The graduation service held on May 24, 2013, was a great success! This year we had a hundred percent of the students who were signed up to participate. From the states, we had students from as far north as Wisconsin, as far east as New York, as far west as California, and as far south as Florida. From outside the US, we had students from Bermuda, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos Islands, Canada, and Ghana. It was so exciting to actually meet all ninety-six students and to put faces with names.
The students checked in at 10:00 o’clock and proceeded to pick up their cap and gown. After that, many had their picture made by Heritage Photography who was on hand to offer pictures to the graduates and their families. Students were also allowed to browse through the memorabilia items that were offered in the front lobby. After this, students were dismissed to eat lunch and asked to return to the auditorium at 1:00 p.m. to line up for the processional.
At one o’clock families were allowed to come into the auditorium for seating. The Harper family from Pelham, Georgia was on hand to provide Southern Gospel music for the crowd until 2:00 p.m. At that time, the processional began and the graduates filed into the reserved area of the auditorium. The invocation and welcome were given by Dr. Jimmy Hayes, president of the seminary. The Harper’s returned to the stage and gave a message in song entitled “I Call on Jesus.” Dr. Hayes introduced his son, James Hayes, to deliver the charge to the graduates, a sermon taken from Exodus, chapter 17. After another song, “God Knows How Much Mercy I Need,” the presentation of the diplomas began. Each student’s degree title and name was announced as Dr. Hayes presented their certificate and a photo was taken of that special moment by Heritage Photography.
Each year after the presentation of the degrees, a number of scholarships are awarded. This year the following scholarships were awarded:
· The John and Louise Odom Scholarship was awarded to Janice Walker of Ohio
· The Jerry McGuire Scholarship was awarded to Carl Strickland of West Virginia.
· The William McMahon Scholarship was awarded to David K. Rosby of North Carolina.
· The Roy Wesley, Sr. Scholarship was awarded to Lincoln Bowen of Florida.
· Dr. Hayes’ Presidential Scholarship was awarded to Ann Williams of Florida.
· ATS Faculty and Staff Scholarship was awarded to Darrell Barrett of Georgia.
The Harper Trio concluded the program music with two songs “Alleluia” and “I Rest My Case at the Cross.” Dr. Hayes gave the closing prayer and the students marched out of the auditorium to have their picture made as a class. Dr. Hayes also had his picture made with the scholarship recipients.
We have received so many wonderful comments about the graduation ceremony that we wanted to share them with you. If you have never attended an ATS graduation it is truly an uplifting experience and a great time of fellowship. We hope you will consider attending one in the future.
? The graduation was a blessing! The message was very powerful and uplifting that truly glorified God. The music was heart felt. Dr. Hayes spoke very inspirational words to us. It was a lovely and friendly moment to meet Dr. Hayes and all the staff of ATS that I had talked to over the phone. It was a lifetime experience to receive my Doctor of Theology with honors, with God’s help and my family with me. Also to get to see classmates from all over the country. We went through flight and lateness problems, but through it all, God blessed us with good luck on the flight home. Thank you Jesus!
Daisy Spivey-Baltimore, MD
? Many thanks from my wife and I and our guests. The ceremony was awesome and the preached Word was exactly what was needed. Thank you to Dr. Hayes from Andersonville for this educational opportunity. It is truly a blessing from God. May God continue to keep His hand upon each and everyone of you.
Dr. Halliard Brown, Jr.
? Graduation was fantastic-thanks for everything. What a fantastic graduation for the students.
Karen Kay Reimer
? Great graduation! Everything went off without a hitch and on-time. Fantastic sermon by James. Thanks for all that all of you did.
? The graduation services were great!. Thanks to each of you and please pass our thanks along to Dr. Jimmy Hayes and Jim Hayes for his message to us. My wife was indeed impressed and it occupied most of our discussion on our flight home. We are home safe and praising God for this experience and what He holds in store for us in the future.
? The graduation was wonderful. My family was really impressed with the entire program. It was a graduation that my five adult children will never forget. The Word of God that was preached was awesome. Dr. Hayes, thank you for following through on the vision that God gave you. We will never be the same!
? I had a wonderful time. The ceremony could not have been better. The Harper trio was magnificent and what an awesome job James Hayes did! That was a very encouraging Word for us. I really enjoyed his charge and Dr. Hayes’ prayers were so touching as he spoke to God from his heart. I enjoyed meeting the ATS staff as well as my fellow graduates. My experience overall was awesome. It really exceeded my expectations. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this great work that God is doing at ATS.
