A large crowd filled the Gary Dickinson Performing Arts Center for the Chillicothe High School Baccalaureate service last night (Thursday).
Sponsored by the Chillicothe Ministerial Alliance, the Baccalaureate is an interdenominational service featuring music, messages and fellowship. The evening began with the Chillicothe Orchestral Ensemble playing the familiar Processional tune. The song led the CHS seniors, dressed head to toe in bright red cap and gowns, down the aisles and into their reserved seats in the center of the auditorium. The crowd remained standing for the singing of "Amazing Grace" by the congregation.
Alan Brock, Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, officially welcomed the crowd to the evening's service by delivering the evening's Invocation.
Following the moment of prayer, graduation senior Anna Pitchford performed a clarinet solo of W. A. Mozart's "Clarinet Concerto Adagio," accompanied on piano by Carolyn Johnson. (Pitchford's performance can be viewed online at chillicothenews.com.)
The spotlight continued to shine on CHS seniors as Shelby Bush delivered the evening's passage of scripture. A quartet of Senior Choraliers performed Carl Strommen's "The Road Less Traveled."
Aaron Douglas, Youth Pastor at Cornerstone Church, then took the stage to deliver the evening's message. Douglas encouraged the graduating seniors to exhibit a heart of service and put others before themselves.
"My advice to you tonight as some of you go off to college, and some of you don't, and some of you pursue a dream, is that no matter what career or what profession you choose, I believe your goal in life should be to help and serve other people," Douglas said. "As a result, you will be more fulfilled in the process."
The service ended with a second congregational hymn, "On Eagle's Wings," and the Benediction by Tommy Sandefer, Pastor at Soul's Harbor Church of God. The Chillicothe Orchestral Ensemble then played the seniors and other members of the audience out of the PAC with the Recessional.
Graduation festivities will wrap up this weekend at the commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday at the CHS gymnasium.