HENDERSON, TENN., (BNC) by Jamie Suiter — In spite of a cold snap and what we call in West Tennessee a “Blackberry Winter” Freed Hardeman University (FHU) in Henderson had a beautiful sunny day for their graduating class of approximately 250 students.

Three of these students were from the new Dixon, Tenn., facilities. Nineteen states were represented and three different countries. Two students were from Canada, one from Uganda and one was an American living in Singapore who completed his Master of Ministry with the online program.

Jay Lockheart , pulpit minister and an elder for the Whitehouse church in Whitehouse, Tex., spoke at the commencement in the Loyd Auditorium. Jay and his wife Arlene Carter Lockheart met while attending Freed Hardeman College. Brother Lockheart has done work with Truth For Today in Searcy, Ark., and was host of the popular television broadcast “The Search” in Tyler, Tex., from 1985-2007.

One of his outstanding quotes given to the class was, “As you prepare to leave these sacred halls of a university that we love so much and you go to make your mark on the world, you will go as those who have learned to make a living, but you’ll also go as those who have learned how to live. No greater life could we live than the life of a servant. Wherever you go, go as a great servant.” (From the Jackson Sun, Jackson Tenn.)

I asked one of the graduates, Drew Crews of Samburg, Tenn., to give us his assessment of the four years he spent at FHU and he gave this heart-stirring statement.

“The money I spent to attend Freed-Hardeman University was well worth it. My teachers, whether they taught Bible or biology, were top-notch, and helped me to think critically about the world around me and also how to think and live as Christ would. That pertains to every teacher I had at Freed, didn’t matter what subject they taught. More than anything, the growth I experienced while at Freed is what really means the most to me.

“The friends I made during my time there are amazing. I know I can talk to them about anything and know they will be there for me. I think back to all of the crazy, fun things we did late at night in the dorm when we should have been asleep or studying that we still talk and laugh about to this day. I also recall the deep, meaningful talks I had with them, as well. One time, my friends and I stayed up until 3 am talking about faith, and it was awesome. While at Freed, I found a desire to want to know more about God, and love him and others the way he loves me and you. I found a desire to serve others for his glory.

“My worldview has expanded, and my thirst for knowledge of God and his word has grown. I wouldn’t change a thing about my time at Freed. I think if you are serious about challenging your faith, growing spiritually, and learning how to live as Christ would in any occupation you choose, then going to Freed-Hardeman University. Don’t let the cost scare you. You are going to be so glad you invested your money into a Freed-Hardeman education.”