This month we will continue our series on: Miracles Are Still Possible. This is an uplifting story on how God has influenced a person or people to change their lives after an accident, tragedy or personal hardship. If any of you have a story that you would like to share with us, please send it to email@example.com
FATE OR LUCK
December 16, 1960 was an important year for one person I know.
He was on his way home after completing almost 6 months schooling out west and was anxious to get home before Christmas.
He had been given a voucher for his airplane ticket home, so he called the airlines to see what flight was available. The agent gave him a flight number and time, but when he went to redeem the ticket, he was informed that his baggage was over the amount provided by his ticket, so he would have to pay an extra fee of $35.00.
He asked the ticket clerk if there was anything he could do with his flight arrangements because he didn’t have the money.
The ticket clerk checked her computer and said if he wanted to wait and take another flight, he could save money. The new flight made 4 stops and could get him home very early the following morning, between 3 AM and 4 AM, and its destination was an airport that was closer to his home than his original flight. The original flight had one stop in Chicago, so why not save the money, he would still be there to see his girlfriend on the day that he told her. The other thing was that he had a surprise for her.
He waited at the airport for the flight. His flight finally took off, and once the flight started, it was land, wait and take off, 3 or 4 times until he finally arrived at his new destination.
When the plane finally landed for the last time, it was dark and very cold and very early in the morning. As he walked from the plane into the terminal, he saw a newspaper stand as he came through the doors, with a copy of the previous day’s newspaper. He stopped and stared at the headline, “United Flight 826, from California, and a TWA flight collided over Staten Island and fell to the ground in Brooklyn.”
There was one survivor at the time of the crash, an 11 year old boy. His parents had put him on the plane in Chicago, so his aunt could show him the Christmas sights of New York City. He was found in the snow. It was miracle he survived the crash. He had a broken leg and burns on his face, legs, one arm and his back. He was the only known survivor, but only for one night. The burns and blood loss were too much and he passed away the following day.
That day there were really 3 survivors of that plane crash.
There was film maker, Hollis Frampton, who delayed his return one day to review some his work at the insistence of a friend. He was rewriting a stage play into a movie.
Sir Edmund Hillary, had booked a seat on Flight 826, but missed the plane after arriving 15 or 20 minutes late at O’Hare airport.
What do you think was the real reason for those people missing the flight, fate or luck? Maybe cheap, trying to save a few dollars on a plane ticket, or maybe someone was looking out for each of them?
I am sure this must have gone through each of their minds many times after such a scare and I believe only Heaven knows.
The reason I know about this crash, is I am the third survivor. I was coming home after 6 months schooling at Lowery Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado.
Do I really know why I made the decision I made. The answer is, NO, I don’t. The other two survivors may have had a clear cut answer, they thought, but did they really know?
Someone else could have had other plans for all three of us, that’s what I really think, what would you think if you were in my position???
By the way, that surprise I mentioned before for my girlfriend was an engagement ring that I had purchased at the PX at Lowery AFB. We have been happily married over 45 years.
J. H. Lyon
DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR DECEMBER GRADUATION
We found that there is enough interest in having a December graduation so this year we will be having a graduation on December 20, 2013. If you plan to attend this graduation then sign up now by filling out the Intent to Attend form and sending it back to us.
FATHER’S DAY INSPIRATIONAL STORY
“A Marine Dad’s Most Important Duty”
I had been on plenty of marches in my time as a Marine, but never anything like this. My platoon today was undisciplined, stopping to kick at twigs, talking and laughing as we hiked through the woods, no one paying attention to the sound of rushing water ahead. Then again, I expected that from a bunch of 10 year-olds.
I was about as far from the battlefield as I could get, accompanying my son, Patrick, and his fifth-grade class on a three-day field trip at Camp Classen in the Arbuckle Mountains of southern Oklahoma. I looked down at Patrick, sitting in the three-wheel jogger I pushed in front of me. My son has cerebral palsy and 10 years ago doctors didn’t think someone with his brain damage would live, much less be hitting the trail with his classmates.
Before Patrick, the biggest challenge I had was achieving my dream: becoming a marine officer. My dad was a Navy man, and I knew I wanted to serve in the military, in college at The Citadel, I chose the Marines. To me there was no greater honor than leading the most elite fighting force on earth. First, I had to go through officer candidate school-two six-week courses of the most grueling physical and mental tests I had ever faced, including the Confidence Course, a race through 11 obstacles with names like “Slide for Life” and “Jacob’s Ladder.” I scaled tall barriers and swung from monkey bars high above the ground. Our commanders urged us on. Nothing was beyond our capabilities, they said.
