Yesterday we gathered to celebrate the graduation of a remarkable young man, Nelson. It was my honor as the head of the church council to share a few words about Nelson's inspiring journey and the qualities that make him an outstanding young man.
Nelson has been an integral part of our church family since he first attended Kids' Klub with a friend in the fall of 2009. He became a member of the BMUCC community in 2010, and over the years, he has shown an unwavering commitment to our faith and the church. Nelson's journey of spiritual growth began with his baptism in 2013 and continued through his confirmation in 2019.
Throughout his time at our church, Nelson has displayed dedication, service, and leadership. He has taken on various roles, from serving as an acolyte under Barbara Metzger's guidance to becoming a Sunday School teacher, where he has demonstrated his gift for working with children, who respect and admire him enormously. Nelson, along with his brother Trevor, has also contributed to the church's mission work and maintenance efforts, including helping with landscaping and taking care of our cherished Christmas decorations.
In addition to his spiritual achievements, Nelson has excelled academically. He showed his potential early on by receiving awards for his science project in the fourth grade and later becoming the vice president of the National Elementary Honor Society. Throughout high school, Nelson continued to impress with his academic performance. As a testament to his hard work, he has already earned 36 college credits with a 4.0 GPA and received a full scholarship to study International Finance at ASU.
Nelson's dedication to success is not limited to academics and the church. He has excelled in sports, playing baseball and lacrosse throughout his school years. Moreover, Nelson has embraced diverse experiences, such as traveling to China and participating in an International Career Immersion program in London. His strong work ethic is also evident in his part-time job as a store manager at The BootMaker and his previous experience as a self-employed entrepreneur alongside his brother.
In summary, Nelson's key qualities include dedication, service, leadership, academic excellence, hard work, and a willingness to embrace new experiences. As he moves forward in his life, we are confident that Nelson will continue to make a positive impact on the world, and we are incredibly proud to have been a part of his journey.
But most importantly, we are proud of Nelson for his kindness, his humanity, his maturity, his goodness, his patience, his faith, and the way he exemplifies the spirit of Christ that we try to embody at this church. He gets it. He’s ready. He’s going to great things in the world and we wish him the best.
On behalf of the entire Black Mountain United Church of Christ community – past and present - I want to congratulate you, Nelson, on your graduation and wish you all the blessings God can possibly offer you in your life ahead.