Back to NewsMay 2012

Trained to Serve!

With a mixture of sadness and joy, fifty graduates walked down the aisle at Appalachian Bible College’s 2012 Commencement on Saturday, May 5. The appreciation for the past, exhilaration at the completion of this step of their education, and anticipation for the future combined to bring tears to some eyes and smiles to every face.

Commencement speaker, Dr. Robert Alderman, challenged the graduates from Luke 18 that “Men Ought Always to Pray.” He encouraged the graduates with the fact that Jesus commands us to pray so that we don’t faint and because we are in the presence of those who not only don’t fear God but are outright adversaries to Christ. “We are in a society which does not care about other people, but don’t quit! Pray! We can be ready to face the world outside the walls of this campus if we’ve meditated on God’s Word and if we continue always in prayer. Pray continuously.”

Special music by the ABC Chorale and Jubilate, along with opportunities for congregational singing, directed hearts to worship. Rev. Jonathan Rinker, Vice President for Development, welcomed the graduates into the ranks of current Alumni and exhorted them to realize that just as they were influenced by those who had gone before them, it was now their turn to influence young people to consider a life of service and training at ABC.

Rev. Daniel Hanshew, Vice President for Academics, recognized the three categories of Honor Students and their families. Degrees were granted and awards given for those who excelled both academically and spiritually as observed by the staff and faculty. After the turn of the tassel, each baccalaureate graduate quoted a verse. For some, it was their life verse; for others, a reminder of the faithfulness of God who saw them through this last stage of their life.

Dr. Daniel Anderson, President of ABC, closed the service with a reminder to the graduates that while their time at ABC had drawn to a close, their life of ministry was just beginning. “Remember, it’s not just ‘…Because Life is for Service;’ the rest of your life should be spent in service for the Lord.”

As the graduates filed out to the joyful sound of the organ playing “Now Thank We All Our God,” an embroidered towel was hung on the arm of each baccalaureate graduate – their Servant’s Mantel – a tangible reminder of the call to follow the example of the Greatest Servant of All.

A final hug, a word of encouragement, a picture with last year’s roommate, then the campus emptied. Fifty more servants equipped and sent out into the harvest fields of the world. Though the dorms are vacated and the classrooms dark, ABC’s ministry continues through the lives of those who studied here and have gone out to serve …Because Life IS for Service.

View photos of the Bible Conference on the ABC Facebook page.

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