In 19 years I rose through the ranks, becoming company commander. I served in Operation Desert Storm, then led my men in Somalia. Our mission was humanitarian: get food to starving people, rebuild roads and disarm the warring local factions. But we came under fire. When times got tough, I prayed. God always saw me through. At the end of my six-month deployment cycle, I returned home to Camp Pendleton in California. I had six months to spend with my wife, Nancy, just in time for the birth of our first child. Nancy was a Marine too. We planned to alternate deployments so we could raise our child and maintain our military commitments. I was convinced that being a career Marine–a lifer-wasn’t just my plan but God’s plan too.
My knees buckled when I saw our son, Patrick, for the first time I was love-struck. I tore myself away from the hospital around midnight two days after his birth to get some rest. The ringing phone jarred me awake at 4:00 a.m. Patrick was sick. Meningitis. I rushed to the hospital. He had gone into septic shock. ”We’re taking him to the NICU in San Diego”, the doctor said, “He may not have long.”
The Camp Pendleton community rallied around us. The base chaplain baptized Patrick. I prayed, harder than I had, even under fire in Somalia. Patrick clung to life like a little warrior and after a month in the hospital, he was discharged. The doctors couldn’t find us a solid prognosis, but a sonogram showed anomalies. His motor skills and learning ability could be impaired, perhaps severely. We’d have to closely observe his behavior.
At the base daycare center, we noticed differences. Other babies moved more, rolling over and lifting their heads. Patrick was often still, and couldn’t keep his head up. Nancy set him in an Exersaucer and needed to put a pillow in to keep him upright. After five months, it was clear Patrick lagged behind his peers. I put my finger in his right hand and he gripped it tight, but when I tried his left, Patrick’s hand and arm hung limp. Nancy read on the symptoms. Everything pointed to cerebral palsy.
One afternoon I tucked Patrick in his crib for a nap. I went to the window to lower the blinds. Outside, a group of Marines ran by in tight formation, getting ready for deployment. My time home was almost over, and the process had begun for my promotion to Major, which would bring new responsibilities. It was my dream–but it wasn’t possible anymore. Nancy was medically discharged after suffering a mild stroke after Patrick’s birth, and she couldn’t care for him alone. I have to quit too, I thought. I turned back toward Patrick. He looked peaceful, already asleep. I was terrified. Get it together, Marine. After Iraq, Somalia, how could this shake me? But war I knew. Raising a son with disabilities? I hope your have a plan, Lord, because I sure don’t.
We left Camp Pendleton and Nancy and I found jobs in Texas, where her family is located. We worked opposite shifts so one of us could be there for Patrick. We settled into a routine. Nancy put Patrick to bed at a sitter’s house and went to her night-shift job at a snack food company while I got some rack time. I’d pick Patrick up in the morning, get him dressed and spend the day with him. I tucked Patrick in his crib for his afternoon nap and went to my second-shift job managing the processing line at a hot dog plant. Nancy had the evening shift. Our time with him was exhausting. I needed to hold him the whole time he played, retrieve every toy he wanted. Other kids display some independence after a year, but Patrick couldn’t do anything by himself. One night, before I dropped off in an exhausted sleep, I turned on the news and saw a report of Marines being deployed. That could have been me. I missed the camaraderie, the 170 men in my unit, all looking to me for answers. My life was all about Patrick now, and I didn’t have any answers.
Our neurologist finally diagnosed Patrick with cerebral palsy, and entered him in early intervention therapy. Physical, occupational and speech therapists came to our house. The stretching and balance exercises reminded me of the training I had gone through at Marine OCS-for Patrick, they were just as grueling. The occupational therapist put a hairbrush in 14-month-old Patrick’s hand, and I expected him just to hold it. Instead, he started brushing Nancy’s hair! Patrick started speaking little by little. And after three years of intensive physical therapy, I watched him take his first, slow, unsteady steps with the aid of a walker. He’d still need a wheelchair for longer distances, but…he is standing on his own!
We had 2 daughters, Katie and Nicole. We didn’t hold back on family activities for Patrick. He loved our trips to the lake, where he’d sit in a tube while I towed him in our boat. He sang along with the girls to any song on the radio. When Patrick was six, we found a program that allowed him to be mainstreamed into some classes and activities. One day I took Patrick with me to the supermarket. In the checkout line, I saw a little girl, standing with her mom, staring at him. “Why are you in a wheelchair?” the girl blurted. The mom’s faced turned red. “I’m so sorry,” she said.
