First Baptist Church Family Life Center was filled with California High School Class of 2014 family and friends Wednesday, May 14, for the Baccalaureate Service sponsored by the California Ministerial Alliance. The graduating class marched into the auditorium in a procession to the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance" played by Lisa Bleich and Ginger Moore. The congregational hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," directed by the Rev. Tim Burgher, First Baptist Church, was followed by a Ministers Ensemble performance of "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, the song "I Will Lift Mine Eyes" by the senior choir and a message to the graduates.
The Invocation was given by the Rev. Eric Moore, pastor of California United Methodist Church, and the welcomed by the Rev. Eddie Schoeneberg, pastor of Main Street Baptist Church and president of the Ministerial Alliance. The Rev. Jeremy Barnard, pastor of Lebanon Baptist Church, McGirk, read the Scripture Col. 3:23.
The message to the graduates, "Learn the Important Stuff," was presented by Casey Malley, First Baptist youth pastor. The message was based on Judges 2:10-11. The topic was what success is measured on. "Success is defined by spiritual matters," Malley said. Since only one-third of high school graduates stay in church, Malley said, "My hope, my prayer, is that we will beat that statistic."
He said up to this time, its the parents that got the kids to church and to almost everything else. "As you move on through life, through college, through career, your parents won't carry you any more," said Malley. "It's your job to stay in the Word of God. Each of you will have to do it yourself. College is a lot of fun." But from experience, he said there won't be much money for a while. He commented that, by comparison, if you go into the workforce, it will seem like you are making a ton of money.
"It becomes easy to put Christ on the back burner," he said. "But Peter said in I Peter 2:16 "don't use freedom as a covering for evil, but as a bondslave of God.' Don't use your freedom unwisely. Fight the good fight. You've got to have your priorities in order to make a success in life. Learn to follow God. Then and only then will you be a success."
Dr. Peter Kurowski, pastor of California St. Paul's Lutheran Church, assisted by Henry Leon of Iglesia Hispanic Vida Nueva en Cristo, introduce each of the seniors present." Past Kiwanis President Eugene Wickham and his wife and Sarah presented to the graduates gifts of miniature diplomas by California Kiwanis Club and small Gideon New Testaments through the Moniteau County Camp of Gideon's International.
This year $500 scholarships in honor of Ivan S. Dameron were awarded to Libby Martin and Emily Ziehmer, presented by the Rev. Greg Morrow, First Baptist Church. Previous winners of the Dameron Scholarship were: Brianna Campbell, 2001; Sam Powell, 2002; David King, 2003; Clinton Scheidt, 2004; Andrew Perkins, 2005; Sara Jo Turner, 2006; Kayla Beth Jones, 2007; Ginnie Medlin, 2008; Drew Bolinger and Rachel Longan, 2009; Haley Karpowecz, 2010; Courtney Langkop and Oyuky Sandoval, 2011; and Karin Bolinger and Rachel Oerly, 2012; Tyler Kirchner and Jordan Brizendine, 2013.
The Benediction, given by Schoeneberg, was followed by the Recessional "God of Grace and God of Glory."