Bluefield College will host its 26th Annual Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week, September 27-29, featuring three morning sessions of spiritual discourse led by evangelist Trey Bradley* and praise and worship led by the Norton Hall Band. 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 college 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 College some of the blessings they have received from the Lord,” the Duremdes created the event with BC leaders to give students and the public at-large the opportunity to “examine their spiritual lives” and to “seek answers to life-impacting questions.”
“Student leaders on the Bluefield Collegiate Ministries team have been praying for God to bring a spiritual awakening to Bluefield College,” said BC campus pastor Dr. Henry Clary. “Our hope is to truly see students find their deepest needs met in Jesus.”
Hundreds of Bluefield College students have made professions of faith during Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week through the years. Facilitating the encounter with Christ this year will be Bradley*, an evangelist with a heart to teach and mentor young people.
“Trey is a young man known for his pure heart and genuine faith,” said Jason Patterson, president of Real Life Ministries in Greenville, South Carolina. “His genuineness is matched only by his passion for making a difference in the lives of others. It is truly his greatest desire to see the type of life change that only comes through the power of God at work in our world.”
A native of Gaffney, South Carolina, and a Christian since the age of eight, Bradley began sensing a call from God into the ministry as a teenager, but initially ignored it. In fact, around age 17 he began to fall away from God into a lifestyle of destruction that he said left him “miserable.” Not long after “hitting rock bottom,” Bradley said he realized that “life without Christ isn’t worth living,” so he “surrendered everything to Him.”
Soon after, in January 2002, Bradley answered the call to full-time ministry and has since spoken at numerous colleges, churches, youth camps, Disciple Now events, student rallies, and other youth and young adult gatherings. This is his second time serving as BC’s keynote speaker for Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week.
“I just want to honor Christ in everything I do and follow Him wherever He leads, whether that be overseas or across the street,” said Bradley, who holds a master’s degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. “I love to mentor and develop leaders by investing in their daily lives. I believe that every conversation and encounter is an opportunity to share Jesus with those who are hurting, lost, and need the Gospel.”
Bradley’s ministry has also taken him overseas to speak internationally. In addition, he has served in student ministry for several years and helped plant a church. Above all, he is passionate about preaching the Gospel and “seeing Jesus transform lives.”
“It’s rare to find a young man like Trey Bradley, a young man who not only has an engaging teaching ability, but a love for God’s truth, as well,” said Christian Chapman, pastor of Radiant Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a former evangelist for Kingdom Building Ministries. “His love for Jesus and his passion for teaching will engage and challenge any and all audiences.”
Joining Bradley in leading Bluefield College’s Christian Emphasis Week will be The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Norton Hall Band. In addition to performing and leading worship for the seminary, the band travels and leads praise and worship sessions for Christian ministry gatherings across the region.
“The Norton Hall Band is a tangible demonstration that our goal and purpose in the Billy Graham School at Southern Seminary is to train pastors who lead worship, not simply musicians or worship leaders,” said the seminary. “Each member of the band has a pastor’s heart and a desire to promote Christ-centered, biblically guided worship. Their purpose is to lead in worship that centers around the Gospel and is birthed out of the Word of God.”
Named after the seminary’s primary academic building, the Norton Hall Band is comprised of lead singer Devon Kauflin, electric guitarist Jeff Dyke, drummer Jared Hoffman, pianist Jonatan Barahona, and bass player Micah Loggins. The band’s 2014 debut album, “Be Thou My Vision,” was named the favorite among top five college worship albums in Worship Leader Magazine, and the group’s second album, “My Hope and Stay,” released just last year, features a collection of traditional hymns, like “How Firm a Foundation” and “He Will Hold Me Fast.”
For more information about Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week, contact Dr. Clary by email at [email protected] or by phone at 276-326-4471.
*Please note: Rev. Beltane Harrigan, an evangelist from the island of Anguilla in the Caribbean, was originally scheduled to serve as keynote speaker for Bluefield College’s 2017 Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week, but is no longer able to participate as a result of Hurricane Irma and the cancellation of airplane flights in and out of St. Croix.