Graduates gather for baccalaureate service

By PAMELA GRANT
Cove Leader-Press

Graduation is just around the corner for Copperas Cove High School seniors after which many will begin a new journey and enter into the next chapter of their personal story.
To honor their graduation, only a few short days away, Copperas Cove High School graduates were invited to attend the CCISD Baccalaureate Service Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Lea Ledger Auditorium.
Each of the audience members was encouraged to follow the Lord’s guidance and to be careful with the choices that they made.
Brandon Rex Sanders, a CCHS alumni from the class of 1995, was the guest speaker for the event. He taught Theater Arts at CCISD for ten years, and the seniors graduating this year were some of the last students that knew him as a teacher. Since leaving CCISD, Sanders started Captain Rex International Ministries and travels the world bringing the Gospel alive.
“As you prepare to take that first step past this point, know that you have a choice,” said Sanders to the young graduates. “You can repeat the mistakes of the past, or you can choose new paths. The world is open before you. But I pray that you have assurance and peace knowing that no matter what you choose, you are never alone in your journey.”
Sanders told the story of Gideon and how his army of 300 men was able to triumph over the Midianites despite being at a massive numerical disadvantage. He told how Gideon chose to follow God’s guidance and, because of that, was able to ultimately triumph.
Sanders finished by encouraging the audience to become all that God wants for them. He told them that to succeed, they need to have the right beliefs, the right relationships, and the right actions. He said that we are not born winners or losers, but we are born choosers. Those choices are not always the easy choices. We all have the potential to be winners or losers based upon our choices, and he encouraged us all to make the right choices. 
“Try things, do things, become active,” encouraged Sanders. “If it wasn’t for the big chances that I took, and the big falls that I’ve taken, I don’t believe that I would have made it and been doing what I’m doing now.”
Many of the students that participated were inspired by Sanders’ words.
“It was really beautiful,” said Abbie Wardlow (18). “It was definitely a message that speaks to all of us.”
Wardlow said that she’s excited about graduating soon, and she’s excited to take the next step. She said that she will be attending West Texas A&M and plans to get her degree in Animal Science. 
Alexis Grasso (18) said that it’s shocking that she will be graduating in less than a week. She said that people warned her that the year would go by quickly, but she hadn’t quite been prepared for how quickly it would go. She said that she will really miss her teachers saying that many of them were like family. Grasso added that she too enjoyed Sanders’ speech.
“It was really nice. I’m really glad that I came. It was definitely eye-opening because I’m pretty strong in my faith,” said Grasso. “His speech was really good. He made really really good points, especially when he talked about going into the future how you need to make the right choices, have the right people in your life, and make the right actions.”
Grasso plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio where she will get a degree in Biology before ultimately going to medical school and becoming a physician.

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