Bluefield University will host its 27th Annual Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week, September 26-28, featuring three morning sessions of spiritual discourse led by Pastor Beltane Harrigan, a sought after conference speaker in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S. The sessions, open and free to the public, will begin at 10 a.m. each day, Wednesday through Friday, in Harman Chapel.
Since 1992, thanks to the generosity of Drs. Gene and Jane Duremdes of Princeton, West Virginia, who sponsor the Christian Emphasis event, the university has set aside a week in the school year for students and the community to focus on faith through the facilitation of spiritual speakers, leaders, and musicians. Sensing a “special calling” to “share with the students of Bluefield University some of the blessings they have received from the Lord,” the Duremdes created the event with BU leaders to give students and the public at-large the opportunity to “examine their spiritual lives” and to “seek answers to life-impacting questions.”
“Christian Emphasis Week is an important time in the BU academic year when the University community can intentionally focus on Christ: who he is and what he means to us,” said BU campus pastor Dr. Henry Clary. “My hope is that this will be a time of spiritual renewal and our students would determine to follow Jesus completely.”
Hundreds of Bluefield University students have made professions of faith during Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week through the years. Facilitating the encounter with Christ this year will be Pastor Beltane Harrigan, an evangelist with a big heart for missions and supporting missionary families. For the past ten years he has been traveling to special meetings and conferences either in the Caribbean, the U.S., or South America; however, Beltane just wants to be known simply as a servant of God and one who cares to talk a lot to God in prayer, because he’s deeply in love with Him.
Pastor Beltane Harrigan was born on the island of Anguilla, in the Caribbean, in 1955. He came to know the Lord Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior on August 17, 1966 at a Youth Camp held at a beach there. His family relocated to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands in 1971, where he completed his high school education in May of 1972. That summer he attended another youth camp in a rain forest where he received the call of God to go into the ministry.
That very September, he was accepted as a student at Bluewater Bible College, in St Thomas. In 1975, he transferred to Tennessee Temple University, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and a minor in English. He returned that year to his home church in St. Croix and became the assistant pastor, working under the missionary Clifford Bubor. In the summer of 1979, he married Deborah Barnett, and in January of 1982, they started the Way of the Cross Baptist Church of which he is the Senior Pastor.
In addition to his ministry, he has served as a high school Christian education principal, teacher, and counselor. He also writes a weekly religious newspaper column titled “A Voice of God” and has written a 13-week Bible course titled “A Balanced Christian Life,” which he has been using for discipleship in several churches in the Caribbean and the U.S.