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Livingstone holds 134th Baccalaureate service

By Da’Tarvia Parrish

Livingstone News Service

SALISBURY — As an institution founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Livingstone College invites students to begin their weekend of commencement activities in worship.

The college’s 134th baccalaureate service was at 7 p.m. May 5 in Bishop James Varick Auditorium. Livingstone President Jimmy Jenkins said, “This event is designed to motivate graduates with spiritual weapons in order for them to command their rightful place in the global society.”

After the trustees, faculty, graduating seniors and Golden Graduates entered to “Pomp and Circumstance” in their colorful academic regalia, Bishop W. Darin Moore, presiding prelate of the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District and treasurer of the board of trustees, offered the invocation followed by a hymn by the congregation, “God of Our Fathers.”

Bishop Michael A. Frencher Sr., presiding prelate of the South Western Delta Episcopal District and secretary of the board of trustees, read Isaiah 40:28-31 as the Old Testament scripture. Bishop Seth O. Lartey, presiding prelate of the Alabama-Florida Episcopal District and assistant secretary of the board of trustees, read Luke 8:1-9 and 11-15 as the New Testament reading.

Bishop Kenneth Monroe, trustees vice chairman and presiding prelate of the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District, offered a prayer of thanks for the leadership, church and students of Livingstone College. He implored students to “celebrate what God has allowed us to achieve.”

The chairman of the board of trustees and presiding prelate of the Piedmont Episcopal District, Senior Bishop George E. Battle Jr., introduced the speaker, Bishop Darryl B. Starnes Sr., presiding prelate of the Midwest Episcopal District. Battle acknowledged Starnes as the elected chaplain, saying “He communicates with God for all of us” and called Starnes “a spiritual and studious disciple-maker for Jesus Christ.”

The Livingstone College Concert Choir sang “Oh How I Love Jesus.”

Reading Luke 8:11-15, Starnes delivered a sermon titled “God’s Word and the Human Heart,” encouraging graduates to examine the text by considering four heart conditions: a hardened heart, a shallow heart, a crowded heart and a healthy heart. Starnes said that a healthy heart is a mature heart and a mature heart “shoots, roots and produces good fruit.”

Closing with a blessing from Jude 24, Bishop Staccato Powell, presiding prelate of the Western Episcopal District, offered the benediction while the congregation recessed to Henry Purcell’s “Trumpet Tune.”

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