A pulpit is a raised stand for preachers in a Christian church. The origin of the word is the Latin pulpitum; the traditional pulpit is raised well above the surrounding floor for audibility and visibility, accessed by steps, with sides coming to about waist height. From the late medieval period onwards, pulpits have had a canopy known as the sounding board or abat-voix above and sometimes behind the speaker in wood. Though sometimes decorated, this is not purely decorative, but can have a useful acoustic effect in projecting the preacher's voice to the congregation below. Most pulpits have one or more book-stands for the preacher to rest his or her bible, notes or texts upon; the pulpit is reserved for clergy. This is mandated in the regulations of the Roman Catholic church, several others. In Welsh Nonconformism, this was felt appropriate, in some chapels a second pulpit was built opposite the main one for lay exhortations and other speeches. Many churches have a second, smaller stand called the lectern, which can be used by lay persons, is used for all the readings and ordinary announcements.
The traditional Catholic location of the pulpit to the side of the chancel or nave has been retained by Anglicans and some Protestant denominations, while in Presbyterian and Evangelical churches the pulpit has replaced the altar at the centre. Equivalent platforms for speakers are the bema of Ancient Greece and Jewish synagogues, the minbar of Islamic mosques. From the pulpit is used synecdochically for something, said with official church authority. In many Reformed and Evangelical Protestant denominations, the pulpit is at the centre of the front of the church, while in the Catholic and Anglican traditions the pulpit is placed to one side and the altar or communion table is in the centre. In many Christian churches, there are two speakers' stands at the front of the church; the one on the left is called the pulpit. Since the Gospel lesson is read from the pulpit, the pulpit side of the church is sometimes called the gospel side. In both Catholic and Protestant churches the pulpit may be located closer to the main congregation in the nave, either on the nave side of the crossing, or at the side of the nave some way down.
This is the case in large churches, to ensure the preacher can be heard by all the congregation. Fixed seating for the congregation came late in the history of church architecture, so the preacher being behind some of the congregation was less of an issue than later. Fixed seating facing forward in the nave and modern electric amplification has tended to reduce the use of pulpits in the middle of the nave. Outdoor pulpits attached to the exterior of the church, or at a preaching cross, are found in several denominations. If attached to the outside wall of a church, these may be entered from a doorway in the wall, or by steps outside; the other speaker's stand on the right, is known as the lectern. The word lectern comes from the Latin word "lectus" past participle of legere, meaning "to read", because the lectern functions as a reading stand, it is used by lay people to read the scripture lessons, to lead the congregation in prayer, to make announcements. Because the epistle lesson is read from the lectern, the lectern side of the church is sometimes called the epistle side.
In other churches, the lectern, from which the Epistle is read, is located to the congregation's left and the pulpit, from which the sermon is delivered, is located on the right. Though unusual, movable pulpits with wheels were found in English churches, they were either wheeled into place for each service where they would be used or, as at the hospital church in Shrewsbury, rotated to different positions in the church quarterly in the year, to allow all parts of the congregation a chance to have the best sound. A portable outside pulpit of wood and canvas was used by John Wesley, a 19th century Anglican vicar devised a folding iron pulpit for using outdoors; the Ancient Greek bema means both'platform' and'step', was used for a variety of secular raised speaking platforms in ancient Greece and Rome, from those times to today for the central raised platform in Jewish synagogues. Modern synagogue bimahs are similar in form to centrally-placed pulpits in Evangelical churches; the use of a bema carried over from Judaism into early Christian church architecture.
It was a raised platform large, with a lectern and seats for the clergy, from which lessons from the Scriptures were read and the sermon was delivered. In Western Christianity the bema developed over time into the chancel; the next development was the ambo, from a Greek word meaning an elevation. This was a raised platform from which the Epistle and Gospel would be read, was an option to be used as a preacher's platform for homilies, though there were others. Saint John Chrysostom is recorded as preaching from the ambo, but this was uncommon at this date. In cathedrals early bishops seem to have preached from their chair in the apse, echoing the position of magistrates in the secular basilicas whose general form most large early churches adopted. There were two ambos, one to each side, one used more as a platform on which the choir sang.
Central Christian College of Kansas is a private evangelical Christian college in McPherson, Kansas. Central Christian is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church. Central Christian teams have Tigers as their mascot; the college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, competing in the Sooner Athletic Conference and the National Christian College Athletic Association Division 1. Before July 2015, CCC competed in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference. Men's sports include baseball, cheerleading, cross country, soccer, tennis and field, wrestling. Official website CCC Athletics website
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