Congratulations, Fall 2021 Graduates!

Grayson Bradley, Fall 2021 Valedictorian

Emmanuel College Class of 2021

23 students (21 baccalaureates, 2 associate) walked across the John W. Swails Center stage on Saturday, November 20 to receive their diplomas from Emmanuel College.

Grayson Bradley, a Diversified Agriculture major from Mansfield, GA. was named the Fall 2021 Valedictorian. 

Dr. Tracy Reynolds served as the Fall 2021 Commencement speaker, sharing an important message with the class of 2021. Sometimes, life doesn’t go as planned. 

“This isn’t the gig I signed up for,” he began. “Most of the assumptions I made in middle school, high school, and even college have gone on to be proven wrong.”

Pastor Tracy shared about his passion for music, which began at a young age, even allowing him the opportunity to travel to Europe for two weeks as a freshman in high school to play with a traveling band.  

“I was a musician, that’s who I was and that’s what I did,” he said. 

His passion for music, however, took a permanent backseat when he was called into youth ministry. 

Reynolds shared three main pieces of advice with the class of 2021. 

Dr. Tracy Reynolds sharing words of encouragement for 2021 graduates

First, he encouraged them to hang on tightly to Jesus. 

“Take risks, chase your dreams, and keep the main thing the main thing,” he said. “The #1 job of a tomato is to cling to the vine, and it is our job as disciples of Christ to cling to Jesus.” 

He forewarned the group that they would face trials throughout life, but if they stay connected to Jesus, they have the grace they need to not only survive the storms they’ll face but thrive. 

Next, he asked that the group hang onto their futures lightly. 

“You will figure it out,” he said. “While I think it’s great to plan, hold onto those plans lightly. Your job right now is to figure out, “God, WHY am I here?” He has an answer. If you figure out your why, the what will flow from that.”

Lastly, Pastor Tracy encouraged the graduates to order their steps rightly. 

“Intimacy with God is developed by taking baby steps,” he said. “God is building a cathedral in our lives when to us it may look like he’s just laying bricks. Do the right thing. Even when you don’t want to or when it hurts. Walk through the open doors and let God be the voice guiding you through. When you fall, get back up. Keep going. Keep learning,”

He finished with a saying that will surely stick with some of the graduates – 

“Life is more like a crockpot than a microwave.” 

Congratulations, class of 2021!