• Missionary Journey to Africa

    Collegiate Chapel - May 24, 2017

    This morning one of GCA’s very own math teachers, Mrs. Velloney, shared stories of her mission work in Africa in March. She explained that she felt the call to global missions, specifically in Africa, as a young child but never had the opportunity to go. Consequently, she thought she had missed her chance to do mission work. It was not until after her husband had numerous opportunities to do work in Africa that she took the leap of faith to go and be God’s hands and feet in Lesotho. Mrs. Velloney explained to the students how she was able to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the Lesotho people, sharing stories and pictures from her trip. She ended her time with the powerful story of the two kingdoms, the light and the dark, reminding everyone of God’s act of creation, the fall of humankind, and God’s redemptive work through His son Jesus Christ. At the end of the service, Mrs. Velloney took the opportunity to pray for one of her colleagues, GCA Math teacher Mr. Thompson, as he trains and prepares his heart and mind to go this summer into that same area in order to minister to the Lesotho people through his gifts as a musician and worship leader.


    Key Passages: Habakkuk 2:3, Proverbs 19:21, Exodus 9:16, Isaiah 52:7; 54:10, Mark 2:1-12


  • How was your Walk?

    Collegiate Chapel - May 17, 2017

    Dr. White called the Collegiate Academy to reflection this morning. As students are flying to the end of the year, he asked them to stop and consider how they have walked in Christ this year. When adversity has arisen or when good things have blessed them, Dr. White asked, “How did you walk with Jesus?” Students were challenged to consider the practical implications of this year’s theme on their lives. Dr. White reminded students of the abundant, never-ending love of God for each one of them, encouraging them to pursue Him whole-heartedly. Chaplain Shipp gave an invitation in which he echoed Dr. White’s challenge. He gave an impassioned plea for students to consider how their words, beliefs, and actions align. There is no better offer than the love and salvation of Christ. Students responded with a time of prayer.

    Key Passages: Colossians 2:6-7, John 3:16-21

  • Jesus Turned Around

    Collegiate Chapel - May 10, 2017

    Senior Morgan Ragsdale addressed his fellow classmates in a personal message of God’s truth and reconciliation. After a humorous anecdote to illustrate the power of shame and guilt, Morgan brought everyone to the story of the woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years. As he read through the story, he explained that Jesus Christ, having perceived that the power went out from Him when the woman touched his robe, turned around. Morgan used the story of Moses being hidden in the rock and viewing God’s glory, while only being able to see His back, to illustrate that God does not turn his face on people due to His complete holiness. In the God-man, Jesus Christ, the full deity of God dwells bodily. This means for the first time, humanity was able to look upon the glorious face of their God in an intimate way, as the woman did when Jesus turned around to look at her. Furthermore, the face of Jesus is not one of condemnation, but of grace, love, and mercy toward His people! In closing, Morgan encouraged everyone that, because of Christ’s great sacrifice once for all, God turns His face toward us, in the person of Jesus Christ, in order that they might become the righteousness of God!

    Key Passages: Mark 5:24-34, 2 Corinthians 4:6, Exodus 33: 12-23

  • Jesus Christ: Our Point Man

    Collegiate Chapel - May 3, 2017

    Following student-led worship, GCA’s Athletic Director, Coach Moore, had the opportunity to deliver a timely message to the Collegiate students during their chapel service. Coach Moore laid out a vivid metaphor of what it really looks like to “walk in Him.” He gave the illustration of a military “point man”, which goes before the troops in the minefields in order to pave the safe path for those who would follow after. The followers are then given the distinct order to step directly on the footprints of the point man in order to keep them from death. Coach Moore paralleled this with Jesus Christ, teaching the students that He is their “point man.” Christ has paved the way for them through His life, death, and resurrection; the Christian’s ultimate model of how to walk on this earth is seen in the person of Jesus Christ. Coach Moore challenged the student-body with a brief video of a famous tight-rope walker. It was said that the audiences who watched him believed that he could complete the task of walking across Niagara Falls pushing a person in a wheel-barrow but when he asked for a volunteer to sit in the wheel-barrow, there was silence. Coach Moore challenged the students to put to practice what he calls the “Twelve Inch Rule”, in which someone’s head knowledge of the truth travels the twelve inch distance to their heart. In closing, he left the students with a question, “Is your faith in Christ just head knowledge or is it heart knowledge?” In other words, are they so convinced of Christ that they would be willing to get in the wheel-barrow if He were to ask them, or would they stand silent in the crowd?

