Dr. Steve Adamson was installed as 18th president of Erskine College Friday, Sept. 23 during a service of worship at the Due West Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church.
“I’m honored and humbled to accept the trust you have placed in me to serve as the 18th president of Erskine College and Seminary,” Adamson said, as he began his inaugural address.
“As president, I stand in the shadows of my predecessors…those who have served and labored to preserve Erskine College as a God-honoring, Bible-believing institution of higher education.”
Adamson expressed thanks to all who planned and carried out the installation service and the events and activities leading up to the inauguration.
“Most of all, I give praise and thanks to God,” he said. He called the prayers and support of his wife Von, “joined together with the Lord’s sustaining hand,” “the sole reason I am here today.”
Outlining the four “pillars” of Erskine’s strategic plan—Missional Fidelity, Financial Stewardship, Educational Excellence, and Expanding Reach—the new president also presented Erskine’s small size and location in a small town as assets and paid tribute to the Due West community.
“Some may question how a small college in a small town can have much to contribute to God’s kingdom,” Adamson said. “The answer is found in scripture, for we read over and over again how the Lord used those that the world passed over to accomplish His purposes.”
Remarking on the relationship of Erskine with Due West, he said, “You would be hard-pressed to find another college anywhere that is so well integrated with the community.”
Erskine students arriving on campus “are surrounded immediately by a sense of family,” he said, just as he and his wife Von were when they arrived in Due West on Christmas Day and discovered the thoughtful preparations made for them.
Dr. Alan Broyles, chairman of the Presidential Search Committee, welcomed the attendees and delivered a message from the committee, which, he said, “believed from the very beginning that God had already set aside for us the new president of Erskine.” He noted that Adamson “stood head and shoulders above” other applicants and gave “thoughtful, measured, eminently logical answers” to the committee’s questions.
Board of Trustees Chair Michael S. Whitehurst expressed thanks to the Inaugural Steering Committee, conducted the investiture of the president, and offered a prayer for the installation of the president.
“We are blessed to have you and your wife Von in service with us at Erskine College,” Whitehurst told Adamson, commending the president’s “work to date and your respect for the history and understanding of God’s purpose for this institution.”
Charging Adamson “to honor God in all you do,” Whitehurst said, “May your service be an excellent continuation of the service of those who have gone before you in carrying forth the mission of this institution.”
Greetings were offered by Moderator of the General Synod of the ARP Church Bill McKay; Professor of Systematic Theology and Dean Emeritus of the Seminary Dr. R.J. Gore; Assistant Professor of Psychology and Faculty Chair Dr. Brianna Van Scoy; Gabriel Collier of the Class of 2025; the Rev. Scott Moore, pastor of the Due West ARP Church; Alumni Association Board of Directors President E. Phillip Cook; and Len Munsil, J.D., president of Arizona Christian University, where Adamson formerly served as provost and executive vice president.
The Rev. Joshua Chiles, chaplain of Erskine College, gave the invocation and read the Old Testament scripture passage; Dean of the Seminary Dr. Seth Nelson read the New Testament scripture passage and gave the benediction; and Dean of the College Shane Bradley offered a prayer for the 185th year of the seminary and the 183rd year of the college.
The opening procession for the ceremony included Erskine faculty members and administrators as well as delegates from other educational institutions.
Marshals included seminary student Charles Joshua Starnes of the Class of 2023 and college student Olivia Eleanor Brown of the Class of 2023.
Serving as crucifer was John Montgomery Bell Professor of New Testament Dr. Loyd D. Melton; the mace bearer was Professor of English Dr. N. Bradley Christie.
Musicians for the service included Amanda Hershberger Moss and Eric Gardner, bagpipes; Josh “J.T.” Thomas, Class of 2025, snare drum; Norman F. “Trip” McGill, Class of 1982, organ; Sharon George, Class of 2024, violin; Christian Watley, Class of 2024, violin; Stonewall Pent, cello; and the Erskine College Choraleers, conducted by Associate Professor of Music Dr. Keith Timms.