FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church held its third annual acknowledgment of graduation achievements for their students on the afternoon of May 22.

The students being celebrated ranged from pre-k clear up to graduates.

Guest Minister Marcus Sherman shared his story in service to the theme of “Dare to Dream,” about how he transcended his childhood limitations. He shared with the young people of the congregation to always remember that “absolutely all things are possible to anyone, no matter how big or unattainable the dream may be.”

When it came to some of the advice he offered the youth and other people of the church, he had four pieces to pass on to them:

  1. No matter what dream is, you have to have a why that supersedes the selfishness affiliated with yourself.
  2. You have to understand that as you pursue whatever your goals may be, that not everyone will be supportive or proud of you.
  3. You must know that you’re going to be rejected and told no along the way.
  4. Always understand that the promises that have been spoken over your life, absolutely supersede the problems.
The youth being blessed by Minister, Marcus Sherman. (WBOY Image)

After the guest Minister spoke in front of the church, all of the youth came to the front to be prayed over which led to the students going back and putting their caps and gowns on. While these students were getting ready, they had one of the young boys come up and say a blessing over the offerings they received.

All of the graduates walked to the music alongside their parents or guardians. They all sat together and were individually brought up to receive a certificate, gift bag, a Holy Bible and some spending money.

Some of their principles, teachers and superintendents came in support of the students. They included:

  • Mary Jo Thomas, President of the Marion County Board of Education
  • Dr. Donna Hage, Superintendent of Marion County Schools
  • Principal James Green and Assistant Principal Melvin Womble of Fairmont Senior High School
  • Principal Scott Morris of Jayenne Elementary School
  • Program Director Rikki Prickett of Learning Land Daycare and Preschool
  • Officials from both Fairmont State University and The Pennsylvania State University
Guest supporters and Graduates (WBOY Image)

The youth then presented their guest teachers, principles and superintendents with appreciation certificates to teach the kids how to give back to those who have taught them.

When talking to Dr. Mark A. Staples, the senior pastor at the church, about Sherman’s story, he said, “I wanted our individuals, our young people to hear his story. Our stories are similar cause when I was in the third grade, it was predicted that I wouldn’t finish high school, because I had a bad, a severe speech impediment and I had nystagmus. But, God saw fit that I would finish and earn a Doctorate, and I said that if I ever finished, that I would continue to dare to dream for him and use that to influence others. And so, we have “Dare to dream.”

Sherman will be making another appearance at the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church for the Father’s Day service.