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Countywide baccalaureate set for May 20 in Colonial Heights

Rick Wagner • May 1, 2018 at 3:17 PM

KINGSPORT — The Sullivan County Baccalaureate Service, originally canceled this year because of a lack of planning and interest, has been resurrected and is scheduled in less than three weeks.

The service is set to start at 6:18 p.m. on May 20 at Colonial Heights Baptist Church with the Rev. Lewis Kizer and at least two graduating seniors to speak. Students are asked to arrive at the church, 108 Colonial Heights Road just, by 5:45 p.m. to assemble for the processional. Music will be provided by the Indian Springs Baptist Church Youth Band.

Kizer, pastor of Salem United Methodist Church in Blountville, said he decided to organize the event when he saw on Facebook this year’s event had been canceled.

“I found out it had been canceled from a lack of participation in the planning process,” Kizer said Monday afternoon. “I just kind of took up the guard.” That includes a Facebook invitation page to the event.

A planning meeting for the event is set this for 8:30 Tuesday morning at Cassidy United Methodist Church in Indian Springs. So far, Kizer said that Central senior Joseph Aquino and Dobyns-Bennett senior Jake Weaver are scheduled to speak and that he hopes to gather other speakers. The event is open to students from Sullvan South, North, Central and East high schools, as well as Dobyns-Bennett, D-B EXCEL, Tennessee High, private schools countywide and those who are home-schooled countywide.

Kizer said that his baccalaureate was important to him when he graduated high school and he believes it will be, or at least should be, for seniors. He said his church has eight seniors graduating from Central but the event is ecumenical and interdenominational.

He said last year’s event, held at Celebration Church in Blountville, drew less than 100, but the hope is to draw a much larger crowd May 20.

“That’s why we picked a large church in hopes a lot of people would come,” Kizer said.

He said it would be a time “to stop and see they’re connected to a larger picture” as they prepare for the rest of their lives.

“They’re going to fail at some point along the way, and where are they going to turn when that happens?” Kizer said.

The Facebook invitation, in part, says: “The service itself will feature music and readings from a wide range of Christian traditions, sermon, and will conclude with a benediction over the graduating students. This is a very special time before graduation to remember God in a very busy season of the graduate’s life.”

For more information about the service, contact Kizer at [email protected], (423) 525-2489 or through the Facebook invitation.

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