Friday, May 2, 2014

24th GPTS Commencement Set for May 23rd

We rejoice to see eight new graduates about to receive their degrees during Greenville Seminary's 24th annual Commencement Service to be held May 23. Dr. John DeWitt will deliver the commencement address. The public is invited for the ceremony to be held at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of The Academy of Acts adjacent to the seminary. A reception will follow in the Student Commons.

Presenting the Class of 2014:

John Brewer Ames III, M.Div.

Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama

College of Prior Degree: Auburn University

Spouse: Emily

Children: Expecting our first child in October

Memories of GPTS: Few blessings in my life can compare to the instruction and training that I have received at GPTS.  The school's commitment to Biblical teaching and confessional orthodoxy sustains a faithful witness to Jesus Christ and produces faithful leaders for His church, not only in the United States, but around the world.  To my professors I extend my deepest and sincerest gratitude for the godly influence that you have exerted upon my life. You are fathers in the faith who have always challenged me to love, cherish, and serve our Lord more fully, and you have never ceased to provide me with wise counsel and gracious encouragement. To my fellow students, you have enriched my time at the seminary through your words of support and encouragement, and I am indebted to you for the times of brotherly fellowship that we shared.  The knowledge that you are my co-laborers in Christ instills within me great comfort and confidence about the future of Christ's church, and I greatly anticipate the work that our Lord will perform through you in your future ministries. Soli deo gloria.

Plans: Emily and I are expecting our first child in October and will be moving to Birmingham, Ala., where I will be teaching at a classical Christian school and pursuing licensure in Evangel Presbytery (PCA).

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Santosh Kunar Bardhan, M.A.

Home town: Chelligada, Odisha, India

Colleges of Prior Degrees: Crossland College, Western Theological Seminary

Memories of GPTS: God is sovereign and it is the providence of God that He led me to be at GPTS for the span of two years. The theological journey of my life at GPTS with reformed doctrines has been a period of transition ever I have experienced with transformative and informative aspects of my life. GPTS has played a great role in my life to shape and mold me not only just to be a true minister but also to be a radical disciple of His Son Lord Jesus Christ standing true to His word. I am very grateful to God who brought me to GPTS and also grateful to GPTS - President Dr. Pipa, faculty, staff, student body and their families for all their help and support, and especially those who stood in my thick and thin of my life while at GPTS.  All glory to Him alone.

Plans: God willing I will be continuing my studies.

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Jeffrey Scott Carter, M.Div.

Hometown: Burgaw, North Carolina

Colleges of Prior Degrees: NC State University (B.S. Civil Engineering), Southeastern Baptist Theo. Seminary (M.A. Christian Studies)

Spouse: Maryfrances Louise Carter

Children: Madelyn-Jane Grace, Owen

Memories of GPTS: I am deeply thankful to our God for his providence in leading me to GPTS. Not only has he blessed me with a seminary education well-grounded in confessional orthodoxy, but he also provided godly community along with it. Having both a vibrant orthodoxy and community has been a great boon in my preparation for the gospel ministry. My time here has been academically enriching, pastorally focused, and enjoyable.

Plans: After a bit of needed vacation, we will be moving to Glenside, Penn. to complete a year-long internship at Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

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Jeffrey James Downs, M.Div.

Home Town:  Taylors, South Carolina

College of Prior Degree:  Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, Penn.

Spouse:  Diane

Children:  Seth, Megan, and Nathan

Memories of GPTS:  My years at GPTS have been the best, although not the easiest of my life.  I was blessed with not only being a student (since 2007), but also a staff member at the seminary (since 2009).  After seven long years I have many stories to tell and many things to reflect upon.  Two passages of scripture come to mind when I reflect on my time at GPTS:  "continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of,   knowing from whom you have learned them" (2 Tim. 3:14) and "Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith" (Hebrews 13:7).  Not only have I learned of lot of theology, but I've known professors, staff and students of whom I can say, I want to imitate their faith, for they "walk as He Himself walked" (1 Jn. 2:6).

