Light a Flame That Lasts a Lifetime

Date: Wednesday, May 15 at 7 p.m.
Address: Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church
901 Acklen Ave. Nashville, TN
Keynote: Pastor Breonus Mitchell Sr.

Date: Thursday, May 16, at 10 a.m.
Address: Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church
1203 9th Ave N.
Keynote: State Representative, Dr. Harold M. Love, Jr, pastor of Lee Chapel A.M. E. Church

American Baptist College Graduates Are Uplifting

American Baptist College graduates strive to uplift and be uplifting, according to Provost for Academic Affairs, Dr. LaShante Walker. Shane’ Carter, a U. S. Army Veteran will receive her degree at the 2019 graduation ceremony.  The Nashville native and 1989 White’s Creek graduate, chose to follow her twin brother to the armed forces in 1990 and was honorably discharged in 1993.

She began her academic matriculation at ABC in Fall 2013 and withdrew in the Spring of 2015.  She returned in the Fall of 2017 and will graduate this May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership.   “I love American Baptist College,” said Carter.  “This college opened my eyes to issues of Social Justice and I was willing to fight when I faced injustices,” she added.

She has just been accepted to Vanderbilt Divinity School and will enroll in the fall, seeking a Master of Divinity in Theological Studies.  She has a passion for helping people and she hopes to one day become a Christian Counselor. One of her favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”  Mrs. Carter is a wife, mother, grandmother, veteran, licensed minister, business-woman, and the author of the book titled,  ‘The Day I Found Me.’   Her entire family is extremely proud of her.  Shane’ loves spending time with her husband, grandchildren, traveling, riding her bicycle and watching movies.

Graduation will also allow another student to shine brightly from the flame that was almost snuffed out during his teenage years. Rahim Buford, a committed social activist, who has a heart for the people will receive his bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Rahim was having some life challenges being rough and tough as a teenager.  During his senior year at Hunters Lane High School, he was arrested and went to prison. He was incarcerated from May 5, 1989, to June 25, 2015. During those 26 years, he was housed at eight different prisons and in solitary confinement for 28 days.

While at Riverbend Maximum Security Center, he was taking classes from the Vanderbilt Divinity School and one class was taught by Dr. Forrest Harris, who has a dual role as President of American Baptist College and Director of the Kelly Miller Smith Institute at Vanderbilt.

Dr. Harris taught ‘Race, Religion and Ethnicity in America’ and Rahim was one of his students. “This was the best class I had ever taken,” said Rahim.  During the course of the class, Dr. Harris told him, “When you get out, you have a scholarship to attend American Baptist College.”  Dr. Harris made good on his promise.  Rahim explains, “Dr. Harris did not say, if you get out, he said, ‘when you get out’ and was true to his word.  I have been at American Baptist since 2015.”  He first took two classes per semester, then three, then four.  He has been on the President’s List/Deans List since he started taking the required number of courses.  He will walk proud during graduation ceremonies to receive his coveted diploma. “Knowledge took me on a journey within myself.  I wanted to experience what that journey could do,” said the proud graduate.”

“Rahim has excelled academically and this strong academic foundation will help him to continue to develop as a productive citizen in our society,” stated Dr. Walker. Rahim has a podcast that focuses on Social Justice and Equity and tells his story.

Rahim will deliver the address on behalf of the students at the graduation ceremony. He will focus on social justice and equity and furthering the cause to help incarcerated individuals, once they are released.  “Rahim is committed to social justice and equity and is totally dedicated to that cause,” said President Harris.

ABC will hold its Baccalaureate Service Wednesday, May 15 at 7 p.m., at Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church, where Pastor Breonus Mitchell, Sr. serves as Senior Pastor of the 1200 -member congregation.  The church is located 901 Acklen Ave., Nashville.  Pastor Mitchell also serves as President of the ABC National Alumni Association and will be the keynote speaker at the Baccalaureate Service.

The Commencement Program will be Thursday, May 16, at 10 a.m. at Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, located at 1203 9th Ave. North, Nashville.  State Representative, Dr. Harold M. Love, Jr, also pastor of Lee Chapel A.M. E. Church in Nashville, will deliver the graduation address.

A highlight of the graduation program at Fifteenth Ave. is the veteran’s ceremony. “This part of the program will provide special recognition to those who have served the country and now will serve from a theological and social justice perspective,” said President Harris.  Additionally, awards will be presented in a variety of categories.

For more information about ABC graduation, contact Ciara Smith at 615.687.6896.

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Celebrating Stellar Students with Bright Futures At
American Baptist College Graduation

American Baptist College will celebrate the 2019 Graduation Class with joy and vigor.  Baccalaureate Service will be Wednesday, May 15 at 7 p.m., at Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Breonus Mitchell Sr., will be the keynote speaker.  The church is located at 901 Acklen Ave. Nashville, TN.

Pastor Mitchell also serves as President of the ABC National Alumni Association, representing graduates from throughout the world who earned their degrees from ABC.  “It is an honor to be a graduate from ABC and serve as the keynote speaker at the Baccalaureate Service.  I hope to inspire and ignite the students as they become alumni,” he said.

The Commencement Program will be Thursday, May 16, at 10 a.m. at Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, located at 1203 9th Ave N, Nashville. Stat

e Representative, Dr. Harold M. Love, Jr, who is also the pastor of Lee Chapel  A.M. E. Church, will serve as the keynote speaker. “In his role as State Representative, Rep. Love has worked tirelessly to serve the constituents of his district and especially HBCU’s,” said Dr. Forrest Harris, President of ABC.  “Rep. Love has championed opportunities for this college to participate in the state-spon

sored Bridges Program, which is funded by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC),” he stated. ABC will receive $80,000 to participate in the program, which is a four-week session for students who need academic assistance before entering college.  Rep. Love will share his concerns and hopes about student academic success.

“American Baptist College is a wonderful institution of higher education with a rich history of preparing some of this nation’s best leaders.  I am pleased to speak to the graduates of ABC and share insights to help guide them on their continued paths to success,” said Rep. Love.

The student speaker for commencement will be Mr. Rahim Buford. Rahim said he is going to rest from doing papers, taking tests and making presentations, while still operating his non-profit, Unheard Voices Outreach.

“We are proud of our graduating seniors and know they will represent ABC well in their future endeavors,” said Dr. LaShante Walker, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Our graduates have scholarship offers to Vanderbilt Divinity School and Duke, as well as employment in non-profits and faith-based work,” she added.

Awards will be presented to students who have earned a place on the President’s List and the Dean’s List.  Additionally, qualified students will receive the Delta Epsilon Chi Honor Society Award and the Theta Alpha Epsilon Honor Society Award. “

These students have excelled academically during their matriculation at ABC and deserve to receive the awards of high academic distinction to reflect their educational commitment,” said Dr. Walker.

Additionally, those graduates who are veterans will be recognized for their due diligence as scholars who persisted to completion and for their service to the country.  The veteran’s service will be a part of the graduation ceremony on Thursday at Mt. Gilead. Prior to the Baccalaureate Service, students will participate in the ceremonial walk and march through the official ABC arch, as a symbol to them being ‘Keepers of the Flame,’ a known interpretative for ABC.

“Our graduates have an unwavering commitment to justice and are trained to be leaders for transformative Christian ministry, said President Harris. We look forward to them leaving the ‘Holy Hill’ and making a positive difference in the lives of everyone they touch,” he added.

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