Goertzen, Wood to speak at commencement activities

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On Saturday, May 18, 135 graduates will walk across the stage in the 2013 Sterling College Commencement Ceremony at 9:45 a.m. on East Cooper Lawn on the Sterling College campus. Dr. Richard Goertzen, senior pastor at Grace Bible Church in Hutchinson, Kan., will deliver his speech, “The Book of Encouragement,” for the commencement ceremony. Joel Wood, pastor at Sterling Reformed Presbyterian Church in Sterling, Kan., will speak on “The Word and the Rest of Your Life” for the baccalaureate ceremony on Friday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Culbertson Auditorium. A reception will follow baccalaureate. Both events are open to the public.

“We could not have two men of higher character investing in our graduates during our baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies,” said President Scott Rich. “Their integrity and leadership have been witnessed on campus and in their local communities over the past several years. We are honored to have these men speak to our graduates.”

“As the Sterling College family, we are anxious for the graduation weekend to arrive,” said Rich. “It is a time that we get to joyfully celebrate the culmination of the work that has been put in by all of the students during their years of study. They have reached their goal and we want to honor their efforts.”  

In 1995, Goertzen became the senior pastor at Grace Bible Church where he also serves as the teacher of an adult class, the leader of a weekly college group and the facilitator of a weekly men’s Bible study. Goertzen earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Southeastern Bible College and his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from The Master’s Seminary. Since 1983, he has served on the staff of five different churches in the states of Alabama, Louisiana, California and Kansas.

Goertzen teaches the Youth Ministry course at Sterling College and is a frequent guest speaker at various men’s retreats and conferences. In addition to being a preacher and teacher, Goertzen enjoys writing. His publications include articles that have been published in newspapers and he is currently writing a book about expository preaching and pastoral ministry for Kress Publications.

Baccalaureate speaker Joel Wood became the pastor at Sterling Reformed Presbyterian Church in 2009. He is also a member of Synod’s Committee for Vital Churches and has served as a member of the Midwest Presbytery’s Ad Interim Commission. Wood is an adjunct lecturer, teaching several courses at Sterling College including Greek II, Jesus, and Foundations in Servant Leadership.