    Key Passage: Colossians 2:6-7

  • Making Godly Choices

    Collegiate Chapel - April 26, 2017

    The students had the privilege to hear from Pastor Dustin Daniels from the Outer Banks Dare Challenge this morning. Pastor Daniels was introduced by one of GCA’s students that has been impacted by his ministry. Pastor Daniels gave some background on his life, from being a well-known commercial fisherman to his struggles with addiction to drugs, alcohol, and opiates. His addictions resulted in significant medical issues; one day, he overdosed and was officially declared dead because his heart stopped. Emergency workers had to resuscitate him three times. After sharing some of his story, Pastor Daniels centered his message on the idea that a person’s choices impact their life and the lives of those around them. Speaking from Daniel 3, he taught on the necessity of submitting and surrendering to the authority of the one, true God over all other authorities that go against His will, for the purpose of glorifying God. Christians are called to make the choice to submit and surrender even if God does not save them from what is ahead. Submission and surrender to God should not be for one’s own benefit but rather it should be founded on the reality that God loves them more than they could ever love themselves. Ultimately, God’s plan is the best plan for them, regardless of the outcome. Pastor Daniels closed his message by reminding the students that they will never regret making godly choices in their lives. Reading from Deuteronomy, he encouraged students to always choose life in Christ over death, every time.

    Daniel 3, Deuteronomy 30:11-20

  • Christianity & Social Media

    Collegiate Chapel - April 19, 2017

    This week in GCA’s collegiate chapel service, Pastor Dalton Stoltz spoke to the students concerning their use of social media as Christians. He offered a series of fifteen questions, explaining each in detail, in order to kick off a meaningful message which considered how social media could potentially affect their lives. A few of these questions include:

    • Are you seeking to glorify God through social media? (1 Corinthians 10:31)
    • Does social media lead you to sin? (Matthew 5:29)
    • Does your speech build people up or tear them down? (James 3:10)
    • Do you value social media interaction more than real-life relationships? (Leviticus 19:18)
    • Do you have any relationships through social media that you need to cut off? (1 Corinthians 15:33)
    • Do you use social media to boost your ego? (Mark 8:36)
    • Do you use social media to hide? (Proverbs 25:14)

    After asking and explaining these questions, along with others, Pastor Stoltz encouraged everyone present to become more aware of how and why they are involved with social media. He concluded that Christians must “properly prioritize” the things in their lives, being sure to orient everything back to Christ in order to establish their identity in Christ for the purpose of glorifying His name above all else!

  • He is Risen!

    Collegiate Chapel - April 5, 2017

    In the chapel before Spring Break, GCA held a powerful Easter service which led the students, faculty, and staff through the events leading up to and following Christ’s brutal death, solemn burial, and glorious resurrection. Through student-led worship and Scripture readings, the GCA community joined together in a time of reflection and celebration of their one and only risen Savior, Jesus Christ!

    Key Passages: Matthew 21:1-11; 26:17-36, Luke 22:47-54, Mark 15:1-20; 21-33; 34-47, Matthew 28:1-10, Acts 1:3-11, Luke 24:52-53

  • Our God is a Missionary God

     Collegiate Chapel - March 24, 2017

    Capping off GCA’s Missions Emphasis Week, the student-body heard from Mr. Darryl Palmer of New Tribes Mission. After showing a short video on the work of NTM, Mr. Palmer brought everyone to the very beginning where God spoke into existence all things and gave them the profound command to “multiply and fill the earth.” As the people became more numerous they desired to build a tower toward the heavens for themselves. Seeing what was happening, God gave them many languages and scattered them to fill the earth. Moving forward to the New Testament, Mr. Palmer taught that the mission of Jesus Christ’s life was to draw people to Himself in order that they might go out and be His witnesses to all the nations. Finally, he moved to the book of Revelation, proving that even at the end of the age, God’s people will be from every tribe, language, and nation. Mr. Palmer ended his time by pointing out that God is a missionary God and that He has always had one mission and has always used one method to fulfill that mission, His people. Therefore, Mr. Palmer encouraged GCA to be a people on mission for God in order to fulfill God’s greatest desire, to see the whole earth filled with His glory!

    Key Passages: Genesis 1:28, Genesis 11:1-9, Matthew 24:14, Revelation 5:9; 7:9

  • Why Wouldn't You?

    Collegiate Chapel - March 23, 2017

    During the second day of GCA’s “Missions Emphasis Week” the student body was able to hear a message from Mr. P, who works as a missionary with Wycliffe Associates in the “10/40+ Window” of the world. Framing his message with the question, “Why would we?” Mr. P took the students and faculty to the book of Acts. From there, he taught that Christians should be concerned with global missions because it is God’s plan for His people. Next, Mr. P taught about the story of Saul, who later became Paul, illustrating the mass amount of persecution through the early Church, but assuring them that it was all part of God’s plan to scatter and plant churches throughout the “ends of the earth.” Mr. P encouraged students to consider that when Christians are willing to pay the price, lost people come to know Christ. Furthermore, he made the valuable point to all that God always uses the everyday and ordinary people to do His extraordinary work! Mr. P invoked a challenging question concerning missions to the students, faculty, and staff saying, “Why wouldn’t you?” He encouraged them to throw away all of the excuses that anyone would use and submit to God’s plan for their life in order to be used in mighty ways for God’s purposes!

