On a day dedicated to remembering Palm Beach Atlantic University’s founders, alumnus Jordan Stinziano paid homage to a place that has changed the lives of many, including himself.
Stinziano, the guest speaker for Founder’s Day chapel this week, spoke about how he arrived at PBA in 1992 as a “young punk kid from Syracuse, New York, who didn’t know anything,” but who found his identity here.
|Palm Beach Atlantic University alumnus Jordan Stinziano '95 speaks in the DeSantis Family Chapel on Founders Day 2014.|
“We have a tendency to think that we are somewhat self-autonomous, somewhat the masters of our own destiny. And yet, really the older I get the more I recognize I stand on the shoulders of faithful men and women who have gone before me,” said Stinziano, now pastor and elder of Missio Church in Syracuse.
“But one day when I’m in heaven, I’ll have the opportunity to revel with them and to thank them for what God has done.”
Stinziano told the hundreds of students, employees, alumni and invited guests gathered in the DeSantis Family Chapel that he fell in love with theological education during his years at PBA. He graduated in 1995.
“I look back at this place, this corner — which at the time when I came here was just a corner — and see it as foundational in building who I am today as a man. And so I’m very, very grateful for that,” he said.
He spoke about meeting his wife, Maggie, at PBA, and about their four children, Sophie, Jack, Jonas and Owen. Maggie Stinziano died in 2009 after a long illness.
After leaving PBA, Stinziano earned his master’s degree at Regent College and is now working toward a doctorate in ministry. He has planted numerous churches, including Missio Church. Today he trains pastors, church planters and leaders around the world with Saturation Church Planting International.
Stinziano reminded students that “you were created for a relationship with God. If you pursue anything above your relationship with God, you will have wasted your life.”
|Palm Beach Atlantic University Founding President Dr. Jess Moody receives a standing ovation during Founders Day chapel.|
Among those in attendance at Founders Day chapel were PBA Founding President Dr. Jess Moody, his son, Patrick, and daughter-in-law, Amy.
PBA President William M. B. Fleming, Jr. opened the chapel service by recognizing Dr. Moody and the late Dr. Donald Warren, PBA’s founding chairman who passed away the day before the chapel event.
“We recognize a giant of a man whose shadow will never leave this campus, whose footprints are indelibly etched on this campus and whose love for you and future generations of Palm Beach Atlantic University students will remain crisp and fresh,” President Fleming said of Dr. Warren.
Scott Hawkins, chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, described Dr. Warren as “an extraordinary servant and a man of God.”
“Today these buildings, your professors and the opportunities presented to you are a direct product of Dr. Warren responding to Dr. Moody’s call, and more importantly, to God’s call,” Hawkins said. He asked students to consider what they will do when it’s their turn to answer such a call.
Introducing Stinziano was his classmate and friend Steve Scalici. Founders Day is sponsored by the Palm Beach Atlantic University Alumni Association as the annual event commemorating the University’s establishment in 1968.