New Campbell Divinity students celebrated the beginning of their theological education this morning in a traditional spring commissioning ceremony.
Eight new students received their Celtic cross pins as prayer partners, family, friends and faculty advisors stood to pledge their support throughout their educational journey.
Edward Beddingfield, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Buies Creek, visited Butler Chapel to provide a charge to the new students. His message encouraged students to be faithful and not to give up, even incorporating some music education with a clip of Poco’s “Keep on Trying.”
“Even though he’s a Jedi knight, I disagree with Yoda’s ‘do or do not, there is no try,’” said Beddingfield. “To be a practicing Christian means to be faithful and make Christ our identity. We go to church, we pray, we help others but sometimes we will fail. And as Paul says, we must always press on.”
Beddingfield left the students with a simple takeaway: “My hope for all of us is that we’ll realize that none of us are at the end, but we’re all still at the beginning.”
Adrian Bullock, one of the new students commissioned during the ceremony, said he felt called to ministry at 16 years old, and often attracted an audience for mimicking his pastor as a child. “There is no specific moment when the call took place, but I’ve known from that age that this was what God wanted for my life, and without it my life would be void of meaning.”
Bullock made the final decision to attend Campbell Divinity School the week before classes started. He was focusing on another school to continue his education from North Carolina Central University when several mentors began to steer his efforts towards Campbell. After a summer tour of campus that introduced him to faculty and staff, Bullock knew Campbell was the place for him.
“Before we even knew each other, two students who are now my friends reached out and offered their support and assistance to me,” said Bullock. “It showed me that Campbell was not just an academic setting, but a family.”
When Bullock completes his studies at Campbell, he hopes to pastor a church or serve as an executive minister on a church staff. “The professors don’t just lecture; they love what they do and they are interested in your ultimate success,” he said. “I have no doubt that this school will help prepare me for the task and ministry work ahead.”