Faith Christian graduates Class of 2012
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on May 20, 2012 1:50 AM
Christina Renee Powell deliver the valedictorian address Friday at Faith Christian Academy's graduation.
If it hadn't been for Faith Christian Academy, Daniel Wallace might very well have been doing something completely different Friday night.
He would have followed his seventh-grade dream, to be a country singer.
But instead, Wallace, one of 22 Faith Christian seniors who turned their tassels Friday night, has decided to become a youth pastor.
So, he spent this past Friday night with his classmates at their high school graduation.
Wallace said his path has not been without challenge -- he is visually impaired.
However, he said he has been determined over the last four years not to let his near-blindness hinder him.
I've learned to trust God completely in everything I do," he said. "I've also had teachers who have taken time out of their day to write things bigger for me. It's all good. The teachers, pastors and youth pastors here reach out to you, and they do love you."
Shortly after walking across the stage to receive his diploma, Wallace said it was an "awesome" experience.
Kayla Anderson agreed, saying it felt good to graduate.
"I'm excited about what life holds in store for me," she said. "I have faced many challenges here spiritually, physically and socially, but I've overcome them through my friends, my church family and, most of all, my family."
During the graduation ceremony, valedictorian Christina Powell praised the school staff saying, "Our success is your success; for you have given us the freedom to dare, the courage to excel and the belief that we can achieve our best. You have been there for us with support and care, and had faith in us when we doubted ourselves."
She said her class has much to be proud of.
"Although we are small in size, we are huge in charisma, talent, athletic ability and perseverance. Together for the last time, we stand poised at the very edge of graduation, looking forward to a bright future."
Salutatorian Michael Clarke said it was hard to believe that graduation day was finally here.
"It seems like just yesterday that we started our senior year," he said. "I would like to challenge you to use the principles that have been instilled in us, foremost, to be a light for Christ in this dark world. We can make a difference in the world around us because of the influence of these godly men and women (at the school)."
Just before the students received their diplomas, Pastor Dann Patrick retold the story of David defeating Goliath and his win in the fight against the lion and bear before that -- all with God's help.
"You graduates have been prepared for even greater battles," he said.
Patrick told the graduates that they will certainly face their lions and bears in the form of various difficulties and distresses throughout life.
"The lion that may sneak up on you though may be temptations for you in your thoughts," he said. "But if you have God as your helper, you can defeat the lions and bears. The devil may tempt some of you to give in. Call on the Lord. David said the battle is the Lord's.
"You may have to battle the lion, bear and giant all at one time. You can win with God on your side."
Patrick said just like David defeated the giant with stones, the graduates can defeat the lions, bears and giants in their lives by reading the Bible, praying, attending church regularly, choosing the right friends and being a witness for God.
And that is exactly what Brandon Jones intends to do.
"I'll be able to lead a better Christian life and I'll be walking down a better path because of this school," the graduate said. "And if I do go on a wrong path, I'll know where to turn, where the teachers have taught me to go."