The graduation festivities proved to be one of the most exciting and life-changing events in our history. Peniel Board of Directors, staff, alumni, current clients and faithful supporters experienced a jam-packed weekend that was highlighted by some of the most influential and anointed speakers of our day. A capacity crowd celebrated with the men and women who have successfully completed a rigorous thirteen month treatment regimen. These individuals proudly walked down the Peniel aisles to receive their well earned diplomas, from both the treatment facility and Lee University Online Extension Program. During the service, graduates and their families testified to a captive audience about the miraculous transformation power that was present during their treatment stay.
This year Peniel introduced still another exciting component which was the Peniel Community Champion’s Award. This honor was designed to recognize men and women who have made significant contributions and ground-breaking advancements in their local community. The inaugural recipients are two of the most influential and well respected judges in our area. These are men who have made an incredible impact within the criminal justice system. The Honorable Gerard Long, Senior Judge and The Honorable Timothy Creany, President Judge were unanimously selected by the committee.
Members of the Peniel Board of Directors were in attendance in full force and lent their very obvious support to this weekend’s events. Our Chairman, Dr. Mike Baker opened the Friday night service with a warm greeting and welcome. The night was filled with waves of inspiration and talent. WJAC-TV News Achorman, Marty Radovanic was outstanding as Master of Ceremony. A piano concert duo by Pastor Henry Davis and Minister Mark Payne was one of the unforgettable highlights of the evening. Dr. Kenneth Bell, Board Member and Pennsylvania State Overseer, who never misses a graduation, also addressed the audience. He is always a welcome presence at Peniel events and has been a faithful and consistent source of support.
Dr. Mark Williams, International Church of God General Overseer, held the standing room only audience spellbound as he eloquently defined the name “PENIEL.” He closed his remarks by sanctioning the positive relationship that Peniel has formed with the Cambria County Court system. He was very impressive! Someone asked the Spellmans, “Who in the world is that man?” They proudly replied . . . “He’s our General Overseer.”
A special thank you to the Community Champions Committee for their effort and support for the success of this event.
Bishop Chris Moody, Senior Pastor of the South Cleveland Church of God was the Key-note Speaker for the Saturday commencement service. His incredible and challenging message was “Your Setback, Is a Setup, For A Comeback.” The audience was ignited and a spirit of possibility and anticipation was ushered in.
We didn’t think it was possible, but the graduation weekend escalated with each service. The absolutely anointed word from Dr. Bill Isaacs, Ohio State Overseer took us to even another level. His transparency and the power of his message, “Our Desires,” hit a familiar chord within the hearts of those who have known the pain of struggle and disappointment. He spoke frankly to the congregation and encouraged us to resolve in our hearts to remain committed, in spite of pain or reversals. He skillfully painted a word portrait of the rewards and benefits of a life that is sold out to Christ. He was downright awesome! The altars were filled even extending down the aisles of the sanctuary. What a wonderful move of God.
Words cannot adequately describe the atmosphere or the experience of any of the graduation services. You just have to attend one to see for yourself. They are downright overwhelming.