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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

InTentsity on Kretschmar Lawn

April 11, 2023
Garrett Christensen

Why There’s a Big Tent

Garrett Christensen

InTents week of worship is a special time on the Walla Walla University campus. As this year’s event comes to a close, take some time to learn about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making it possible. 

According to Dr. Pedrito Maynard-Reid, the first InTents week of worship took place in 1992. The idea began a year earlier when Maynard-Reid took three students to an evangelism conference in Florida.  

“[The students] were so inspired that they began the annual meeting on this campus.” 

As a student, Paul Dybdahl was a speaker during the first year the event was held. [1] 

Many things have changed since that first week of worship. At that point, InTents was a two-week program on Centennial Green. Later in the 1990s, it moved to the field between the library and Smith Hall before finally settling into its spot on Kretschmar Lawn. [2]  

However, one thing has stayed constant through it all: the tent. When asked why the tent has stayed, senior theology major and co-organizer Aurora Gault said, “I think honestly it goes back to Pedrito … I think the tent is just like a tradition. We’ve just been doing it this way for a billion years.” [3] 

Brochure from the first InTents in 1992. Photo from WWU Archives.

Organizing InTents is part of a public evangelism class that all theology majors must take. “It teaches us how to plan a big event,” said Gault. [4] 

This year the class has only two members: Gault and Parker LeClerc.   

Gault said, “We had a section of this class last quarter during winter where we learned the basics of evangelism and then started planning the event.” [5] 

Their goal this year is to make it simpler than it has been. “A lot of our big spiritual events this year we’ve been hitting on really hot topic issues and big things.” [6] 

Gault wants this year’s InTents to focus on the aspects of being a Christian that are simpler and take a moment to appreciate the miracles in the book of John.  

For those who have not attended InTents yet, here is a quick sales pitch from Gault: “InTents can be really valuable because it’s an excuse to do some real thinking about Jesus that you wouldn’t normally do. It will get you out of your comfort zone, but at the same time keep you in a place where you’re with your friends and with people who are encouraging you in your walk. And there’s snacks.” [7] 

InTents will continue this week on Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 6:30 p.m., and Sabbath during church. 



  1. Email interview with Pedrito Maynard-Reid, 5/4/2023. 
  2. Email interview with WWU Archives, 5/2/2023. 

  3. Interview with Aurora Gault, 5/4/2023. 

      4-7. Ibid. 



  1. Students enjoy InTents week of worship. Retrieved from on 5/7/2023. 
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