WINGATE – Paul Baxley, executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, will speak during Wingate University’s opening convocation at 5 p.m. Aug. 18.
Baxley is expected to challenge the 1,000-plus incoming students, faculty and staff to reclaim thinking, teaching and learning as holy acts necessary for mature faith.
“Christian hospitality will be at the heart of the worship service, where all are welcomed to grow and celebrate their faith together, cooperatively, in diversity, in community,” said Vint Tilson, Wingate’s vice president for strategic partnerships. “Often, first-time students arrive on campus with a faith that is ‘borrowed’ from those who love and care for them the most. We hope this ‘borrowed’ faith is authenticated over the years at Wingate to become a more personal, contextual faith, one that makes students more aware of the worth of ecumenical and interfaith experiences.”
Baxley was Wingate’s campus minister from 1999 to 2002. A charter member of the University’s Faith Development Council, Baxley has remained involved at Wingate even as his career has taken him to Georgia.
Convocation is considered a bookend to spring’s Baccalaureate, which Wingate holds on the eve of Commencement.
In addition to Baxley’s message, Sunday’s service will include words of welcome and recognition of emeritus faculty by Joe Patterson, chairman of the board of trustees; an invocation by Dane Jordan, minister to students; and a welcome from President Rhett Brown. Students Rania Badran, Tatianna Onley and José Ocampo will have roles in the service as will the University Singers led by Kenney Potter, chair of the music department. Antonio Jefferson, director of Lyceum, will remind students of upcoming faith Lyceum events. Marilyn Hartness, retired art professor, will offer the benediction.