February 16, 2018
“How blessed are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15b)
In this verse, Paul expresses a theme which is common throughout Scripture – those who serve the purposes and the mission of God should be honored! Paul tells us to give “double honor” to the elders who lead the church, especially those who preach and teach (1 Timothy 5:17). The Scriptures also tell us to honor our father and mother in both the Old and New Testament.
In today’s world, I often wonder if we have lost the meaning of purposefully recognizing and honoring those who are worthy. We seem to have confused it with popularity or allegiance in this “hunger for the new and next” culture in which we live.
Last weekend, we held the very first Grace Christian University Starlight Gala. This event was held on the tenth floor of the Fifth-Third Bank building in downtown Grand Rapids. We honored several individuals who have demonstrated their faithfulness in serving the Lord. We expressed our appreciation of their service, and were inspired to follow their example of serving the Lord thoroughly.
Among those honored were two alumni of the College who have used their education to serve dynamically for the glory of God and the growth of His Church, the Body of Christ.
Pastor Harold Petersen, a 1954 MBC graduate, was honored for his faithful service and leadership. He served as Chairman of the Board of Grace Christian University for twelve years from 1991-2003, and also pastored ten different Grace churches. Mr. Thomas Thelen was also honored for his dynamic ministry to young people. He ministers in public and private schools, addressing the current social issue of bullying. He speaks and shares about being “victim-proof” and has written a book also titled Victimproof.
A staff member was recognized for a servant leadership award. Mr. Kyle Bohl, a 2004 graduate of Grace, currently serves as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, a position he has held for the last four years. Kyle is such a great example of servant leadership on our campus! He truly exemplifies servant leadership as he serves the Lord in the vigorous execution of his duties.
Additionally, three former athletes were honored as well for their excellence, character, and influence both while playing basketball at Grace and since their departure. Cory Jamieson and Allen Durham both played on national championship teams, and Jessica (Sikorski) Kurtz still holds the record for being the all-time leading scorer in Grace’s history as well as in West Michigan women’s collegiate basketball. These fine individuals were honored for their achievements and also for the way they advocate for the College.
Mr. Jason Hansen, the retired twenty-plus year placekicker for the Detroit Lions was our special speaker for the evening. He did a tremendous job combining his story as an NFL player with his life as a Christian. He was able to arrive early, and a reception was held where people could meet with him, take some pictures, and have him sign autographs.
His challenge to all of us was to value those things which are important — such as God’s Word, and a solid Biblical education like the one available at Grace Christian University. It was exciting for me to give the final words to over 200 guests that evening. It was great to tell of our commitment as a College to move forward amid the challenges of our culture. Anti-Christian and anti-biblical views are uncontrollably growing all around us. We see these challenges as opportunities to speak truth based on God’s Word and on His blueprint for education and life.
Your prayers and involvement as we advance are needed! Please begin to pray for all parts of our advancement: from greater scholarship funding for ministry students, to strategic academic program expansion in conjunction with our upcoming University status and forthcoming name change, to expanding our facilities, and for profitable partnerships in experiential learning for all of our students. We covet your prayers and your partnership as God moves us forward.
By His Grace,
Ken Bruce Kemper