It’s all right,” I said. Patrick needed to learn to deal with situations like this. “Let him answer.”
Patrick did–but he didn’t stop there. “You want a ride?” he said. The two of them spun around the checkout area, laughing and squealing. If I were still in the Corps, I would have missed this.
Then Patrick reached fifth grade. “Guess what?” he said after school one day. “I’m going to be in the talent show!” He was still behind his peers academically and he needed a walker for balance if he was on his feet for long. Had I given him too much confidence? I didn’t want to set him up for failure. I thought about a song Patrick and I loved to sing together: “The Greatest,” by Kenny Rogers, about a boy who dreams of being a baseball player. The song’s message was perfect for Patrick. Be proud of what you can do. Could he sing it? Every day after school I played the song and helped Patrick memorize the words. Nancy and I rehearsed his routine with him. The day of the show, he wheeled to center stage wearing a baseball cap, carrying a bat and ball. While he sang, he threw a ball in the air with his right hand, his bat across his lap. I waited for the end of the song, anxious. Patrick beamed and sang the last verse in a full, loud voice. “I am the greatest, that’s a fact, but even I didn’t know I could pitch like that!” The auditorium erupted.
Patrick came offstage and into my arms. I hugged him tight. I may not have been leading 170 men anymore—but I was leading the one who mattered most to me. He’d come to me for an answer, and he paid me back with love. That was better than any, “Sir, yes, sir.”
Now, on the trail at Camp Classen, I ruffled Patrick’s hair. We emerged from the woods and reached the water. I stopped cold. We were at a dam holding back a lake. A rush of water fell six feet to the river below. The only way across was a row of round cement pillars spaced out along the edge of the falls. No way could I wheel Patrick across. “We didn’t know there wasn’t’ a bridge,” his teacher apologized.
I stared again at the pillars. They reminded me of something I had seen a long time ago. The Confidence Course. “No one stays behind!” I yelled. I hoisted Patrick onto my back. “Hold still,” I said, stepping onto the first pillar. Halfway across, he started laughing. His laughter echoed across the lake, a sweeter sound than I could ever have imagined. Maybe God did have a plan for me all along. The Marines were just a part of it, training for the most important duty of my life: being Patrick’s father.
ATTENTION COMPUTER PROGRAM WRITERS
The seminary needs someone to write a new grade program. We have been using the same grade program for years and need a new one. The one that we have sorts students by student numbers which were based on social security numbers. We would prefer one that sorts students by name. We need the program to record grades and send grade reports. If you have the expertise to design such a program and would be interested in doing the job, please contact Cherry Hayes at the seminary (1-800-525-1611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please do not put your payment and tests in the same envelope-there is a possibility that your payment might get overlooked in the paperwork.
Students are confused over our new course The Epistles of John. It is not the same course as I John – Jude. So if you receive the new course, you are to do it like you would any other course.
Please remember to put your complete name and address on all correspondence with ATS to ensure proper credit on your account and your coursework.
Transcripts cannot be issued to any student who has a balance on their program.
Please make every attempt to keep up with your progress as you are working through your courses. We have many students who call and ask us to tell them how many courses they have or have not completed and with over 8,000 students, it is very time consuming to have to look up your record.
When you send in a test, please do not use colored ink to denote your answers. Our printer is black and white only and does not pick up the color; this delays our grading your paper and getting you your results.
When a student retakes a test to improve his/her grade, you will receive an average of the two grades. The cost to retake a test is $50 for all students.
If you pay for a student to take courses at ATS, please be sure to put the student’s name on the check, so that we can ensure proper credit is given.
If you send in an envelope to have your test paper sent back to you, PLEASE put enough postage on the return envelope. We cannot fit a 50 page test in a 46 cent envelope.
Please remember to give us your new address when you move. There is a Change of Information Form on our site that you can fill out to inform us of this.
Please keep an eye on your automatic deduction credit card to make sure that your card is not expired.
ADD ATS MEMORABILIA AND APPAREL TO YOUR SHOPPING LIST
ALL STATEMENTS NOW GO OUT BY EMAIL AND REGULAR MAIL
If you are not receiving a statement by email, the finance department does not have your email address.
Please email the finance department your FULL name and your email address.
If your statement only has first and last name, please email email@example.com and give the finance department your full name. You would be surprised at how many students have the same FIRST and LAST name.
