Rob Hammann said. “We want William Penn faculty, staff and students to know that they are loved.”
The church has been holding monthly events targeting college students, and has hosted fifth quarter parties after football games.
“We want the William Penn community to feel comfortable at our church and know that they are welcome to worship with us any time,” Hammann said.
WPU campus minister Spencer Thury has been encouraging students to go to the event and has been showing promotional videos of Michael Jr. at campus ministry meetings.
“I expect it to be a really fun night,” sophomore Robert Radcliff said. “I’ve seen the YouTube videos of him, and he is truly a funny man. I expect people to have a good laugh without compromising any values. The Naz is great about putting things like this on for college students.” Radcliff serves as the student advisor to the WPU Campus Ministry Board.
Free tickets are available for students, faculty and staff, and may be requested through www.gatewaynazarene.org. Tickets are also available to the general public for $16.
Gateway Nazarene Church is located across from Walmart in Oskaloosa. Rides to the event can be requested by calling the church at 641-673-3417.
Event organizers hope to fill their 750-seat auditorium. Michael Jr. has sold out venues of more than 5,000 people.
After the show, Michael Jr. will be at the church for a party to be attended only by those with a student ID. At the party, students can visit with Michael Jr. and get an autograph. Food, games and music will also be provided.