Annual Whitecaps Game

Jun 20, 2024 | News

Grace Christian University recently hosted its annual night at the West Michigan Whitecaps game at LMCU Ballpark. The event brought together friends, alumni, and supporters, creating an evening filled with excitement and fellowship.

Setting the Stage

As the sun set over LMCU Ballpark, guests gathered with great anticipation. Excitement filled the air as everyone prepared to witness the game between the Whitecaps and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Steve McCarthy, president of the Whitecaps, warmly welcomed everyone. He emphasized the Whitecaps’ commitment to empowering youth through sports and education, and the partnership with Grace Christian University’s mission to nurture future leaders grounded in faith and service.

Honoring Legacy and Generosity

Grace Christian University’s President, Ken Kemper, began the evening by honoring generous individuals who shaped the university. He highlighted their unwavering commitment to uncompromised Biblical education and the lasting impact of their contributions. 

President Kemper Speaking

Following Kemper’s remarks, alumnus Jon Michael Clark shared his transformative journey during his recent time at Grace. He passionately spoke about how Grace Christian University changed his life, deepened his faith, and prepared him for ministry. Now serving as a pastor in Seattle, Jon Michael credits the university with molding him into a courageous ambassador for Christ.

Former Grace president Dr. Sam Vinton also spoke, reflecting on Grace Christian University’s commitment to the unchanging Word of God. He emphasized that despite institutional transitions—from Milwaukee Bible Institute to Grace Bible College to Grace Christian University—the core principle of upholding Scripture’s infallibility has remained steadfast. Drawing on his 69-year journey since graduating and ministering in Africa, he credited Grace’s foundational teachings for sustaining his faith and ministry. Rejecting retirement notions, he affirmed his ongoing dedication to teaching and serving in the church, highlighting Grace Christian University’s enduring impact on his life and ministry.

Dinner and Fellowship

After Dr. Sam Vinton’s speech, President Kemper prayed, thanking God for all the lives impacted by Grace Christian University. He expressed gratitude for God’s continued growth and provision for the university. Following his prayer, tables were dismissed to get food provided by the ballpark, and made possible by the Velting Foundation, the generous event sponsor. Everyone enjoyed burgers, brats, and hot dogs with classic fountain drinks. Conversations continued, and memories were shared, creating a warm and lively atmosphere.

Grace Student Involvement

Grace students played a significant role in the event. Emma Balkema, a freshman at Grace, and standout pitcher on the women’s softball team, had the honor of throwing the first pitch. Emma Balkema representing the Grace Women’s Softball team throws out the first pitch at the Whitecaps Baseball Game.

Keith Meyers, a senior at Grace, performed a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, using his talent and gifted voice to honor our country and freedom.

Keith Meyers Singing National Anthem

A Prime Viewing Experience

Guests enjoyed prime seating on the Pepsi Deck, offering an excellent view of the field and stadium. The lively atmosphere allowed everyone to enjoy the game fully. Many Whitecaps mascots stopped by to say hello and take photos with the guests.

Whitecaps LMCU Ballpark Field

Exceeding Fundraising Goals

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and supporters, over $26,000 was raised, far exceeding the fundraising goal. The funds will significantly support the Grace fund, offering scholarship support to students. This generosity exemplifies the collective effort to equip ambassadors for Christ, making an impact wherever they go.

Whitecaps Pig

See You Next Year!

Whether a longtime supporter or new to the Grace community, everyone is looking forward to next year’s event. This event highlights the powerful sense of community and support that defines Grace Christian University. As the night came to a close, it was clear that together, great things can be achieved.

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