Hope Christian graduates class of 2015

Hope Christian School valedictorian Stephen Adams addresses his classmates during the school's graduation ceremony at Briarwood Presbyterian Church on May 21. (For the Reporter/Paige Knight)

Hope Christian School valedictorian Stephen Adams addresses his classmates during the school’s graduation ceremony at Briarwood Presbyterian Church on May 21. (For the Reporter/Paige Knight)

By PAIGE KNIGHT / Special to the Reporter

BIRMINGHAM – The 25th commencement ceremony for Hope Christian School’s 2015 graduating class of 100 students packed the sanctuary of Briarwood Presbyterian Church on May 21.

The ceremony began with a beautifully spoken prayer by the school’s administrator, Pastor Wayne Atchison. During his prayer, he spoke highly of his students, past, present, and ones soon to come. He encouraged the graduates to “persist with a purpose” and that the “object of your faith is what truly matters.”

Valedictorian Sabrina Garrett expressed her gratefulness and compassion toward both Atchison and Administrator Connie Atchison. During her speech she spoke highly of them, considering them more as family than as teachers.

Graduation is a time to mourn as well as rejoice, and Sabrina encouraged her fellow graduates to “find your passion and commit to it.” While emotions were present as Garrett spoke, she still expressed the importance of “maintaining reason over emotion, but also to remember that there is no living a life without passion.”

Valedictorian Stephen Adams asked a question which will likely stay in the hearts of all who witnessed him speaking.

“Ten years from now, will the answers we give now about our future be as outlandish as our answers ten years ago as children?” Adams asked.

Stephen also said that “we all must persist without resistance, that God does not want us to remain stagnant. He wants us to move forward.”

Dr. Bill Garrett was next to enter the hearts of all the students and families in the Briarwood Presbyterian Church during the ceremony.

“We pray our authority comes from you, God and your son behind you. We pray our students’ paths take them in your direction,” Bill Garrett said.

Closing the ceremony before delivering the anxiously awaiting diplomas to all of the bright young souls from Hope Christian, Atchison had a few more words of inspiration for the students he has surely come to care for deeply over their years in his school.

“We at Hope Christian take the interests of our students and help them pursue those interests. Always remember that the many tests and trials of life will not weaken you or stop you in your path, but instead show you what you are truly capable of.”