On June 1, we celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2019. Every year at the WCFS Commencement, graduates present brief testimonies of God's work in their lives. Be blessed as you read stories from 6 of our graduates.
Hello everyone! I’m Gabrielle Baumgartner but most people know me by Brie.
I would like to first start by thanking the Lord for always being faithful and pulling me through these past 14 years! I know without a doubt I would not have been able to graduate today if it was not for God giving me the strength and encouragement I needed to get here. He is truly amazing!
Next, I would like to thank WCFS for guiding me throughout my education and always having my best interest for what was important throughout my schooling. I would like to thank my family and friends for always supporting me.
Haley, thank you for being an amazing sister and setting such a great example for me to follow. I was blessed to have 10 years of homeschooling with you before you left for college. My years at home with you have honestly given me some of my greatest memories.
Mom and Dad, you are amazing; thank you for listening to God’s calling on your lives to homeschool Haley and me. You have invested so much in our family and I am forever grateful for that. I wouldn’t trade these years for anything! Thank you, again, for loving me and for sacrificing all that you have! Love you guys.
One of my favorite verses and a verse I will carry through the seasons of my life is, Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Good afternoon everyone I am Josiah Bloom. I’m not one for speeches and I don’t think most of you came to hear me speak all day so I’ll keep it short.
I grew up in a family of 10. I had 7 siblings (or should I say classmates?) I love to play sports, volleyball being my favorite. For the last 3 years I have been a part of a Bible quiz team which has helped me grow in my faith, strengthen friendships, and plus it’s just a lot of fun!
Things around my house have usually been busy though for the last two years I’ve been the only student at home. High school hasn’t been easy and there were times when it looked like I might not graduate, but here I am today by the grace of God. I couldn’t have done it without Christ, without my relationship with Him I don’t know where I would be today. He is the One that I thank for seeing me through.
I also want to thank the WCFS staff, in particular Pastor Cox and Mr. Joel. They helped me through the rough spots. Pastor Cox always told me I could do it and I wouldn’t have made it without his encouragement.
Last but not least, I want to thank my family. My siblings always cheered me on. I want to mainly thank my two brothers Joshua and Jeremiah; they were the ones closest to me and whether we were doing something stupid or chatting about life they have always been there for me.
To my parents I owe the most gratitude. They were not perfect but God gave them to me which means they were perfect for me. Mom has gone through thick and thin with me and I owe her more than I can give. After 32 years of homeschooling I think she’s glad to be done but also maybe a little afraid she’s going to die of boredom.
Currently I am working as an apprentice at a blacksmith shop. As for plans after graduation, I will be applying at Chick-fil-A and hope to be taking courses with Blue Ridge Community College in the fall. Long term I hope to attend Appalachian Bible College and go into full time children’s ministry.
If there’s a verse that’s meant a lot to me these past few years its I Corinthians 10:13 which says “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Good Afternoon Everyone! My name is Jeremiah Cox. I am the third oldest grandchild of Mr. Cox and the oldest of 9 children. Honestly, I never thought this day would actually come or at least not so quickly! The last 18 years of my life have literally just flown by! Looking back I can see that God has always been so good and so faithful!
I am so thankful to my family for who they are and the man they have shaped me into! Dad, thank you so much for being such an awesome role model for me! Thank you for always being there for me and loving me even during my rebellious times! Thank you for all the wise, godly counsel that you have never ceased to give me throughout each step of my life, even when I didn’t always want to hear it. Thank you for all the time that you intentionally take to spend with me and for buying a plane so I could have a cheaper way to earn my pilot’s license!
To my mom, thank you so much for always loving me and caring for me even when I don’t always express very much love for you in return! You have constantly been an awesome friend and counselor to me! Thank you so much for always being such a good example to us of how a Christian should walk!
Chastity, thank you so much for always being such a good friend and sister to me even when I’m not the best friend and brother to you! Thank you for always pointing me back to Christ whenever I get off the right path!