Plans:  On July 1, 2014. I will begin a year-long internship with Pastor Iain Wright at Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Orland Park, Ill.

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Olin Ross Fearing, M.Div.

Olin Ross Fearing, M.Div.

Hometown: Nacogdoches, Texas

College of Prior Degree: Texas A&M University

Spouse: Emily (GPTS Staff Administrative Assistant)

Memories of GPTS: Seminary for me was not the easiest experience. There have been times of difficulty and depression and days that I really wished I could quit. But through my time at GPTS I could be confident of one thing: the people here (faculty and staff) have been dedicated to shaping me into the best pastor that I can be. And in many ways, I think I can say they have been successful. I've come to understand what the Bible teaches so much more clearly, and I've come to a much greater appreciation of the importance of the local church in the lives of Christians. For these things I am thankful for my time here.

Plans:  I plan to go to San Antonio, Texas to work in the military community doing evangelism and discipleship with Ministry to the Military International. What sets this work apart from most ministries focused on the military community is that, following the Reformed University Fellowship model, I will be working closely with local Reformed churches to extend their reach into this community and to bring military families into the church body.  

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Bryan Gregory Prouty, M.A.

Home town: Wellington, Colorado

College of Prior Degree: B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Colorado State University, 1980

Spouse: Pam

Children: Emily Fearing, Rose

Memories of GPTS: My first week at GPTS was in Bebo Elkin’s Introduction to Philosophy class. This week-long intensive  course provided the opportunity to build relationships with the other men in my class. Although I studied at a distance, the relationships forged that week lasted throughout seminary. This class, along with the seminary staff, made me feel part of the school. I was particularly thankful to take classes from Dr. Smith before his retirement. His gentle character is something to aspire to. One of the most amazing moments of my time at GPTS was the first time I realized that I could read Hebrew and Greek. Another important part of the last five years has been the discussions I have had with my pastor, Archibald Allison. I am thankful for his example in the ministry as I studied the ministry. Studying Scripture, the heritage we have in the Reformed faith, and ministry has been a great blessing. Thank you.

Plans: I am under care in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church Presbytery of the Dakotas, and working through licensure tests. I hope to serve the Lord and His people.

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Brad M. Peppo, M.A.

Home town: Dayton, Ohio

Colleges of Prior Degrees: Cedarville College: B.A. Bible, B.A. History; University of Dayton: M.A. English; University of Dayton School of Law: J.D.

Spouse: Cinnamon

Children: Brayden, Corina

Memories of GPTS: Greenville has provided everything I was looking for in a distance seminary program and even more. Not only have I received a biblically faithful and academically solid education, I have also, through the real-time interaction of the video classes and the numerous opportunities for intensive on-campus studies, been able to develop valuable personal relationships with a number of professors and classmates, something not easily obtained through most distance learning programs. I am very thankful that God directed my steps to this seminary.

Plans: In November of last year, I was ordained by the Presbytery of Ohio of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and am presently serving as an evangelist at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Vandalia, Ohio. I am doing evangelistic outreach in the north Dayton area and am working to plant a new church in Springfield, Ohio.

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Clarence Edward Veld, M.A.

Hometown:  St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Colleges of Prior Degrees:  Reformed Bible College - Bachelor of Religious Education; Westminster Theological Seminary, M.Div.

Spouse: Adriana Veld

Children:  Leonard (Lane), Nathaniel, Ellyanna, Adrian

Memories of GPTS: My greatest memory of being at GPTS is simply being able to be here. I had never dreamed of going to South Carolina, let alone going back to seminary for a season. I cherish the friendships that I have been able to develop both with the students and faculty. The spiritual growth I have seen in my family has been the greatest blessing for me. While I was being trained for ministry, the Lord was working in my family through the ministry of GPTS. GPTS is truly preparing men to be pastors in the church of God.

Plans: I hope to serve the Lord in his church as a pastor, D.V.