Wiley College students celebrated the start of the school’s 147th year during the annual fall convocation ceremony on Tuesday.

The university’s new chapel leader, the Rev. Dominique Robinson, served as Tuesday’s guest speaker. Robinson replaces former Chapel leader the Rev. Tabitha Rankin.

“As the Bible says in Genesis 1:1, ‘In the beginning,’” Robinson said Tuesday. “This is only just the beginning. What you’re experiencing in your life isn’t the first time someone has had trouble. From the beginning, God’s hand was already on your journey. The same God in Genesis is the same God in 2019. In the midst of hell and high water, God still remembers us.”

The Wiley College A Capella Choir performed Tuesday,along with members from the Marshall and Shreveport Symphony Orchestras. Wiley College student dancer Destiny McGee also performed during convocation.

“Genesis 1:1 says, ‘In the beginning, God created,’” Robinson said. “It didn’t start with us, it started with God, and God is a God of action. As I look across this room today, I see God created something out of nothing. The good news is, there’s always a fresh start. It’s only just the beginning. This is our encouragement. The good news is while we find ourselves starting this chapter in our lives, God knew of this chapter before we were ever formed in our mothers’ wombs. God has us on His mind.”

Robinson encouraged students to remember that God’s hand is on them throughout their college journeys and the rest of their lives.

“Here we are in the 147th year of this academic institution which means you’re not the first person to have an issue. The good news in that is that God’s hand is already on your journey. There is an author and writer outside of our time,” Robinson said. “We know that God created everything around us. He went from topography to meteorology, to geology and astronomy, to hydrology, zoology and ended with anthropology. While we find ourselves in the beginning of the academic year, we must begin with the end in mind. Remember what your goal is at the end of this academic year.”

Robinson said while this is the beginning of the year, God is still in control.

“You will be alright, you will be successful, you will make it because has ordained it to be so,” she said. “I believe the word of the Lord. It’s just the beginning, but your story is not over yet. Because I know that, I can’t help but tell God thank you. It is just the beginning.”

Coming up

The Wiley College Student Government Association is set to host its second annual Back to School Jamboree from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Wiley College Alumni Gymnasium. The event provides free school supplies, haircuts and backpacks for area students. University students will be on hand to play games with community members and area students while providing them with the things they need to begin the school year.