64 Students Make Professions of Faith
Sixty-four students made professions of faith during Bluefield College’s 22nd Annual Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week, September 25-27.
October 1, 2013
Teaching pastor Clayton King serves as keynote speaker for Bluefield College's 22nd Annual Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week.
Sixty-four BC students made professions of faith during the 2013 Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week.
Robbie Alderman leads worship for Christian Emphasis Week.
Christian Emphasis Week sponsors Dr. Jane Duremdes (front left) and Dr. Gene Duremdes (front right) with BC's David Taylor (back left), event speaker Clayton King (back center) and worship leader Robbie Alderman.
Sponsored by longtime Bluefield College supporters Drs. Gene and Jane Duremdes of Princeton, West Virginia, and designed for students and the community to set aside time to “examine their spiritual lives,” the 2013 version of Christian Emphasis Week featured keynote speaker Clayton King, a teaching pastor, campus minister and author who challenged listeners to consider the difference between “being religious” and “having a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.”
“You can be a religious person,” King said, “attending church, going to a Christian school, participating in a Bible study, going to chapel, but do you really know what it’s like to experience Jesus, to have an authentic relationship with Him?”
To demonstrate his point, King, the founder and president of Crossroads Worldwide Ministries and Crossroads Summer Camps and Winter Conferences, shared a comical story of his first experience eating sushi. While he had been told for years how much he would enjoy sushi, he said, he really never knew just how much until he actually experienced it for himself. That story, he likened to the lives of many professing Christians.
“Sometimes we’re just too busy for God,” said King, who has traveled to 31 countries and 45 states preaching the Good News. “We get so wrapped up in other things that we don’t spend time in our relationship with Him. Or, we get so caught up in talking about God that we don’t even recognize he’s standing right in front of our face.”
Even Jesus’ early followers were guilty of this, King said, including the apostles who walked with Jesus after His crucifixion on the road to Emmaus not even realizing they were in the presence of the risen Savior. King shared their story from the scriptures of Luke 24.
“They’re looking for Jesus, and they don’t even realize he’s right there in front of them,” said King, a teaching pastor at New Spring Church in Anderson, South Carolina, and a former campus minister at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. “They’re close to Him, but He doesn’t enter their home until they invite Him. You can be close to Jesus, but He’s not going to come into your heart and into your life until you invite Him in.”
Sixty-four BC students responded to King’s message, inviting Jesus into their hearts. In addition to King’s remarks, the Christian Emphasis Week program included music and worship led by Robbie Alderman, a worship leader for Lifeway Ministries, Baptist Collegiate Ministries at the University of Central Florida, The Warehouse Church in Etowah, Tennessee, and the 407 youth group in Winter Park, Florida.
“I absolutely love Christian Emphasis Week,” said Bluefield College senior Caitlin Allen. “It means so much to me and the rest of campus, because it gives us a break in our busy lives to be still and refocus our attention on God. It especially meant a lot to the students who gave their lives to Christ this week. I can't wait to see what God has in store for the BC campus.”
Sensing a “special calling” to “share with the students of Bluefield College some of the blessings they have received from the Lord,” the Duremdes have funded Christian Emphasis Week at BC since 1992. As a result, dozens of students each year have committed or rededicated their lives to God -- something the Duremdes are honored to be a part of.
“It’s their (the Duremdes) desire that every student at Bluefield College know the love of God,” said David Taylor, BC’s vice president for student development, “and that through Christian Emphasis Week students have a genuine encounter with Christ.”