Graduating students and their families gathered in the Due West ARP Church Friday, May 18, for an evening service of worship in preparation for Erskine College and Seminary commencement ceremonies Saturday.
This year’s baccalaureate speaker was Dr. Michael A. Milton, James Ragsdale Professor of Missions and Evangelism and director of the chaplain ministries emphasis in the Master of Divinity program at Erskine Theological Seminary. A recently retired U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain (Colonel), he was presented with the Legion of Merit in April. Milton is the founder and director of the outreach ministry Faith for Living and serves as president and senior fellow of the D. James Kennedy Institute.
Milton’s baccalaureate address was “Fools’ Gold: The Discriminating Graduate’s Guide to Getting Ahead.” He warned the assembled seniors that people sometimes “seek fulfillment in things that look like treasure but end up being a trap,” citing the example of John August Sutter, who attempted to “build an empire” in California in the 19th century but instead saw his business ventures fail during the California Gold Rush.
God’s truth must be pursued in order to achieve sustainable success, Milton stressed. “God’s word is true gold that will last through all eternity,” he said. God’s word, God’s ways, and God’s wealth will “build an empire that will never perish.”
The Rev. Paul Patrick conducted the service; Erskine President Dr. Robert Gustafson introduced the speaker and offered a prayer of intercession for the graduates; Dr. Keith Timms directed the Erskine College Choraleers; Rodney Cleveland served as organist; and Prof. Tobi Otekayi, pianist, accompanied the Choraleers.