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Harding’s nineteenth Bible Ceremony was held Friday, September 28. Each sixth grader and each new student in the middle and upper school received a leather-bound Bible, engraved with the Harding logo and the student’s name. With this most recent ceremony, every student in grades 6–12 now has a Harding Bible.
During the ceremony, the seniors encircled the sixth graders, holding lit candles, and sing, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,” representing the tradition of placing the Word of God into the hands of our youngest students.
The students crossed the stage from left to right to receive their shiny new Bibles from Mr. Trent Williamson, head of school. When they graduate, these same students will cross the stage from right to left to receive their diplomas from him, and ideally the graduates will be carrying their well-worn Harding Bibles with them.
Bibles for the ceremony are now funded by the Dr. Gaylon and Mrs. Deanna Smith Memorial Endowment Fund that was established in 2003. Dr. Gaylon Smith, a 1963 Harding Academy graduate, served on Harding Academy’s Board of Directors for many years. He and his wife Mrs. Deanna Smith were the parents of two sons, also Harding Academy graduates: Craig (class of 1992) and Keith (class of 1993).
The Bible Ceremony itself was the dream of an alumnus, former teacher, and administrator, Mr. Chris Dalhberg— a dream to start students on a path that would lead not to college or successful careers but to a lifetime as disciples of Jesus Christ. What better way to bless the youngest students on the Cherry Road campus than to place in each child’s hand a copy of the Word of God?
Mr. Jason Knight, chairman of the Bible department, plans the Bible Ceremony each year. This year, Mr. Seth King, campus minister, welcomed students and parents and introduced the speaker, Mrs. Melanie Semore, upper school principal. Mr. Colby Canterbury led singing.
Click here for the individual pictures of students receiving their Harding Bibles.