    Key Passages: Acts 1:8; 8:1

  • Dominican Republic Missions Chapel

     Collegiate Chapel - March 22, 2017

    Continuing with GCA’s annual Missions Emphasis Week, the GCA Dominican Republic mission team held a special student-led testimony chapel service for the Collegiate Academy. After leading a time of worship together, the worship team then performed one of the songs that they learned while in the Dominican Republic, singing it all in Spanish. The team shared photos and stories from their trip. Many team-members shared personal testimonies of what they had learned on the trip. Finally, the team performed the “Hunger Skit” for everyone. This was to show that nothing in this world will satisfy anyone except Jesus Christ.

  • Missions Emphasis Week: Special Guest

    Missions Emphasis - March 20, 2017

    Kicking off GCA’s annual Missions Emphasis Week, Mrs. Mickie West from But God Ministries came to speak to students about her work as a full time missionary in Haiti. Through personal testimony and insightful stories of God’s providence, Mrs. West walked the students through what the call of God looked like for her family and the process that God took them through in order to provide and sustain them as they drastically shifted their lives to line up with God’s Will, by moving to Haiti. Furthermore, Mrs. West presented a slideshow which pictured many services that God has provided for the people of Haiti. She spent time explaining the realities of the quality of life for the Haitian people, while also speaking to what all God has done in and through But God Ministries as a result. Concluding her time with each class, Mrs. West explained God’s sovereignty throughout what she has seen Him do as well as what He has done through the people that have come to serve. She ended by encouraging all to consider being involved in short-term and long-term missions in order to advance God’s Kingdom to the ends of the earth!

    Haiti guestspeaker01Haiti guestspeaker02

  • Moses: A Life of Radical Obedience

    Collegiate Chapel - March 15, 2017

    Alexis Judy, the Community Outreach Coordinator of the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater, came to speak in the Collegiate chapel this morning. Opening the service with a reading of God’s Word from Psalm 139, Ms. Judy emphasized that all life is sacred because God Himself created everyone for His purposes. She then took a journey through the life of Moses, using excerpts from the book of Exodus. Ms. Judy explained in detail the trials and victories of Moses’ life as he struggled with his inadequacies while all the while resting in the sovereignty and mighty works of God. Within her synopsis, Ms. Judy made three assertions. The first is that every life has purpose because God is incapable of making mistakes. Second, referring to the world of social media, she encouraged everyone to stop comparing their lives to those whose lives have a filter on them. Last, Ms. Judy encouraged all to live a life of radical obedience to God. This was seen through every page of Scripture that reflected the life of Moses. In closing, Ms. Judy told of the utmost importance of having an eternal perspective. She encouraged everyone to take action and participate in something bigger than themselves, the CPC Walk for Life.

    Key Passages: Exodus 1; 2:1-25; 3:1-14; 4:10-16; 33:12-18

  • Who Do YOU Preach?

    Collegiate Chapel - March 8, 2017

    This morning, Daniel Ethridge, worship pastor at Liberty Greenbrier, had another opportunity to address the student body at GCA. Working through 2 Corinthians 4:5, Pastor Ethridge exposited the verse, word by word, using visual aids to break up the single verse into four distinct, unified ideas. First, he made the clear point that every person “preaches,” or proclaims, one of two things: themselves or Jesus Christ. Second, Pastor Ethridge challenged everyone to consider whether or not they follow Christ as Lord of their lives. He pointed out that even the demons know Christ, they just do not submit to His authority. Therefore, a true Christian knows God personally and submits daily to His leadership. Third, Pastor Ethridge encouraged those who may question their salvation to simply start walking with Jesus now! He pointed out that we live in a world in which people are in constant competition because they live only for themselves. On the contrary, as the Apostle Paul stated, those who follow Christ are slaves to Christ and are no longer living life for themselves but for Christ. Pastor Ethridge summed up his message by stating that a Christian should proclaim this truth in every facet of his or her life so that those who associate with them will ultimately find their Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!

