World-changers graduate from SCA

Published 9:56 pm Saturday, June 2, 2018

A class of eight world-changers graduated from Suffolk Christian Academy on Saturday.

The small but determined group held an intimate ceremony that featured the customary valedictory and salutatory speeches, plus a video with baby pictures and a keynote speech from pastor, attorney and author Randy Singer.

Valedictorian Brandi Barton encouraged her classmates not to “follow their dreams,” as is so often the customary advice at commencement ceremonies. Instead, she advised them to find their purpose in the Lord and pursue that instead.


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“There may be only eight of us, but let’s make an impact on this world,” Barton said. “Let’s go out into the world and show them who we are. We’re all so different, but there’s one thing we have in common — our love for the Lord.”

Barton used scripture to encourage her classmates in their search for the will of God.

“I pray we remember what the apostle Paul described in Romans 12:2: ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,’” she said.

Salutatorian Katie Glover urged her classmates to be world-changers.

“A world-changer sticks out,” she said. “You all have a spark within you that can set the world on fire. You’re children of a powerful God that has made you beautiful world-changers.”

Singer drew on Barton’s and Glover’s speeches in his advice.

“It sounds like your class has that world-changing potential,” he said, channeling Glover’s speech.

He encouraged them to, like Barton said, seek Christ rather than earthly pleasures.

“Those things, those careers will never satisfy,” he said. “The only thing that will satisfy you is when you use those things to pursue Christ with all your heart. Christ is the only thing that satisfies. The scripture says where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Singer challenged the graduates to give their lives in service to God.

“If you want to be world-changers, like Katie encouraged you to be, then put your ‘yes’ on the table before God, before you even know what He’s calling you to do. Say ‘God, I’m putting my “yes” on the table, 100 percent, unequivocal, nothing held in reserve “yes.” My heart is yours and whatever you call me to do, I will do it with all my heart.’

“Your greatest moments in life will happen when you put your ‘yes’ on the table and then follow where God wants you to go,” he added.

The graduates were Brandi Barton, James Brittingham, Miriam Farmer, Katie Glover, Courtney Hayes, Laurie Ummels, Eva Waddell and Karlie Whitehead.

The class has earned scholarship offers of $165,000, Headmaster Tamra VanDorn said. Five of the eight were recognized for having attended Suffolk Christian Academy for their entire educational careers.

The class of 2018 gifted the school a Bible engraved on the cover with “2018” and each of the class members’ favorite verses highlighted; pencils for future students to use; and a $70 donation to the art fund for supplies.