Lee News

Vest to Speak at Lee’s Winter Commencement


Dr. R. Lamar Vest will return to a familiar setting to deliver the address at Lee University’s winter commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17. Not only is Vest an alumnus of Lee, he also served as the school’s president for two years, 1984-86.

Vest to Deliver Commencement Address
Dr. R. Lamar Vest

Vest's leadership and influence globally as a minister has included a leading role in the World Pentecostal Fellowship and his work with the American Bible Society (ABS), an organization of which he was President from 2009 to 2013. He began his tenure with ABS in 1991 as a board member and was elected chairman 10 years later. He served for six years as chairman before being tapped to fill the post of executive vice president for Global Scripture Ministries in 2006, where he served until moving to the presidency in 2009.

Vest began his career as a pastor in his home state of South Carolina. Since that time, he has led a life of ministry and service both within the Church of God denomination and in the broader Christian community.

He has served the Church of God as state evangelist (South Carolina), state youth and discipleship leader (Oklahoma, California, and Maryland), director of the International Youth and Christian Education Department, Chancellor of Education, and member of the Executive Committee. Serving both from 1990-94 and 2000-04, Vest is one of the few people in the history of the Church of God to serve twice as general overseer, the denomination’s highest position. He was also the 15th president of Lee College as well as the 10th president of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary.

Vest is the author of several books including “What A Life,” “The Church and Its Youth,” “Spiritual Renewal: The Pain, and The Glory,” and “Spiritual Balance: Reclaiming the Promise.” He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lee College in 1984, and holds a master’s degree from the Church of God Theological Seminary.

Lee’s winter commencement is one of three graduation ceremonies held each year at the university, the others being held in the spring and summer. The winter ceremony combines the music and decorations of the Christmas season with traditional commencement activities. More than 300 graduates will receive degrees in the Saturday morning ceremony, and the Lee University Chorale will provide music.

Prior to the Saturday commencement, which starts at 10:30 a.m., a commissioning ceremony will be held Friday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m. The commissioning service is a special occasion for students and their families to reflect on their experiences at the university. During the event, six student speakers will share brief stories about their time at Lee, and each graduate is presented with a personalized Bible in a traditional walk across the stage. Both services will be held in the Conn Center.

A hooding ceremony for recipients of master’s and education specialist degrees will take place Friday, Dec. 16, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lee Chapel.

The hooding, commissioning, and commencement ceremonies are ticketed events.

For those wishing to view any of the events, live streaming will be available.

For more information about commencement exercises, contact the Academic Events Office at (423) 614-8117 or visit site.
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