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Graduation and Ordination

GRADUATION AND ORDINATION

What is the greatest thing that you have ever hoped and dreamed about? If you are Ugandan, you dream about completing high school. If you make it that far, do you dare to dream bigger! What goals would you set for your life? Are you up to the challenge to envision yourself in a cap and gown on graduation day receiving a Bachelor of Christian Business Administration or a Bachelor of Pastoral Theology? Would your heart continue to dream about a Master Degree or perhaps even a Doctorate? Imagine that all your family and friends are at the ceremony to honor you. You have worked for this day for over three years.

 

 

Prepare the Way Ministry held their first graduation ceremony of Faith Bible College-Central Campus in Lugazi, Uganda. Prepare the Way Ministry is a Ugandan NGO which has brought to Uganda what very few programs have been able to offer in East Africa. Doctor Zalmer Nichols is the chancellor of the accredited international Faith Bible College which has its main base in Independence, Missouri. Doctor Bill Campbell is the president and founder of the Northern (Pabbo, Uganda) and Central (Lugazi, Uganda) campus extensions and the college in Bungoma, Kenya. It is a school led by the Holy Spirit that gathers God’s leaders for training and equipping. This school offers degrees at a very low cost so the average Ugandan can fulfill their dream to be trained for ministry. The school focuses on inspired Bible training, discipleship, hands-on ministry, and maintaining the presence of God. The results are men and women who know their God and invest their lives in order to make Him known to the world.

 

 

The day before the big event, the cooking starts in the back outdoor kitchen which continues throughout the night, and up to the time for the banquet. Due to the level of importance of this event in the community, we had to check and cross check that everyone was included on the list. We were hosting several hundred pastors, dignitaries, members of parliament, city elders, village chairpersons, graduates, families, and friends. Graduation rehearsal was comprised of many last minute details; memorizing the Faith Bible College anthem, speeches, picking up the caps and gowns, practicing the order of seating and presentation. Anticipation is in the air!  Everyone promised to come early for the graduation portraits. Final arrangements were made for adequate security for this very special occasion. The florists were arranging the draperies and flowers. The team was washing and setting up the tents and tarps.

 

 

Everyone radiated with enthusiasm and delight. They were about to see the fulfillment of a life time dream. The graduates were dressed and lined up. The greeters and ushers were in top shape. The Master of Ceremonies was interacting with everyone as they entered. The guests of honor were tucked away in the house waiting their moment of entry. Pastors, village chairmen, parliament, city elders, special choirs and music groups, deans from all of our colleges, representatives from Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda, family and friends had started arriving.

 

    

 

Students entered the college three years prior, coming in as individuals focused on their own unique ministries. There were unseen walls constructed between the pastors, keeping churches separated and isolated. Studying together, seeking God while down on their faces, crying out to know Him more, working side by side on projects, all began to tear down these barriers. Love and friendship began to flow between them, where a transition was taking place to them seeing each other as necessary to their own walk with God. The fellowship started in our little apartment in the heart of the city, and had grown into a part of their existence and as they became their brother’s keepers. As a Bible college, they began to care for each other deeply. There were many days of strong conviction through the Word, applying it to their lives, allowing God to break them, and allowing God to mold His people into a kingdom of worshippers and servants. Tears flowed as God humbled each one of us over and over again, and increased love and passion for Him.

 

 

Doctor Bill felt that with the handing of the degrees was completing a phase of eternal destiny. The graduates had completed what started as a dream of God in their hearts; and there was great significance in their obedience to the Lord. Pastor Bill also felt their sense of great accomplishment and purpose in their lives. We were both filled with so much joy for each one of them, but as a proud father, Doctor Bill who had mentored these dear sons, also felt a sense of loss for those he would no longer be rubbing shoulders with on a near daily basis. He had so enjoyed each of them immensely; and with deep satisfaction shook their hands as co-labors in the kingdom.

 

 

In order to graduate from Faith Bible College in Uganda, 108 credit hours were required. It was a very challenging road; but each step seemed to increase the determination in their hearts. There was also hands-on ministry required. This occurred through practical experiences which were done through outreaches like island and medical ministry, evangelism, building projects for the elderly, hospital ministry, teaching Bible college courses for credit in other churches, and many day to day contacts and conversations. Many graduates were transformed by the power of God, and will truly never be the same. We were honored to hand out the degrees, but our greatest joy was to see God touch and change lives. We also awarded certificates to those completing a five course training taught by Faith Bible College instructor at Power of God Worship Center.

 

The graduation itself was a testimony to the community. Most of the churches of Lugazi were represented by their founders, elders, and leadership teams which included almost every pastor we knew in the city. The Prepare the Way Ministry and Faith Bible College teams were honored to have such good friends in the Lord and in the ministry attend the ceremony.

 

 

In the city of Lugazi, for a number of years there was very limited number of ordained ministers. It was the request of the theology students to be ordained. Prepare the Way Ministry involved the Lugazi Pastors and Elders Forum, international ordained ministers, and recognized elders of the city. One of the qualifiers for ordination was to have pastoral theology training at a university level. Bill spoke on the importance and history of ordination. Ordination is to set one’s life apart for God’s use only, to administer the Word of God, having been observed in daily life, and recognized by the spiritual elders of the city as a man or woman of God. Elder James spoke further on the importance of public ordination. Ordination is a one-time event; licensing is an annual renewal based on good reputation and transparency.

 

 

Each pastor being ordained along with their husband/wife got on their knees. The bishops, elders, and reverends all gathered around them, ordaining them to the ministry by the laying on of hands and prayer. There was such a reverential awe of God during the powerful time of prayer, as each leader gave an impartation to the candidates releasing them into ministry. God’s presence was weighty as He released his commissioning on each of His servants.

 

 

We had wonderful worship and special music throughout the event; and ended the ceremony with feasting and fellowship.

 

Joy in Serving Jesus,

Doctor Bill and Linda Campbell