ABC Graduates 12th Class
May 31, 2011
Sunday, May 22, marked the conclusion of the 12th year of Ambassador Bible Center, sponsored by the United Church of God. Many of the 24 graduates are now on their way home or packing to depart from Cincinnati. And what a year it has been!
The Friday beforehand was set aside for the ABC Chorale to record its program for the students to have as a memento. Friday afternoon was rehearsal for graduation! Sabbath was the day for the Baccalaureate Sermon by Mr. Myers. He was preceded by the Chorale doing its final full performance of the year during sermonette time in Cincinnati East PM. Mr. Myers followed with a sermon on salt. He encouraged the students to be such as could be “shaken” as he brought several examples of how salt was used and how we need to have those same characteristics or qualities.
Saturday evening saw a flurry of activities at the home office as Terri Eddington and Lisa Fenchel prepared the decorations for the refreshments on Graduation Day. Jorge and Kathy de Campos worked tirelessly with the aid of several alumni to prepare and decorate the hall with beautiful floral pieces.
Sunday was graduation day. Around 180 family members, friends, home office staff, instructors and the Class of 2011 gathered for the 1 p.m. exercises. Peter Eddington played “Pomp and Circumstance” through the sound system as Eileen Sharkey, the Ambassador Excellence award recipient for 2008, led the students in as monitor for the graduation. Gary Antion welcomed the audience as the music died down and reminded all that “good young people come from good parents.” Randy Stiver delivered the invocation followed by the student address by class president Brett Diggins. The chorale sang their final two numbers and the students gave a surprise bouquet of flowers to Mrs. Darlene Shoemaker, the wife of chorale director Ken Shoemaker.
President Luker brought the commencement address, and he urged the students to remember three important Scriptures that will help them through the triumphs and challenges of life: Proverbs 3:5-6; Romans 8:28; and Philippians 4:13. He expounded each and reminded the students to keep their content handy as they experience the ups and downs of life.
Four honor awards were given. Amber Duran and Brent Martin received the Ambassador Excellence awards presented by Mr. Luker. Aaron Dean represented the Council of Elders and gave the COE Service Award to Sabrina Clore and Michael Roberts for their outstanding service.
The conferring of diplomas was next in the program. Mr. Steve Myers, Academic Dean, recommended the Class of 2011 for the Biblical Studies diploma and Mr. Luker conferred it upon them. The students individually received their encased diplomas and walked across the stage as their names were called. After the last student’s name was called, the audience gave all the students a huge round of applause.
Frank McCrady, one of the instructors, delivered the benediction and blessing on the refreshments and then it was time to celebrate. Beautiful and delicious cakes with punch were awaiting us along and the hugs and well-wishes to the class members.
We were very appreciative of all the assistance given by so many to help make this event such a wonderful success for the Class of 2011.
As I write this, I am a bit sad that the students will not be around anymore, having grown to appreciate and love them for nine months. But, I have a sense of satisfaction in knowing they will be leaving with a better understanding of the words of life from the Holy Bible and the encouragement to continue to “Build Godly Character” throughout their lives.
Godspeed to the Class of 2011 and may God’s blessings follow in your lives.
Gary Antion—ABC Coordinator