Future Alcorn State University alumni received spiritual inspiration during the University’s pre-commencement celebration.
The Alcorn State University Baccalaureate Service was held Friday, May 13, in the Oakland Memorial Chapel. Friday’s event was the University’s first baccalaureate ceremony since 2013.
Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III, senior pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, delivered the baccalaureate address.
Walker titled his message “You’ve got a seat at the table,” encouraging graduates and the congregation that God has a grand purpose for them.
“When you realize your purpose, you realize that you’re on this planet to do something other than things for us,” said Walker. “God places us in those places where our purpose would come to fruition.”
Walker spoke about the importance of carrying oneself with dignity in preparation for the blessings that God has in store.
“People are having meetings concerning you. Your name is coming up in rooms you don’t even realize. You must be careful what you post and how you treat people because people are preparing to be a blessing to your life. Someone you haven’t even met yet may become a blessing to you.”
It is during trying seasons of life that Walker said blessings would find the faithful. He spoke about the importance of staying the course to receive the rewards.
“When purpose and timing collide, God will skip over people to get to you. God knows where you are and where to find you. Often your blessing comes in the most difficult season of your life. You could’ve given up, but you stayed there. Because you stayed there and didn’t become weary, God is about to bless you.”
Walker encouraged the congregation to leap at the opportunity to be beneficiaries of the blessings they’ve hoped for when presented.
“When you have waited for your time to come, you don’t need no one’s permission to walk into the next season of your life. Now that your time has come, you must go and get what God has for your life. You’ve been through too much not to make it where God has for you. You are benefactors of the prayers of your ancestors and parents who have sacrificed to help you get here. Sometimes you have to pause and thank God for what he has done in your life.
It doesn’t matter where you come from; you are a product of the people who prayed for you. This is the moment in your life where God will do more for you than put you on a stage. Remember, you don’t need someone’s affirmation to tell you who you are. God has a seat for you that you don’t even realize.”
Dr. Ontario Wooden, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, expressed his hope for a bright future for the Alcornites.
“I want you to go far and fly high,” said Wooden. “What God has for you is for you. You don’t have to jump over anyone to receive your blessings because they are already prepared for you. So don’t’ worry, you’ll get a seat at the table. We love you at Alcorn, and we thank you for choosing us.”