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Bible college has graduation
Trinity grad Smileys
Chancellor Jimmie L. Smiley and Dean Lucile Smiley - photo by Photo provided.
Graduation 2008 was another milestone in the life of those students who worked tirelessly during the past school term. The days of intense studying and hurrying to class were now behind them. It was time to march and receive their diplomas.
On Saturday, June 21, Trinity Temple College of Religion in Hinesville hosted its annual graduation.  The Class of 2008 was exuberant in their excitement and proud of their accomplishments.
Students had shared and experienced many things during their time in class on Thursdays and Saturdays. Everlasting friendships had been formed and those classroom memories would not soon be forgotten. While not your typical students (some of whom had not been inside a classroom for years), they had completed all requirements to graduate.  No matter what the assignment, they had met the challenge.
It was their day. Friends and families had traveled from near and far to be a part of the occasion.  Smiles and tears were evident. Liberty County Sheriff, J. Don Martin gave greetings.  

Rev. Artis Carswell, Pastor of St. Philips Baptist Church in Reidsville, and Rev. John Belton of Columbia, S.C., spoke on “bridging the gap.”  Carswell received his doctoral degree and would not be returning as a student. He challenged the returning students to “dream” a dream. “You must study and don’t quit. Remember, it is not about you.”  Additionally, he told them to become like a sponge so they can absorb information. “Listen to your instructors,” he said.  
The commencement speaker, Dr. L. V. Williams (Chancellor of the International Overcoming College of Religion, in Columbia, S.C.) electrified the audience with his commencement address. He told the students, “It’s going to get messy before it gets better. However don’t worry because God owns everything.”
Several students were recognized for their achievements. Artis Carswell received several awards.  He received awards for having the highest grade point average, most outstanding student, and most punctual. Michelle Gordon, Pastor of Restoration Ministries in Jesup and Hinesville received an award for earning the second-highest GPA. Dexter S. Andrews, Mt Carmel Holiness Church in Riceboro, and President of the Liberty County United Ministerial Alliance, received the “most dedicated” award. Dennis Ross, Good Shepherd Missionary Baptist Church, received the “most improved” award.
Students received associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. In addition to Carswell, two other students, Bishop John Lockett, Pastor of Pillar of Zion Church in Walthourville, and Minister Dexter Andrews, received their doctoral degree.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Dr. Eddie Campbell, one of the instructors, led the students in the “new beginning” blessing. Another crowning moment was the singing of the class song, “Lord Lift Us Up.” These non-traditional students had accomplished much.     
Some students are already anticipating the next school term, as they move to a higher level of learning. The next term begins in August. Anyone desiring to attend Trinity Temple College of Religion may contact Dr. Jimmie L. Smiley or Dr. Lucile W. Smiley (Dean) at 369-6082/369-5363. Educational programs are available beginning with a Bible diploma to a doctoral degree.
The school is located at 1016 Live Oak Drive in Hinesville. 
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