A Charge to Keep
Nov. 10, 2013, was a historic day for Bethel College with the inauguration of Gregg A. Chenoweth, Ph.D., as the college’s seventh president. Delegates represented 34 colleges and universities from the United States and abroad. It was the capstone of Bethel’s 2013 alumni weekend, planned so that more alumni and friends of the college could attend.
The inauguration opened with a triumphant processional to the tune of “Trumpet Voluntary,” performed by Bethel Brass and Organ. John Fuller, vice president of Focus on the Family, provided the invocation. The ceremony included a performance by the Bethel College Concert Choir, and greetings from the community, the college and the board of trustees, among others. The Rev. Steven R. Jones, president of the Missionary Church, presented the Missionary Church credentials and prayed over Chenoweth and his wife, Tammy.
Richard Felix, Bethel College trustee board member and president emeritus of Azusa Pacific University, gave the investiture and charge to the president, followed by a dedicatory prayer by John C. Bowling, Ph.D., president of Olivet Nazarene University. Bowling was joined by all living former Bethel College presidents for the prayer.
After the congregation sang “A Charge to Keep I Have,” written by Charles Wesley, Chenoweth stepped up to the podium to give his inaugural address. He spoke with zeal about his grand aspiration for the college: to become a top five most influential Wesleyan college in America by 2022.
Chenoweth outlined the first phase (from 2014-2018) with five institutional priorities under the theme GREATER (for the glory of God). Each letter of the word GREAT represents one of the priorities for Phase One: growth, revival, encore, aesthetics and testify.
Chenoweth said the goal is to grow by 1,000 students, including 200 traditional and 800 adult/graduate students; to create conditions for revival, living in expectancy that God will move mightily on campus and across the region; to earn an encore, serving our constituents so well that they want to come back; to beautify our campus with aesthetics that maximize our service and our impact, reflecting our best self; and to testify of the good things happening at Bethel, reporting what we accomplish so that Bethel will no longer be a “best-kept secret.”
“These priorities were born out of four months of meetings, surveys, asking questions of our staff, faculty, students and community, considering the rich history of Bethel College, and listening to the desires of your hearts and the call of God to be GREAT,” he says.
The ceremony concluded with a benediction from Former President Steven R. Cramer, Ph.D., ’75, followed by a reception where guests were invited to greet the Chenoweth family and officially welcome him as president of Bethel College. For more information, visit BethelCollege.edu/Inauguration.
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