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Class of 2009 baccalaureate
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Baccalaureates used to be a regular part of graduation activities, both at the collegiate and high school levels. However, within the past 25 years, it has almost disappeared.
While many schools have discontinued the baccalaureate service, Long County still hosts the time-honored event. The baccalaureate, with its traditional Christian liturgy, is still part of the school’s graduation activities for seniors who are embarking on new phases of their lives.
On Sunday, May 31, members of the Long County High School Class of 2009 had their baccalaureate service at 7 p.m. in the school gymnasium. Clergy from the various churches in Long County and surrounding communities participated on the program.
The printed program described the baccalaureate as “a religious service held at an educational institution, usually on the Sunday before commencement day.” The scripture for the occasion was “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth,” which was taken from Psalm 86:11.
Members of the class of 2009 beamed with excitement as their families and friends cheered and clapped. The Rev. John Henderson, pastor of New Hope AME Church in Ludowici, gave the invocation.
“This is the start of the last week of your high school career,” said Josh Caines, who gave the welcome address. Adhering to the class motto of, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” there were plenty smiles to be found.
This year’s baccalaureate speakers were The Rev. Paul Weldon, pastor of Tibet Baptist Church in Ludowici. Rev. B.T. Smith, pastor of St. Paul Baptist in Fleming and the Rev. William Miller, pastor of New Fellowship Baptist in Glennville. The reverends presented Bibles to each graduate.
Weldon took his baccalaureate address from John 18:33-38. He spoke about truth and told the graduates that Pilate asked the question, “What is Truth?” He continued, “I don’t want the class of 2009 to leave this world without knowing what truth is. In society today, we don’t take the time to find out what truth is.”
Weldon said truth is “Logical — it is consistent with logic. Truth is singular, not pluralistic. truth is propositional, it is written down. truth is absolute and objective, and truth is personal.
“Jesus said in John 14:6, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’ If you want to know the truth, sit down at the feet of Jesus. Take the Bible, read it, and study it,” Weldon said.
Shaedae Lovett, a graduating senior, received a standing ovation for her rendition of, “Can’t Give up Now.”
The program concluded with benediction by the Rev. Tom Gardner of McIntosh County, and recessional by the proud class of 2009.
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