More than 200 guests celebrated God’s provision of the school’s 14th president, Howard J. Wall, at the Bethany College campus, Sept. 24. Wall officially joined the Bethany team in July, but constituency, supporting churches, affiliate organizations, board of directors, faculty, staff, and students formally welcomed Wall to the role with the school’s first presidential inauguration in fall.
God’s faithfulness was a theme for the program. Chaired by academic dean Rick McCorkindale, the program included prayers from board members; music by Bethany alumni group Sounding Joy, and current Scripture and music ministry team Point of Impact; testimonies from a current student and recent graduate, who “learned how to learn” at Bethany College. Ministry arts director Paul Woodburn gave a meditation on the college’s purpose and mission, and Bruce Enns, lead pastor at Forest Grove Community Church, Saskatoon, where Wall has served as moderator, spoke on Proverbs 16:9.
In the presidential address, Wall recognized and thanked guests for their well-wishes, then drew the audience into his passion for Christian higher education. “I want to be a servant who leads,” he said. “And I want to do so within a college that believes in the transformative nature of discipleship done in community.”
A ministry like the college requires a leader who looks to the needs of others before his own, Wall said. “I wish to strive, by the grace of God, to be that kind of leader.”
For the inaugural response, Rob Neufeld, director of donor relations, praised God for bringing Wall to the college, noting that staff and faculty of Bethany College have already been the recipients of Wall’s servant leadership style.
Dignitaries passed on greetings to the new president: Ralph Gliege, Saskatchewan MB Conference; Kerry Dyck, Alberta MB Conference; Chantelle Funk, Bethany College board member, representing Association of Biblical Higher Education; Dwayne Uglem, president of Briercrest College and Seminary, representing Christian Higher Education Canada; Colin Tennant, associate vice president (Facilities Management), University of Saskatchewan; and Nancy Heppner, MLA for Martensville.
A time of fellowship followed the service with coffee and dessert served in the foyer while Wall and his wife Judy greeted each guest in the receiving line. His beaming face revealed Wall’s enthusiasm for his new role.