Charity, thank you for being who you are! You always add so much creativity and life to our family! I have always admired your art skills and look forward to seeing where God takes you and how He uses your skills!
Mercy, I have always enjoyed your teasing and love how much life and variety you bring into our family! Even when I may seem upset with you for how strong-willed and opinionated you are, I secretly admire and just maybe even covet your natural leadership and communication abilities!
Purity, thank you for always being such a good sister and bringing such emotion and feeling into our everyday lives. I have really learned a lot from you!
Nathanael, thank you for being such a great little brother to me! When I was your age, I asked the Lord for a little brother and He gave you to us on my birthday! It has been so fun sharing a birthday with you!
Karis, thank you so much for your unique personality and the special perspective that you bring to our family. Thanks for teaching me how to be patient and loving!
Felicity, thank you for your independent attitude. It has been so fun to watch a five-year-old act like an adult. I can't wait to see how God will use your gifts.
Micaiah, I love you so much, bud! You are really a mini-me! Ever since you were a little toddler, you've been a talented soccer player and such a fast runner! I can't wait to see how God will use your athletic gifts!
To the class of 2019, it has been an honor to serve as your President! I have learned so much from this time of leadership.
The last 18 years of my life has been a very life-changing experience! From applying to the US Air Force Academy to earning my pilot’s license, there was never a dull moment during high school. My parents have always brought me up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and have never ceased to point me to Christ! Like many teens raised in Christian homes, I have always been good at playing along in religious activities and methods. It wasn't until I actually received Christ as my Savior in October of 2012, that I truly started to seek the Lord with my whole heart. Between then and March of this year, was a very eye-opening time of struggling to surrender my whole heart and life to the Lord. I knew that I needed to give my life all the way to the Lord, but was afraid of what I would miss out on in life if I did! In March, I had an experience that changed my life! My parents wanted me to go on a college tour to Bob Jones University with my sister. I didn't want to go, but decided I would if all the details worked out. Since we had signed up late, we didn't have any seats on the bus. I told God that if He wanted me to go, He would have to open some seats because I wasn't driving 10 hours all the way to South Carolina. I also wanted to work that weekend and since I had already taken off work, I decided that I would stay if any shifts opened up. If I went, I would also miss Calculus class, so I really wanted to stay. We prayed as a family that God would show us if we should go by opening up some seats. Miraculously, right after we prayed, we got an email from the organizer. God opened up seats for all of us on the bus and also didn't allow any work shifts to open up. He made it very clear that I was to attend the college tour. While on the college tour, God really used the preaching and friends that I met and talked with to impact me and pull me back over the fence onto His side! I was moved to give my life completely back to the Lord and repent and turn away from the sin that was keeping me from serving Him completely. I am so thankful for the many ways that God has been working in my life lately.
This fall, I plan to major in Computer Science at Bob Jones University while participating in AFROTC. I hope to graduate college with my commission as an Air Force officer. In the Air Force, I want to serve my country as a leader of Airmen and as a fighter pilot. Thankfully, I was awarded an Air Force ROTC high school scholarship which will help pay for my college tuition as long as I am in AFROTC. While I am still seeking the Lord to be sure, I feel that He is calling me to serve in the Air Force and possibly become a missionary pilot after.
This summer, I plan to work here at WCFS and continue working at Chick-fil-A, earning money for college.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Isaiah 40:31 which says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Let’s first start off by saying we made it! It is crazy to think 12 years of school are already over. Growing up it seemed as if this day would never come but looking back it seems as if that was just yesterday.
I want to thank the staff here at WCFS for giving me and my family an opportunity to not only get an education but to be welcomed into a family.
I also want to thank my family for helping me through this journey and not only for having my back but for showing me that when life gets you down to get back up and work even harder.
Most importantly I want to thank God. Without God I would not be standing here today ending a journey and about to start a new one. I would not be the person I am without the love and patience that the Lord has shown me.
For those of you who are still in your homeschool journey, I highly encourage you to keep pressing forward! Just know that sometimes it’s going to be tough, but never stop trying because as you can see, all things will come to an end. From experience you will be thankful that you were able to have accomplished such an amazing step in your life.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.”
