(864) 977-7000
 


Harris Encourages NGU Grads "Not to Settle"

North Greenville University held its spring commencement ceremony on a cool spring morning in Melvin and Dollie Younts Stadium on Thursday, May 5. 

A record crowd of over 4,000 spectators watched a record graduating class of 331 undergraduates and graduates receive their diplomas. Mark Harris, Executive Worship Pastor and Artist in Residence at Gateway Church in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, was the keynote speaker.

 “Life is in constant motion,” Harris said. “We’re all simultaneously both moving away from something and moving toward something. So today for you graduates, you’re moving away from the familiarity of the college classroom and moving into the big new unknown.”

 Harris referenced Isaiah 43:19-20.

“God speaks through the prophet Isaiah. He talks about the new big unknown. ‘For I am about to do something new. See I have already begun. Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness and I will create rivers in the dry wasteland,’ ” Harris read.

“Figuratively speaking, the pathway God makes through the wilderness and the rivers he creates through the dry wasteland literally could be you and me. If we lead the way God calls us to lead, then we will be the path that guides people that are lost in the wilderness, out of the wilderness. We will be the river that brings living water to the thirsty,” he said.

"I challenge you [graduates] today as you approach this new unknown. It takes people that are willing to dare, students who are willing to dream to be a part of that path that leads people out of the wilderness. I challenge you to be a river that brings life and sustenance to those who are in a dry wasteland. Will you step in with determination and faith? Will you be a difference maker or will you just be a settler and blend into the fabric of society,” said Harris.    

Harris told the graduates that they have a choice. He asked if they will choose to be a settler, one who settles for something safe and easy or will they choose to be a Bannister referencing Roger Bannister, the man who was not willing to bury his talent and the first to run a sub-four-minute mile in 1954 at Oxford University.  

He encouraged the graduates to “think big, dream big, and believe big.”       

Harris was a member of the contemporary Christian groups Truth and 4Him, a solo artist since 2006, and worship pastor of the Bay Community Church from 2005 to 2012. 

He has a bachelor's degree from Lee University and married to Jodie Harris. They have two children: Matthew, who is a member of NGU's spring 2016 graduating class and Maddison, who is a sophomore at Grand Canyon University.

In addition, at the conclusion of this address, Harris was presented an honorary Doctor of Christian Leadership by NGU Interim President, Dr. Randall J. Pannell, and Beverly Hawkins, chairperson of the NGU Board of Trustees.


Related Stories


School of Theatre Nominated to Compete in Festival
The cast of "Nora's House" invited to participate in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 47 in Feb. 

Miss NGU 2016 Represents University with Beauty of Character
Christal Potter felt perfect peace and excitement as she waited to hear her name called at the finale of the 80th Miss SC Pageant.      

Christian Higher Ed Responsible For Over $60 Billion in Economic Impact
Study analyzes the annual economic impact of Christian higher education in the U.S.

Tim Brashier Campus to Benefit from Leadership Greer Service Project
The project will install 41 AED units and public emergency response kits in the Greer area.  

Former Gamecock Standout Named NGU Baseball Coach
"Baseball isn't about where it can take you, but what it can teach you."

Mykel Perdue: Outside The Box
Mykel says he’s the kind of person who likes to think outside the box. Or, in the case of his summer 2016 mission trip, he likes to think outside the walls.  

Missionaries' Daughter Crowned 2018 Homecoming Queen
Queen crowned during halftime of the Crusaders’ football game against Shorter University.  

NGU Partners with USC Upstate Mary Black School of Nursing
The partnership will help address supply and demand projections of the nursing workforce.