IMG_2040Commencement services touch different people in different ways.  This was my first Dallas Seminary graduation service since joining as a member of the team.  It was overwhelming, electrifying and deeply encouraging all at the same time.

The service is held at the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, TX.  I had been there one time in the past.  It is an enormous facility!

Just the lobby is big enough to hold many small churches many times over.  It seems fair that ushers need to be posted every 50 yards to redirect lost visitors.  At least lighted directories could be a key points just like a shopping mall pointing out clearly “you are here” designations.

The faculty gathered in the Fireside room.  All of us were donning our academic regalia and it was a colorful sight of brilliant past academic achievement at world-renown Universities.  Styles and colors represented academic disciplines, institutional emphases and traditions unique to specific postgraduate programs.

We were lined up to match the seating predetermined by someone’s gifted administrative details.  The music started.  Our procession began behind our beloved President.

Just like a well-laid plan we all ended up in seats on the platform and then watched an amazing picture unfold.  Nearly 400 graduates filed in to the sounds of celebration.  Each one had years of hard work, outstanding performance and lasting relationships buried in their minds.  Now it was time to celebrate their diligent achievement.

Like clockwork someone’s plan to flow from detail to detail actually occurred.  It was an amazing synchronization of many details.  All of the pomp and circumstance has a reason and it fit together like a well-oiled machine.

On cue from our Academic Vice President, he gave the signal for all friends and family to cheer on their favorite graduate.  The entire auditorium erupted.  It was exhilarating.  Then, the grads in turn expressed their appreciation for their family and friends.  Smaller in number by comparison was almost insignificant when it came to measuring decibel levels.

The commencement speaker was spot on.  Special music was wonderful.  Every little piece of the event was stunning.

Then came the climax.  We all sang the seminary hymn, All Hail the Power of Jesus Name.  This is the version that is sung to the diadem tune.  Check out this version at  It stirs the soul.

Each time that I sing this version I feel the commitment to this wonderful institution.  Now, as a faculty member I am touched by the faithful lives that have gone ahead of me in the legacy of DTS.  What an honor to serve here!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography