Faith & Service

Convocation Highlights

February 17, 2016

Students laughed, cried, sang, and cheered as Fall 2015 Convocation guests shared stories, offered challenges and inspiration, provoked critical thinking, and sometimes just entertained.

Christian artists, such as Passion (Oct. 7) and Bethany Barr Phillips (Nov. 9), led students in worship, and leading Christian teachers like Paul David Tripp (Oct. 28) — who called for people of faith to be instruments of grace — and Kay Arthur (Nov. 9) — who told the crowd to center their lives on Scripture, not societal expectations — brought inspiring messages.

Powerful stories of struggle and redemption moved students to tears and inspired meaningful life changes throughout the semester. World Series champion Darryl Strawberry (Oct. 12) shared his dramatic fall from the pinnacle of baseball success and his transformation into a soul-winner. Deon Joseph, “the Sheriff of Skid Row” (Nov. 4), described life on the streets of a Los Angeles community plagued by homelessness and addiction and how one man filled with the love of Christ can — and did — make a difference.

Well-known names from the entertainment industry also took the stage. Comedian Tim Hawkins (Oct. 2) brightened up a rainy day with his stand-up routine and satirical songs. Actor Sean Astin (Sept. 21) — of “Rudy,” “The Goonies,” and “Lord of the Rings” fame — shared wisdom about life and faith before talking about his latest project, “Woodlawn,” with cast- and crewmates. Korie and Sadie Robertson (Sept. 18) of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” talked about living a life of faith, and best-selling author Karen Kingsbury encouraged students to make Jesus the focus of every chapter of their lives.

As always, Convocation was a popular stop for those seeking the Oval Office. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (a Democratic presidential candidate) took the Vines Center stage on Sept. 14 to share his passion for justice and equality. He urged the crowd to fight for a moral and just society regardless of their political affiliation. On Nov. 11, Dr. Ben Carson — the retired neurosurgeon turned Republican presidential candidate — shared his life experience in hopes of inspiring others to overcome whatever perceived barriers they face. He called for people of faith to stand on principle and right this country’s course.

This semester, real estate investor and television personality turned presidential candidate Donald Trump kicked off the Convocation slate on Jan. 18. He expressed his desire to see American greatness restored, calling for stronger national security and for protection of Christianity. (Republican candidates Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush have also spoken at Liberty within the last few years.)

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