December Graduates Challenged 'To Be Available for God'

     In his message on Thursday, December 6, Reverend Michael Thomas Whitson told the assembled graduates at North Greenville University's fall Commencement service to be available for God to work through them. Rev. Whitson is pastor of First Baptist Church of Indian Trail, NC.
    “Thank God He sent a leader like Dr. Jimmy Epting to North Greenville University. Dr. Epting has surrounded himself with good people, like us pastors have. God wants to use every one of us. What can He do in your life,” said Whitson.

    This term, NGU awarded degrees to 165 students from its undergraduate and graduate programs.
    Whitson gave the graduates five qualities of a person who wants to be used by God. Be obedient, remove every hindrance out of life that would keep you from serving Him, place yourself at His disposal, be in constant prayer, and live under His anointing.
    “Put yourself in the hands of God. Let Him use you. Serve Him and stay faithful,” said Whitson.
    Rev. Whitson was born in Brevard, NC. He is a graduate of Slater-Marietta High School. He received his associate in arts degree from North Greenville Junior College in 1977, his bachelor of arts from Furman University, and attended Erskine Theological Seminary.
    He has served as pastor at River Falls Baptist Church in northern Greenville County, Groveland Baptist Church in Taylors, and is currently serving as pastor since 1983 at First Baptist Church of Indian Trail.
    Since being led to First Baptist Church, he has had the privilege of baptizing over 5,000 precious souls. Total membership has increased from 446 to 6,258. Weekly attendance has increased from 209 to a weekly average of approximately 2,700 among three sites.
    Rev. Whitson and his wife Kathy have two grown children: Kevin and Andrea. They are grandparents to five grandchildren.  
    At the conclusion of Whitson’s address, the University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Christian Leadership.
    “God has given you many gifts. You’ve made yourself available. God has used you,” said NGU President, Dr. Jimmy Epting.
    In addition, a surprise for NGU’s first lady, Gretchen Epting. The chairman of the board of trustees, Dr. Arnold Emory awarded her with an honorary Doctor of Christian Leadership.
    “Thank you for everything,” said the First Lady.