Rev. Poppell baccalaureate speaker

Published 6:03 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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The Rev. Steve Poppell of Whigham was the speaker at the Bainbridge High School’s 2011 baccalaureate service held Sunday at the school’s gymnasium.

Also, the service was dedicated to the memory of Jessica Alexander, who died April 6 as result of a car accident on U.S. 27 South. The accident also claimed the life of her older sister, Joycelyn, and three others. The seniors wore a small angel pin in Jessica’s memory, and the school draped her robe across what would have been her seat.

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Bryan Ordonez, who gave the dedication, read a poem that Jessica Alexander wrote in the fifth grade titled “Angel.”

“Class of 2011, we have an angel among us,” Ordonez said.

Rev. Poppell has been the pastor at Climax Baptist Church for the last seven years. Prior to leading the church, he was the youth pastor there for six years. He was called into the ministry in 1997.

Poppell’s message

Poppell based his message to the graduating class of 2011 on the first chapter of the Bible book of Joshua. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Joshua stood poised to lead the Israelites into The Promised Land. God had told Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt in search of the promised land, but before they got there, Moses passed away. That left it to Joshua, Moses’ assistant, to finish the journey.

God spoke to Joshua, telling him he would never fail or forsake him. The Lord told Joshua to tell the people he was leading to The Promised Land to be strong, courageous as they prepared to cross the Jordan River.

Poppell compared the experience of Joshua to what the seniors will face as they go out into the real world of college and the workplace.

The minister told the seniors to appreciate their provisions; appreciate the proper foundation their family and teachers have given them; and do not forget their passion in doing so.

“Apply your potential … change your world for the better,” Poppell said.

“Abound in His promises … read the Bible every day.”

“Accomplish your purpose in life, find purpose and meaning in life.”

Poppell was introduced by BHS senior Savannah Barber, who thanked the pastor for his counsel following the loss of her mother, Kaye, to cancer last November.

Baccalaureate united students

The members of the graduation class of 2011 marched in to processional music recorded by the BHS Band.

The BHS chorus sang “Total Praise” and “Angels Among Us.” A band ensemble performed a musical selection.

Abby Davidson gave the invocation, and Adam Anderson welcomed the parents, family, friends, the graduates and others attending the baccalaureate.

David Hernandez read Scripture, followed by the woodwind section of the band that played “Come Thou Almighty King.”

Jennifer Voyles read an inspirational poem.

Scott Overman gave the benediction prior to the recessional of the students to music recorded by the BHS Band.