E. firstname.lastname@example.org to ask counseling questions/NCCA department questions, and for emails you need to send Cherry Hayes; also use this email address to email any churches that need pastors, youth pastors, music/song leaders, etc and we will post this to our next newsletter and on our face book site.
Emails are answered in each department in 48 hours or faster on Monday-Friday. If you send an email on Friday, it may be Monday or Tuesday before it gets answered since we close at 12 noon on Friday.
STUDENTS WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We would like our newsletter to include the following every month:
Churches that need pastors
Churches that need song leaders
Poems or encouraging stories written by ATS students
Comments about ATS/comments about your courses
We need your help in sending us those items! We would love to put in our newsletter about churches in your area that may need a pastor. Please help us with this information!
If you do NOT put your name on your work, we regret that it will have to go in the trash!
Keep a copy of all work that you send in during a program until you have your degree in your hands!!! Clerical workers can make mistakes. We are not perfect, even though we would like to be. Therefore, we cannot over stress; DO NOT SEND ATS THE LAST COPY OF YOUR WORK.
ATS is not responsible for work lost in the mail.
When the grade department receives an exam by email which does not have the test form number, it will be emailed back to the student so the proper information may be included. Exams without test form numbers will not be printed or given to the graders.
THANK YOU for putting your first, middle, and last name on exams. This helps so much since many students have the same first and last name.
Grade reports are mailed out by regular US Mail every Thursday. Please allow 3 weeks for grading of your exams.
If you have bought a frame, t-shirt, or any ATS apparel please email email@example.com and let us know how you liked your product so we can put your comment in the next newsletter.
CHURCHES IN TEXAS THAT NEED PASTORS
Volunteer and Paid Help Needed–Texas Baptist Home for Children is seeking volunteers for the home to work with expectant mothers/programs the home offers. Some volunteer services needed are transportation to doctor appointment and the grocery store for the expectant moms. There are other volunteer needs through the year as well. TBHC is currently seeking paid childcare workers to help during trainings. Workers are needed for the Waxahachie and Bedford locations. For more information please contact Dana Holt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-937-1321 ext. 229. Pastor–Eighth Street, Grand Prairie is seeking a pastor. Send resume to the church at 705 Skyline Road, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051 or e-mail email@example.com.
Pastor–Oak Park, Little Rock, Ark. is searching for a senior pastor. Submit resumes via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Pastor Search Committee, 8200 Flintridge Rd., Little Rock, Ark., 72210. To learn more about our church go to http://www.insideoakpark.com/.
Pastor–Elwood, Wills Point is seeking a bi-vocational pastor. Elwood is a smaller congregation with a rich 115 year history. Send resume to Larry Black, 3922 VZCR 3504, Wills Point, Texas 75169, email@example.com or call 903-873-8184.
Pastor–New Hope, Lone Oak is seeking a pastor. Send resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information, call 214-690-6584 or visit
Youth–New Haven, Dallas is seeking a youth minister to start a youth ministry. Send resume to 10110 Rylie Road, Dallas, Texas 75217, or email@example.com
Youth–First, Crandall is seeking a bi-vocational youth pastor. Salary negotiable with parsonage included. Call 214-697-7998.
Pastor–Corinth Missionary, Grand Saline is seeking a pastor. Send resume to 9734 FM 1255, Grand Saline, Texas 75140 for more information, contact Bobby at 903-829-5370 or Gerald at 903-539-8214.
Pastor–Lakeside, Slocum is searching for a pastor. Send resume to 214 FM 1817, Elkhart, Texas 75839 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pastor–Sand Springs, Mineola is seeking to fill the pulpit in search of a pastor. Contact the church office at 903-569-9350.
Music/Youth–College Avenue, Levelland is seeking a combination music/youth director who is willing to relocate to our area. Levelland is home to South Plains College and is within 30 miles of Lubbock, Texas Tech University, Wayland Baptist University and Lubbock Christian University. Send resume to CABC, c/o Music/Youth Search Team, 214 N. College Avenue, Levelland, TX 79336, or email to email@example.com with Music/Youth Leader in subject line.
Pastor–Antioch, Cassville, Missouri is seeking a pastor. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-847-5555.
Pastor–First, Beckville is seeking a bi-vocational pastor. Send resume to P.O. Box 329, Beckville, Texas 75631 or email@example.com.
Pastor–Clover Hill, Quitman is seeking a bi-vocational pastor. Send resume to the church at P.O. Box 1426, Quitman, Texas 75783.