To sum it all up, keep your heads up and your hearts lifted to what God has planned and everything will be just fine. Thank you and congratulations to the Class of 2019!!
A study by the Fuller Youth Institute advocates that in order for a student to develop a lasting “sticky” faith they must have at least four to five invested adults other than their parents, and I can’t help but think of how blessed I am when I hear that because I have had far more than five. I have had the privilege of having many great mentors, teachers, and leaders who have helped me in my homeschooling journey who have truly cared about me, which is not something many students can say. I believe that invested mentors have significantly contributed to my success, and that God has used these people in my life.
To the Wellspring staff: thank you for your support and help over the years. Thank you for guiding my family through the homeschooling process.
To my co-op teachers: thank you for taking the time to teach me from a Biblical perspective and investing your time, energy, and resources in me.
To my music teachers: thank you so much for everything you have taught me and for nurturing my natural ability and talent and for teaching me to love music.
To my friends: thank you for encouraging and supporting my musical and academic endeavors by coming to performances and events and for cheering me on.
To the homeschool moms involved in my life: thank you so much for being like fabulous aunts to me, going on wonderful historical adventures and teaching me to love reading. Thank you for being willing to challenge me when I needed it.
To the homeschool dads: thank you for being present. Thank you for challenging me in all areas of my life including academic and musical endeavors and for cheering me on. Thank you for being wonderful examples of what true Christian men should look like.
To my brother: thank you for going on adventures with me, putting up with me on long car rides, making me smile and laugh and for loving me even though I can be difficult.
To my parents: thank you for all the hours and hours of personal investment in me and my education over my entire school career thus far. Thank you so much for urging me to push through the Institute for Cultural Communicators—I have learned how to communicate a message to an audience and have become so much more confident in myself. Thank you, Dad, for being one of my best friends and for being the best principal and father a girl could have. Thank you for tutoring me in math even when it made me cry. Thank you for showing me what a father’s role in the home ought to look like. Thank you, Mom, for also being one of my best friends and for staying at home with me all day and truly pouring your heart and soul into my school curricula, making sure I am well-equipped and ready to take on the next phase of life. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication in teaching and training me to be a diligent Christ-follower. I love you.
To my fellow graduates: I wish you the best of luck and pray that God leads you in His direction for your lives.
And finally, I want to thank God for revealing Himself in my life in personal ways and loving me unconditionally by sending Jesus to die for me.
Today marks the end of my high school career, but it is not the end of my educational journey. I plan to earn my associate’s degree in General Studies from the Community College of Baltimore County and transfer to a four-year university to each a bachelor’s degree in Communications. I hope to follow God wherever He leads me.
One verse I wish to take with me is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I truly believe that my strength comes the Lord, and I am weak without this strength.
I would like to thank everyone that took the time to drive here, whether it be a long drive or a short one.
I want to start by expressing my utmost gratitude to my parents who carried me on their shoulders to this point, To you mom I thank you for having a seemingly endless amount of patience for me when I got distracted or expressed a lack of motivations in the early school filled mornings, and how you kept loving me even though it was nearly impossible to do so. And to you dad, without you, I would never have the resources I needed to pursue my passions or the strength to face the secular world view. I cannot thank both of you enough for the amount of time and resources you have exhausted upon me to make me who I am today.
And to Jeremiah, my brother, thank you for being there with me through thick and thin. I truly enjoy our adventures together and look forward to the new ones!
Finally, I would like to thank the Wellspring staff for the grace and wisdom they have shown these past years.
My future plans consist of attending Liberty University in Virginia while studying Mechanical Engineering. Thank you for all the memories!
Congratulations also to Christian Ahearn, Brian Baldwin, Caranina Chesmar, Matthew Kelbaugh, Kaleb Krukar, Jeriah Labbe and Abigail Smalley who graduated in absentia.
You can watch the WCFS 2019 Commencement Exercises on the WCFS Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZJnxkFcINw .