The Power of God Has Lifted the Class of 2008, Baccalaureate Speaker Hicks Tells Seniors
By ADD SEYMOUR JR.
In a rousing speech that brought a near-capacity Baccalaureate service crowd at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel to its feet, the Rev. H. Beecher Hicks Jr. told Morehouse’s class of 2008 that with God on their side, they should never walk in fear.
“You lift your head up high. Walk with your shoulders back and walk because you are a child of God,” he said. “Sometime you’ll look back over four years of your studies and say ‘I never would have made it if I didn’t have somebody to hold on to…..Because I had it rough, because the courses are tough, now I can tell you that I’m stronger, I’m wiser and I’m better.’”
Approximately 520 graduating seniors, with enthusiastic family and friends all around, received Hicks’ advice one day before they graduate during the College’s 124th Commencement ceremony on the Century Campus at 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 18.
But they first were given an inspirational send-off that along with President Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75, featured Bishop Eddie L. Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of Lithonia, Ga. and the Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith of Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, Calif.,who delivered the evocation and Imam Plemon Tauheed El-Amin of the Atlanta Masjid of El-Amin and Rabbi Scott B. Saulson of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta who gave the benediction.
“Without your transformation, there can be no transformation in the world,” said Chapel Dean Lawrence E. Carter Sr.
Hicks, senior minister of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., regarded as one of the world’s greatest preachers, was delivering his third baccalaureate address to a graduating class at Morehouse.
In a speech titled “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” he reminded the seniors that along with being sealed by the power of God, they have reached this pinnacle of their success because of the sacrifices and sufferings of others, from family and friends to civil rights icons such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. ’48.
“Do not forget that somebody prayed for you and do not forget that you are here because somebody did your jail time,” Hicks said.
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