“Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I’ve come.” This line from the well-known hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” offers a fitting response to the eighth annual graduation service of Bethlehem College & Seminary. We typically link “Ebenezer” to surly old Scrooge in The Christmas Carol, but the hymn writer draws upon 1 Samuel 7:12. Following Israel’s victory over the Philistines, the prophet Samuel set up a stone “and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Till now the LORD has helped us.’” The Hebrew word Ebenezer means “stone of help.” Samuel set up this rock as a memorial reminding future generations of God’s covenant-keeping faithfulness and strong support for his people.
Last Friday, we witnessed a record 58 students graduate from Bethlehem College & Seminary (42 from the college, 16 from the seminary). The student testimonies from Jacob Rush and Scott Hubbard and the charge from Pastor Jason Meyer each called the graduating class to recall and reflect on what God has done during their years of study at Bethlehem. We did not pile stones in the sanctuary on Friday evening, but we did present students with diplomas that will hang in their homes or offices as a sort of “Ebenezer,” reminding them for years to come that the LORD met them and helped them during their time at Bethlehem College & Seminary.
The recent graduates from our college programs have plans for further education at various seminaries and universities: Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Liberty University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, New Saint Andrews, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Southern Evangelical Seminary, University of British Columbia, and University of Finlandia, University of Northwestern—St. Paul. Others plan to serve the LORD through various business ventures, an apologetics ministry, ESL teaching, global missions, local church ministry, and more.
Our 13 seminary graduates are launching into vocational ministry near and far. Six are launching into church-planting in Minneapolis, Idaho, and Oklahoma. Four are beginning as local church pastors in Minneapolis, Wisconsin, and New York. One is headed to an unengaged people group in Asia. One is launching into ministry with Desiring God, and one will finish his Th.M degree before heading into pastoral ministry.
Thanks be to God for his faithful help to these graduating students and for the many ways that they have blessed the people of Bethlehem Baptist Church over the past four years.
- Pray for our graduates as they launch into various ministries, jobs, and further education.
- Pray for the On The Double campaign as we enter the final 36 days with only $43,539.28 left to be raised to meet our $600,000 goal.
- Pray for rest and rejuvenation for students, faculty and staff as they enter the summer break.