“May we have amazing faithfulness not just on this day at PBA, but every day,” said PBA President William M.B. Fleming Jr., as he spoke to students about the PBA theme for 2017-18 academic year during this year’s opening chapel.
Fleming welcomed the new and returning students to the 49th year of PBA with the year theme of ‘Amazing Faithfulness’ which comes from Lamentations 3:22-25.
Fleming discussed the founding of PBA and the history behind the DeSantis Family Chapel, which includes six examples that represent unconditional faithfulness. They are Abraham, Paul, Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, William Carey and Billy Graham. Six students read aloud the inscription of each.
Billy Graham’s inscription read, “One of the most basic truths of the Bible is that faith in Christ is not just an intellectual idea to be accepted and then stored in the back of our minds. True faith affects every aspect of our lives, for Jesus Christ is to be not only our Savior, but our Lord and Master.”
“This year I want you to consider being amazingly faithful to God,” said Fleming. “What does that mean specifically to you?”
Fleming went on to mention a few people who have made a lasting impact on PBA. The first of these was Dr. Don Warren and his wife. Warren had a vision for a Christ-first university in West Palm Beach and was the founding board chairman of PBA. Through him, PBA now has the Warren Library. Fleming then introduced William George Lassiter Jr. as another “crusader” who understood the transformational nature of PBA and through him PBA has the Lassiter Student Center and the Lassiter Rotunda in the library.
Fleming also recognized Marshall (Doc.) E. Rinker, who came to Palm Beach County in 1928 and built the finest building material companies in America. Rinker understood the changing nature of a Christ first university and his legacy continues through his two sons, David and John Rinker.
Fleming referenced Hebrews 12:1-2 as he encouraged the students to remain faithful to the faculty, roommates, teammates, classmates and their friends.
“May we at PBA, as we strive to demonstrate Amazing Faithfulness to Him and to one another, fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith,” said Fleming.
Professor of Urban Christian Ministry and Coordinator of Evening Programs in the School of Ministry Dr. Terriel Byrd prayed over the students and gave the benediction closing the first chapel of the year.