Here is a press release from Wayland Baptist University:
PLAINVIEW, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — Welcoming students for the 114th year of Wayland Baptist University, Dr. Bobby Hall, president, spoke Thursday about the exaltation of Jesus at the university’s annual convocation chapel.
“I’m so thrilled to see you all – everyone in the Wayland Plainview family,” Hall said. “It makes my heart swell with excitement and promise for a new academic year.”
“I am unabashedly in love with this place and our Christian higher education mission,” Hall said as he introduced the chapel’s theme – Jesus: In His Own Words. This fall, weekly chapel sessions will focus on the seven “I am” statements recorded in the Gospel of John.
Hall cited the book of Philippians, where the apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore God exalted him into the highest heaven, and gave him a name above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and let every tongue recognize that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
“He is not one of many gods, but the one and only. The real deal,” Hall said. “His name is above all other names. That’s why he called himself ‘I am'”
Recounting his journey from rookie from Baylor University to WBU President, Hall said, “Growing up in Plainview and wanting to get out of town after high school, Wayland was the last place I wanted to go, so I left. for Baylor University thinking I wanted to be a youth minister. Boy, was I wrong.
At Baylor Hall began to keep to himself as his enthusiasm for college life waned, and upon his return to Plainview he found himself studying at Wayland, “the place I didn’t want to be”.
“The most amazing things started happening,” he said. “I could always sit at the back of the class, but my teachers called me by my name. I had to get involved. »
The teachers “modeled for me and for everyone else the Christian life,” Hall said. “I was called back to my faith. I started reading my Bible again and went back to church. Things have improved. Wayland changed me, and I didn’t even know that was happening.
Hall offered personal reflections on each of the seven “I Am” statements before saying, “He is our daily sustenance, our direction, our protector, our sacrificial savior, our victory over death, our access to God the Father and our eternal life, and our vitality and strength. »
“I can stand before you today to declare that Jesus is all you need or will need. He checks all the boxes,” Hall said before listing more than a dozen tick box moments in his life. “God is always there for you, just as he always was for me.”
Inviting students to “take that step toward him,” he concluded by saying, “So here I am today as the president of a Baptist college. I thought I was going to be youth minister. “Boy, was I right,” he said, noting that he can share Jesus with Wayland students rather than in a church.
The faculty procession was led by Chief Marshal Trisha Giacomazzi. Dr. Daniel Brown, Vice President of Enrollment Management, welcomed those gathered to Harral Memorial Auditorium, and the invocation was given by Dr. David Bishop, Vice President of External Campuses. The pledges to the American and Christian flags were led by Mike Hammack, vice president of institutional advancement, and Dr. Cindy McClenagan, vice president of academic affairs, respectively. Dr. Autumn Lass, Associate Professor of History and President of the Faculty Senate, read John 15:6 from the Bible that Dr. JH Wayland, who founded the university, carried. Dr. Claude Lusk, Senior Vice President of Operations and Student Life gave the blessing.
Other officiants included Amy Miles, Assistant Professor of English, Acting Marshal; Dr. Robert Moore, Professor of Chemistry, First Deputy Marshal; and Dr. Maria O’Connell, Professor of English, Second Deputy Marshal.
Wayland Baptist University’s mission is to educate students in an academically challenging, learning-oriented, and distinctively Christian environment for career success and service to God and humanity.
(Wayland Baptist University press release)