There were 64 members out of the 90 graduates of California High School Class of 2018, family and friends, gathered at the California High School May 9 for the Baccalaureate Service, sponsored by the California Ministerial Alliance.
The graduating class procession was to the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance," played by Michele Bilyeu. Congregational hymns "Victory in Jesus" and "Like a Shepherd Lead Us" were led by the Rev. Jeremy Barnard, Lebanon Baptist Church. The welcome and prayer were given by the Rev. Gene Moeller, ministerial alliance president.
The scripture readings were from Prov. 22:1-4, presented by Casey Malley, associate pastor First Baptist Church, and from I Cor. 1:26-30, by Clyde Leonard of the Main Street Baptist Church. The senior choir performed "Lead Me, Lord," accompanied by Lisa Bleich and directed by Michele Bilyeu.
The message "The Tale of Two Travelers," based roughly on Prov. 27:12, was presented by the Rev. Jeremy Anderson, First Baptist Church. The fictional story was of two young people who after graduation from high school, were given wagons to pull along the "path of life." They passed beautiful decorative boxes labeled "Success," "Money," "Fame" and all the things one might like to achieve during a lifetime. The one picked up all the desired things and spoke to very few of the people along the way. The other person stopped along the way and gave things to those who might need them, or who had nothing.
At the end, the one with all of the things considered desirable in life, standing at the Pearly Gates, lacked the one thing needed to be allowed in — the key. The other one arrived later, with a wagon empty of all the things most people try to gain in life, but had gotten an "old piece of wood" from someone who convinced him to help others. The old piece of wood was a cross and was the key to get in.
Anderson went on to speak of the people who try to gain everything and lose out, because they didn't get the only thing of real importance, the grace and salvation of Christ.
Each of the seniors present was introduced by Jason Gatlin. The soon-to-be-graduates were presented gifts of miniature diplomas by Paul Branstetter and Eugene Wickham of the California Kiwanis. Small Gideon New Testaments were presented through the Moniteau County Camp of Gideon's International.
This year $500 scholarships in honor of Ivan S. Dameron were awarded to Halle Oliver and Trevor Gerling, presented by the Rev. Casey Malley.