Twenty-seven graduates of the Robert Haskins School of Leadership (RHSL) were recognized June 27 at Oklahoma City, Exchange Avenue. The commencement ceremony was well-attended by friends and family members of the graduates who received their diplomas in fields of Contextual Leadership Development (CLD).
The graduating class featured 15 receiving diplomas in theology and 12 in Christian ministries, representing CLD centers in Duncan, Elk City, Guymon, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Members of the graduating class include Ernesto Alvarez, Jose Amaya, Marvin Barrios, Andres Briones, Salvador Canales, Juan Castaneda, Twila DeRouen, Nicolas Fernandez, Jesus Fuentes, Salvador Garcia, Rosalba Ledezma, Rolando Lopez, Jose Lozana, Juana Lozano, Debra Lucas, Jerry Lucas, Jamime Martinez, Irma Molina, Eddie Perez, Carlos Stanley, DaVaunah Thompson, Julio Torres, Gloria Varela, Rigoberto Varela, Crystal Viesca and Esther Villagrana.
Emerson Falls, Native American ministries specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), delivered the commencement address. Falls applied an illustration from the popular television show, “Mission Impossible,” explaining how agents were given a recording device that always featured with its message the phrase “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…” He compared these instructions to Jesus offering what is known as the Great Commission in Matt. 28.
“When Jesus gathered his disciples on top of the mountain, he was giving them a commencement address,” Falls said with Manuel Vasquez, Hispanic pastor of Sentinel, First, serving as interpreter during the ceremony. “Their training had ended, and their ministry was just beginning. So He said to them, ‘Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to make disciples of all nations.’ Now I know He didn’t say the first part, but I am saying it to you. It would be a ‘mission impossible’ except for one thing. He said, ‘All authority is given to me in Heaven and Earth.’ As you depart from here and go to your ministry, I urge you to know that you are going in the authority of the King of Kings.”
Anthony Jordan, BGCO executive director-treasurer, gave the charge to the graduating class.
“Congratulations. What an awesome thing,” he said. “In a few moments you are going to walk out of this room, holding a diploma from the Robert Haskins School of Leadership and the Golden Gate Seminary. Those two things are very significant. As you leave today, you will leave having your teachers investing a great deal in your life. They have taught you truth, and they have taught you skills. And all of them that you might invest in the work of the Kingdom. Oklahoma Baptists have invested in you. Our churches have invested thousands of dollars in your education, and we are proud of you.”
RHSL and BGCO sponsors Golden Gate Seminary extension classes that are included in the CLD program. RHSL continues to be committed to training and equipping students to be leaders within multicultural churches.