Sullivan seniors to come together for countywide baccalaureate service

Rick Wagner • May 14, 2018 at 2:19 PM

KINGSPORT — Plans for the 2018 Sullivan County baccalaureate service, the 21st annual event open to seniors from any school in the county as well as homeschooled seniors, have been refined and mostly finalized.

The service will begin at 6:18 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at Colonial Heights Baptist Church. Students are asked to arrive by 5:45 p.m. in their caps and gowns to assemble at the church, located at 108 Colonial Heights Road, for the processional. Music will be provided by the Indian Springs Baptist Church Youth Band. The Rev. Lewis Kizer of Salem United Methodist Church in Blountville will speak, and two seniors will give testimonials.

Kizer and Sullivan Central High School parent and Indian Springs Baptist Church member Brandy Kisner helped resurrect the event, which has a Facebook invitation page. Kizer read Kisner’s Facebook post expressing her disappointment that the service had been canceled earlier this year because of a lack of planning interest and wanted to get involved.

“It’s all student-led except for the speaker,” Kisner said.


The service is set to begin at 6:18 p.m., Kizer and Kisner said, because the 18 is meant to signify the Class of 2018.

Continuing that theme, representatives of eight faith organizations attended a May 2 planning meeting for the event at Cassidy United Methodist Church in Indian Springs. It drew representatives of Blountville, Cassidy and Salem UMCs; Colonial Heights, Indian Springs and Sunnyside Baptist churches; Celebration Church; and Young Life.


The event is open to students from Sullivan South, North, Central and East, as well as Dobyns-Bennett, D-B EXCEL, Cora Cox Academy, Tennessee High, Tri-Cities Christian School and other private schools countywide and those who are home-schooled countywide.

Karli Ailshie of D-B and Joseph Aquino of Central will give testimonials, while Abbie Edwards and Anna Begley of D-B will peform “Out of Hiding.” Austin Weaver of D-B will lead the Pledge of Allegiance,  Tanner Arnold of Central will give the welcome and invocation, Elijah Cox of Central will read scripture, Brooke Hatcher of Central will deliver the opening prayer and Caitlyn Dalton of Central will introduce the speaker. Hannah Ayers will be the master of ceremonies, and Savannah Royston will do the processional. The Sullivan South JROTC will present the colors.


The marble unity ceremony, where students pour marbles representing their school or group, will include Carlee McGuire of D-B, Joseph Kisner of Central, Timmy Carter of East, Kobie Means of homeschoolers, Laken Moody of North, Carson Scarce of South and Noah Ormes of Tennessee High. The group is still searching for someone from Tri-Cities Christian School for that ceremony since it has a graduation before May 20.

Marbles represent each senior graduating from each school in his or her school colors. The students will combine marbles in a ceremony in one jar after lighting a candle represent their school.


Fliers were sent to schools and a homeschool group. For more information about the service, contact Kizer at [email protected], call (423) 525-2489 or see the Facebook invitation.


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