American Baptist College, famous archway. Rev. John Lewis came to ABC as a 17-year-old youth from Troy Alabama. Lewis graduated in 1961.

NASHVILLE, TN — American Baptist College president, Dr. Forrest E. Harris, Sr. will deliver the Commencement Address to the combined graduating classes of 2020 and 2021.  The ceremony will be Tuesday, May 25 at 1 p.m.  at First Baptist Church, South Inglewood.

Because the novel coronavirus pandemic stopped the world, the 2020 class was unable to have a traditional graduation ceremony.  “We are

Dr. Forrest E. Harris, Sr.

so pleased that our 2020 graduates are returning to experience the traditions of the ABC graduation and have those special memories,” said President Harris.  Furthermore, students from the 2020 class will participate in the ceremony.

Senior pastor, Rev.  Napoleon Harris, V. said, “I am delighted to welcome the graduates from American Baptist College to First Baptist for this traditional and sacred service.”

This year’s graduation will also be virtual on Facebook and Zoom. Through technology the 2020 graduates participated remotely in the unique ceremony at their various home locations.  “This year, they will be able to gather together in love and 2020 graduates will have their graduation,” said Mrs. Phyllis Hildreth, Vice President for Strategy and Academics.

The year of 2020 caused the halting of many activities for our safety and health care.  We had to follow every protocol, including the suspension of in-person classes.  Now, that the vaccinations are available, it seems some activities may resume.  “We are happy to be able to see our students,” said President Harris.

 Timothy Johnson, a Bible & Theology major, is looking forward to graduating this May said, “If he could leave one thing with future flames of ABC, it would be, “Don’t be afraid to be yourself.” “

Dominisha Black, also a Bible & Theology major has long-term goals. “My experience here at ABC has been challenging, yet rewarding, and I would gladly recommend any one to attend.

Strong protocols and health guidelines were strictly enforced during the 2020 academic year.  This makes the graduation even better for some people.  Happy to celebrate this milestone career success.

Michael Kirkwood, a 2020 graduate, who will be a participant in the graduation ceremony had a global comment about his experiences.  “Though times may get hard, remember nightmares don’t last…dreamers do.” 

The President’s Message will focus on Surviving in a year of COVID, Challenge and Change.  Despite those challenges, American Baptist College has weathered this pandemic storm and continued to move forward.  Students had to focus on a new teaching and learning modality, which meant adjusting to classes through Zoom and other electronic and technological platforms.  Yet, they presumed and persisted.  

COVID-19 protocol will be strictly enforced with the requirement of masks, temperature checks and social distancing.  Graduates are limited to five guests per graduate.

“I am extremely proud of our students and wish them continued success,” said President Harris.