May 28, 2024

Faith Honors Class of 2024 and Three Employees at Commencement

ANKENY, Iowa—Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary honored the class of 2024 and three employees at its commencement exercises on Friday, May 10, 2024. The graduating class, the largest in several years, included 104 students—87 from undergraduate certificate or degree programs and 17 from seminary degree programs. Dr. Les Heinze, Director of Ministry Advancement for Impact Global Outreach, delivered the commencement address. Faith also honored Pat Duer for a remarkable 50 years of service and Dr. Mark and Becki Lounsbrough for 16 years of service to the college and seminary. 

Commencement was the culmination of a week of events celebrating the accomplishments of the class of 2024. These events began with Awards Chapel on May 6. Twenty-seven awards were given to undergraduate students who had excelled in various academic programs. Two significant events were held later in the week on May 9. The Seminary Baccalaureate took place that afternoon. This service was an intimate gathering to recognize the achievements of our seminary graduates. It included Scripture reading, testimonies, awards and recognitions, conferring of hoods, and a charge from Dr. Heinze.

On the evening of May 9, the college held its annual Commencement Concert, which showcased the Faith Handbells, Community Orchestra, Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Instrumental Ensemble. Among the highlights of the concert were two orchestral pieces conducted by students Nate Gerber and graduating senior Micah Hanson and the Chamber Choir’s performance of two movements from Dan Forrest’s oratorio CREATION.

Friday’s commencement included a congregational hymn “Be Strong in the Lord” followed by a Scripture reading by Dr. Lounsbrough and the singing of “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” by the Faith Chorale accompanied by the Community Orchestra brass and percussion. Before students received their diplomas, Dr. Heinze challenged them from Joshua 24:15 to “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”  

As part of the commencement ceremony, Dr. Jim Tillotson also recognized employees Pat Duer and Dr. Mark and Becki Lounsbrough for their years of faithful service. 

Pat graduated from Faith with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education on Friday, May 10, 1974. She began working in the business office the Monday after her graduation. The date was May 13, 1974. The Monday after this year’s commencement (May 13, 2024) marked Pat’s 50th anniversary as a Faith employee. In recognizing the rarity of this tremendous accomplishment, Dr. Tillotson made several humorous comparisons to the rarity of other events on campus, several of which he used to gently rib graduates and praise Pat. In recognition of her years of service, Pat received a plaque; an all-expenses-paid trip to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, to visit the nearby Anne of Green Gables Museum and various sites that inspired the novels by L. M. Montgomery; a golden shovel that grants her lifetime access to the campus garden; and a key for lifetime access to the Nettleton Center, where Pat enjoys taking in Faith volleyball and basketball and walking during the winter months. A week earlier, she had also received a beautifully crafted rocking chair that bears the school’s seal and a personalized inscription. 

The Lounsbroughs also were honored for their invaluable contribution to the World Missions Department over the last 16 years. Mark and Becki are alumni of the school, and in 2008, the Lord led them back to Faith. Mark began serving as the chair of the World Missions Department, and Becki began serving on staff as an administrative assistant. Under Dr. Lounsbrough’s teaching and leadership and Becki’s administrative assistance, the missions program at Faith has flourished. In addition to the many students the Lounsbroughs have mentored and prepared for vocational missions work, the department improved and rebranded several signature events and programs. The Lounsbroughs were also integral to the launch of Faith Abroad and the missionary-in-residence program in Spring 2023.

Following commencement, numerous colleagues and friends attended a special reception to honor the Lounsbroughs and Pat, thus concluding the 2024 Commencement Day and the 2023-2024 school year. 

We praise the Lord for His blessing on this school year. We praise the Lord for Pat Duer and Mark and Becki Lounsbrough who have served here so faithfully, and we praise the Lord for our graduates whom we believe will be used by God to take the Word to the world. 

For more photos from Commencement Week visit HERE