First Waughtown celebrates College Day

Dr. Dennis Bishop, center, poses with some of the congregation’s graduates and Donovan Livingston, guest speaker.

First Waughtown celebrates College Day
May 30
01:00 2019

First Waughtown Baptist Church (FWBC) recognized nine high school and college graduates and graduation candidates during its College Day service Sunday, May 19, during the 10:45 a.m. service. The annual observance celebrated the academic achievements of the following scholars:

*Kentra Butler, son of Traci Butler-Miller and Kendrick Miller, who will graduate from Winston- Salem Preparatory School and attend Chowan University in the fall where he will play football.

*Brittany Carpenter, daughter of Maryann McGill and Johannas Carpenter, who will graduate from Parkland High School with plans to work in the fashion industry.

*Sha’Money Coleman, daughter of Kesha Coleman-Simon and stepdaughter of Chris Simon, who graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and a minor in public health. She plans to obtain mental health certification this summer and enroll in the Nursing Program.

*Whitney Crawford completed the Medical Assisting Program at Virginia College and received national certification through the National Healthcare Association. She is employed by Cone Sports Medicine and Primary Care.

*Breyana Frazier, daughter of Niakesha Frazier, graduated from Early College Forsyth with a high school diploma and Forsyth Technical Community College with an associate degree in science with honors. She will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall to study biomedical and health sciences.

*Niakesha Frazier graduated with honors from Winston-Salem State University with a master of science in nursing degree (Family Nurse Practitioner). She plans to continue her study this fall to pursue the doctoral degree in nursing practice.

*Keisha Ijames, daughter of Carolyn Ijames and the late Alan Ijames, graduated cum laude from Winston-Salem State University with a degree in mass communications and a minor in speech. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in speech pathology at UNC-Greensboro.

*Kendra Ijames, daughter of Carolyn Ijames and the late Alan Ijames, received the master of business administration degree with a concentration in human resources from North Carolina A&T State University. She has accepted a position with Ashley Distribution Services.

*Fatima Nailah McKoy, daughter of Camille McKoy, graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in family community services.

Donovan Livingston, program manager of the Pre-college Program at Wake Forest University and an acclaimed speaker and spoken word poet, challenged the graduates with a message entitled “To Be Christian and Inclusive: Critical Questions for Young Leaders.” With a spirited mix of scripture and contemporary poetic style that drew laughter and Amens, Livingston posed three questions that called for self-assessment and reflection: Who am I? How did I get here? Who is missing?

For question one, Livingston referenced Ephesians 2:10 to assure the graduates that they are God’s masterpieces, “created and crafted for a divine purpose bigger than you can imagine,” he said. “When somebody makes you feel less than or otherwise, remind yourself that you are a work of art.”

Addressing question two, Livingston acknowledged a rough start to his undergraduate studies. He invoked Matthew 7:7 – “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Now a Ph.D. candidate at UNC-Greensboro, he explained that asking for help may be the hardest and bravest thing you do – the intersection of faith and common sense – to get where you want to go. He urged them to give credit to their supporters as they experienced success “… turn your tassel, but never turn your back on the place that made you. Your name is not the only one on that diploma.”

The final question and the one Livingston considered most important, addressed marginalized communities, those who are left behind or left out because they are unlike those inpower. He described the diverse groups of people who followed Jesus, telling the graduates that Jesus didn’t oppress those who were different and neither should they.

Livingston ended his address having the graduates stand with him to echo an affirmation of strength: “Sharpen your eyes. Tune your ears. Know what you see. Understand what you hear. Minute by minute. Hour by hour. As we know our story, we know our power.”

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