Alumni Update - May 2012
Dr. Harold B. Graves Jr.
Harold B. Graves Jr.
I bring you greetings from Colorado Springs and Nazarene Bible College in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. This month I want to share with you Rev. Bradley Paradee's testimony. Bradley is graduating in May 2012 with the Bachelor of Arts in Ministry with a major in Pastoral Ministries.
Never Underestimate Your Influence
In Graduate Chapel I was reminded of the power of our influence when Bradley Paradee shared his testimony. Bradley grew up on a farm with seven brothers and two sisters near Assumption, Illinois. His father was a poor farmhand who was making $100 a week to support the family. One day, John Hubner invited Bradley and his brothers and sisters to the Church of the Nazarene in Assumption. In time, John's son, Jim became the pastor. The Hubners and the church became Bradley's second home. As the years passed, the little church became smaller and smaller due to people passing away and going to Heaven and people just moving out of the farming community. Eventually, the doors of the church closed for good. Bradley graduated from school and went into the military and never stepped back into another church.
After many years of sin and on the verge of divorce, Bradley and his wife started attending First Church of the Nazarene Church in Decatur, Illinois. Through the ministry of Pastor Chris Sutherland, an alumnus of NBC, Bradley and his wife recommitted their lives to Christ. In time Bradley took a youth ministry position in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. He was mentored by his pastor, Dr. John Sweeny, who was an online faculty member at NBC. Today, Bradley is the pastor of the Chapel Hill Church of the Nazarene in Brighton, Colorado.
As I reflect on Bradley's story, I am moved by the powerful influence of a layperson who knocked on the door of a farmhand in rural Illinois and invited his children to church. His love for Christ compelled him to minister to those ten children. I was captivated by the influence NBC alumni, Jim Hubner and Chris Sutherland, had on Bradley. I was encouraged by the witness and influence the late Dr. John Sweeney, online faculty member, had on Bradley. On Sunday, May 27, I will hand Rev. Bradley Paradee his diploma as a graduate of Nazarene Bible College. As I do, I will be reminded to never underestimate the power of your influence. I only wish John, Jim, Chris, and Dr. John could stand alongside me as I congratulate Bradley; perhaps they will, because their influence is written in his heart and upon his life.
Again, never underestimate your influence. There are Bradley Paradee's all around us.
Thank you for your support of Nazarene Bible College. Your giving is making a difference far beyond what any of us can see.
Grace and Peace,
Filed Under: Alumni Published: 05/17/2012