Graduations and Baptisms Combine to Create New Beginning

Graduation is a time of celebration of life accomplishments. At Milo Adventist Academy and Milo Adventist Elementary School, both in Days Creek, Ore., some students chose to combine graduation with a commitment to their future — a future with God.

Karina Bovee and Luke Starr, the only two eighth-grade graduates this year, planned their graduations completely around their baptisms which were held immediately after graduation in the nearby Umpqua River. Both were excited to study the Bible with Will Hurtado, Milo Academy Church pastor.

"It made it very memorable to have two big milestones in my life right together," says Bovee. "I wanted to be baptized in the river because it's special to us here at Milo."

As the graduation exercises continued at Milo, three more students dedicated their lives to the Lord. Andrew Bovee, 11, has had many "God moments" during his battle with leukemia. "I wanted to get baptized in the river because it flows steadily," he explains. "It has always meant a lot to me, and it washes clean just like Jesus.”

Melody Morgan, a sophomore, has also been studying with Hurtado and wanted to be baptized before moving to Indiana.

Katherine Vaught, a graduating senior from Alaska, loved getting baptized in the outdoors. She and a group of her friends sang "I Went Down to the River to Pray" just before her baptism.

Having students celebrate accomplishments at graduation time is a blessing — one made even better by their commitment to standing with Jesus in the future.

Featured in: August 2012