by Bailey Jarnagin

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – The heartbeat of Truett-McConnell is the weekly chapel services held every

Thursday morning; this year is no different as school president, Dr. Emir Caner, opened the first chapel service of the year with the signing of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, followed by an inspiring word from Acts.

“Everything we do, we do unto the Lord,” Caner said while explaining the significance of the signing. “This confession is a mirror reflection of what we believe the Bible says.” Regardless of which subject each full-time faculty member teaches, Caner added that all are united in their support of the inerrant and infallible Word of God.

Sharing his intention for the upcoming semester’s chapel services, Caner emphasized his desire that every Thursday would “be a matter of encouragement to you” and opened up his sermon with the Bible’s account of Barnabas.

“When you are done and finished, what will be the first memory someone thinks about you?” Caner asked.

Proposing a second question, Caner said: “What are we to say when someone needs encouraging? He then outlined three points as a plan of action for living a life similar to Barnabas. “Your past doesn’t have to define your present,” he said while sharing of Saul, an important Pharisees and most prominent persecutor of Christians. Without Barnabas’ faith that the Lord miraculously changed the heart of Saul, the great missionary Paul might never have been encouraged to spread the Gospel to the extent that he did, Caner added. “One of the greatest barriers to people coming to faith in Jesus Christ is our faithlessness that people can come to faith in Jesus Christ,” Caner said.

“Your limitation doesn’t have to diminish God’s call on your life,” Caner added. Aware he was not called to be a pastor like Paul, Barnabas encouraged Paul to embark on his inaugural missionary journey in Acts 13, while he remained stationery to continue his ministry of encouragement. As members of the body of Christ, all are called to serve a specific purpose of equal importance, Caner shared. “Embrace your gift and embrace other people’s gift,” he said.

“Your failures do not determine your future,” he assured. In closing, Caner shared of John Mark, one of Paul’s companions who deserted his people. Rather than declare John Mark unfit for any further missionary work, Barnabas implored Paul to allow John Mark to go on a second missionary journey. While the children of God have a tendency to wander from the will of their Heavenly Father, God’s mercy triumphs over judgment.
“He’s not going to give up on you,” Caner concluded. “God’s not done with you.”

The 2015 signees to the Baptist Faith and Message are as follows:
1. Chad Hibdon (Assistant Professor of Education)
2. Tracy Paver (Assistant Professor of Nursing)
3. Leslie Turk (Assistant Professor of Education)
4. Rob Miller (Instructor of Math and Science)
5. Rachel Evans (Instructor of Math and Science)


Bailey is a senior English major and a freelance writer for the college.

Photo/Adam Roark

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