Lipscomb Academy’s Baccalaureate service was held on Thursday, May 16, in Lipscomb University’s Willard Collins Alumni Auditorium.
Doug Williams, Lipscomb Academy Co-Director of Spiritual Formation, described Baccalaureate as “a marker in the spiritual formation of the students.” Williams spoke first at the service and told the students to use their time that day to think about their time on campus at Lipscomb Academy. He asked them to reflect on
how God formed them, what others had taught them, which teacher had taught them to be the most Christ-like and told them to never stop searching for people who will lead them to God.
After Joseph Connor, Lipscomb Academy Bible teacher, led the students and their families in worship songs, soon to be graduates, Maged Hanna and Cody Stubblefield read scripture and Chandler Montgomery led a prayer.
Next, Karen Wood, Co-Director of Spiritual Formation, spoke to the class and told them one of the biggest blessings from the class of 2013 was their leadership. She told them that she had witnessed them intentionally reaching into the lives of the younger students and that they had created a legacy at Lipscomb Academy that will not soon be forgotten. She told them “as the story of your lives unfold, I hope you realize it is a part of God’s story.” She asked them to remember that God is real, God is close and told the seniors they had made the school a better place.
Rachel Huh, 2012-2013 “Miss Lipscomb,” reflected on what makes Lipscomb Academy a special place. She came to the conclusion that it is the solid community of teachers, which she called “encouragers and life coaches”. She expressed that the teachers have made Lipscomb a loving environment that had given the students “the tools not only to succeed but also to be Christian examples.” She mentioned instances of teachers taking time to stop in the halls to talk to the students, come to athletic events and fine arts shows. She thanked the teachers for sharing in the accomplishments of the class and for molding the students into who they are today and who they will be in the future. Huh said she knew each senior had a special teacher they would like to thank, but for her, it was Coach Hale. She said Hale had “showed her Jesus and his love” and “practiced it in the way he lives each day, interacts with his students, and deals with life’s ups and downs.”
David Austin Lowery, 2012-2013 “Mr. Lipscomb,” took the microphone to thank the parents of the seniors. He expressed thanks for the support given to them over the years. He spoke about parents leading the students through life, allowing them to see that disappointments are not permanent and thanked the parents for sharing in times of success. He went on to thank the parents for sending their children to Lipscomb. He ended by saying “thank you for your love, thank you for everything. You will always be our moms and dads and we will always love you.”
The class chose Scott Tillman, a Bible teacher and football coach at Lipscomb Academy, to speak at Baccalaureate. Tillman told the class that the faculty and staff had come to honor them in their accomplishment and challenged them to “be authentic”. He explained to the class what he meant by laying out a guideline for them. “First,” he said, “always pray.“ He told them that as they move through life, to take time to nourish their relationships with God. Next he said, “always seek,” by which he meant always seek God’s will for their lives. Third, “always trust that the Lord will take care of you”. Then, “always choose, choose good friends because you are destined to become like them,” he told the class. “Always work,” was next in Tillman’s list of instructions. He said to the class “offer God your every day as worship.” Finally, Tillman told the class to “always get up.” In his last piece of advice, he said, “when you get knocked down, and you’re going to get knocked down, get up. There are too many of us rooting for you here to not get up.” Tillman then told the class he loved them, and stepped off the stage.
To end the event, the senior members of the Lipscomb Academy Concert Chorus stood and sang “Go Ye Now in Peace”.
The seniors and their families were dismissed to a luncheon that had been prepared in Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena, where the heart of Lipscomb Academy, Christian character, was discussed. Han Na Kim, 2013 Valedictorian, spoke about the Christian character of the Lipscomb community, which led to Doug Williams, explaining the three Christian Character Awards presented every year to graduating seniors.
Joseph Connor, Erin Pearl and Tiffany Jonson, all Lipscomb Academy teachers, then asked the nominees for the awards to stand as well as the person who nominated them as the nomination was read describing attributes of each of the finalists. While the nominees were honored at the luncheon, they were told the winners would be announced at graduation, which was just a short two days away.