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Suffolk Christian graduates eight

Suffolk Christian Academy on Saturday graduated a class of eight who are prepared to let God write their stories.

The graduation, held at Southside Baptist Church — which also hosts the school’s classroom and administrative space — featured three graduates and a commencement speaker encouraging the class to rely not on themselves but on God. All of them quoted scripture to exhort each other to follow Christ in all things.

“Often, we as graduates are encouraged to look at our own strength, look to our own skills, in order to achieve our future success,” said co-valedictorian Ethan Voight. “In essence, we are prompted to write our own story. Today, however, I would like to encourage all of us to stop writing our own story and instead let God, who is all-powerful and all-knowing, be in the business of writing.

“As followers of Christ, we must remember that our life is simply a small piece within God’s great narrative of redemption,” Voight continued. “Therefore, it is our purpose and duty in this life to play the role that our Heavenly Father has created for us.”

Co-valedictorian Kaitlyn Brittingham encouraged her fellow graduates to rely on God.

“Do not sit idly by when you are put in situations that test your character and beliefs,” she said. “When, not if, you make mistakes, learn from them. Allow them to make you the person you’re supposed to be.”

Brittingham added that she had confidence in her classmates.

“I have so much confidence in the seven people sitting before me,” she said. “I know every single one of you will succeed in whatever you set your minds to, and I can’t wait to see all you accomplish.”

Salutatorian Meredith Farmer began the theme of encouraging her classmates to rely on God in her speech, which came first.

“As our journey together has come to an end and we go our separate ways, know that the Lord is by our side,” she said. “When we go into the big world, we will face many challenges; we will feel overcome and defeated; we will feel like the devil has taken control of our lives and God has forgotten us. In these moments, realize your strength and identity is not in the devil, but your strength and identity lies within Christ.”

The commencement speaker was Jeff Guill, founder of BelieversBiz Christian Business Network. He encouraged the graduates with advice like putting God first, living by the golden rule and finding their purpose.

“You’ll find your calling at the intersection of your gifts and your passions,” he said.

The class of 2019 at Suffolk Christian included Haley Adams, Kaitlyn Brittingham, Ethan Bunch, Jaida Chavis, Meredith Farmer, Rickey Heard Jr., Brennan Jones and Ethan Voight.

The students were recognized for being awarded nearly half a million dollars in scholarships. In addition, Brittingham was recognized as the newest Heritage Member, having attended every year from kindergarten through 12th grade.