    Key Passages: 2 Corinthians 4:5

  • Table Talk: God as Creator

    Collegiate Chapel - March 1, 2017

    Mr. Robert Gibbs had the opportunity to address the students once again, this time regarding the topic of “God as Creator.” Using an informal style, Mr. Gibbs invited three students to join him on stage for coffee, engaging in what the great Reformer, Martin Luther, once called “table talk.” Sitting around the table, with coffee in hand, Mr. Gibbs engaged the three students in a conversation, inquiring about some of the most beautiful places they had seen in their travels. After discussing this, Mr. Gibbs conveyed the theological concept that: “orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy”, or in other words: “what you believe is what you live out.” Launching out of this approach, he had those involved read aloud Scriptures referring to “God as Creator.” Coming out of their conversation together were these simple, theological truths: Everything is God’s because He created everything, God holds the universe together, and the reality that we live in a beautiful, yet broken, world. Wrapping up their time together, Mr. Gibbs led the students to three practical implications for what was discussed. First, he encouraged everyone to start “living with a sense of wonder” in the small things of life. Second, he encouraged everyone to view themselves as those who have worth and value, not because of their popularity or their accomplishments, but because they are made in the image of God Himself. Finally, he insisted that they should respect others, not by merely being nice to them, but by actually taking the time to recognize that they are all made in the image of Christ. Rounding out his message, Mr. Gibbs touched on some heavy topics of struggle for a young person today and made the closing point that, regardless of the struggles anyone goes through, the solution has to start from a foundational understanding of who God really is. Only from that foundation can someone see clearly the purpose and wonder of life itself.

    Key Passages: Genesis 1:1; 26-27, Psalm 8:1; 3-4; 24:1-2, Isaiah 40:28, Romans 1:20, Colossians 1:15-17

  • How to Change

    Collegiate Chapel - February 22, 2017

    This morning in chapel Paul Campbell, youth pastor at Colonial Baptist Church, had the chance to speak to the student-body. Grounding his message in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, Pastor Campbell addressed the question how “how to change?” He made the point that change is inevitable in the world and in life itself. He asked students if they wanted to change and followed with another question: “Do you want to be holy?” Going further, Pastor Campbell debunked the idea that rules and regulations fix sin by making it apparent that sin is a heart issue; in order to change, one must deal with the heart, not just put parameters around problems in order to monitor behavior. Referencing Colossians, Pastor Campbell explained three ways to change. The first of which is to set our mind on godly things. Second, one must “destroy earthly things.” Finally, one must “put on” holiness. Rounding out his message, he challenged the student body to put into action one final command from the Apostle Paul’s letter: “Obey your parents in everything.” After Pastor Campbell’s message, Mr. Mowery invited the GCA mission team to the front for a time of prayer before their scheduled trip to the Dominican Republic.

    Key Passages: Colossians 3:1-14; 20

  • Walking in the Dark

    Collegiate Chapel - February 15, 2017

    One of GCA’s Bible teachers, Mr. Mack, presented a powerful message in chapel this week. Using Psalm 23 as a backdrop, he presented the idea of “finding encouragement in God while you are suffering.” His message began with a reality check of how difficult life really is, and the fact that walking in Christ involves times of struggle. He then gave a brief background on King David, using his life as an example of walking in darkness. After summarizing the obstacles in David’s testimony, he rooted the rest of his message in 1 Samuel 30:6, “But David found strength in the Lord his God.” Mr. Mack challenged everyone to find strength in the Lord by presenting six actions. First, he encouraged them to be walking with God before the darkness comes. Building off of the first, he urged everyone to continue to walk with the Lord when the darkness does come and not succumb to the temptation to stray from the Lord when placed in difficult situations. The next action was to “squish the ANTs,” ANTs being “automatic negative thoughts.” He challenged everyone to rid themselves of negative thoughts by replacing them with the promises of God. The fourth action was to find support in Godly friends and leaders. Next, using Philippians 4:8 as a reference, he challenged everyone to focus their thoughts on Godly things. By making their physical surroundings and thoughts focus directly on God, one will constantly be reminded of God’s strength and love. Finally, Mr. Mack described the importance of “serving God and others in the dark”, saying that no matter what age one may be there are always ways to serve the Lord. Mr. Mack ended by assuring everyone that all of the suffering that one endures “hardens them in Jesus”, and that “God teaches through experience.” In implementing these six actions, Christians can find strength and encouragement in the Lord even in the deepest times of darkness.

    Key Passages: Psalm 23, 1 Samuel 30:1-6, Philippians 4:8


  • Receiving the Eternal Rest and Peace of Christ

    Collegiate Chapel - February 8, 2017

    Jeremiah Camarata, the Youth Pastor of Great Bridge Baptist Church, had a second opportunity to speak in this week’s chapel service. Pastor Camarata encouraged all to think about the stress-filled world that they live in. He addressed the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual stress that everyone finds themselves in. Grounding his message in Matthew 11:28-30, he gave the audience three actions focused around the idea of “rest” and what it looks like to receive it. First he stated that “some things need to be shared.” Using the story of Moses and his father-in-law Jethro, he drove home the reality that no one can do this Christian life alone. Christians need each other to walk alongside them and carry one another’s burdens. Therefore, Pastor Camarata challenged everyone present to “find someone.” Second, he touched on the fact the “some things need to stop.” He proceeded to tell the story of Jesus at Martha’s house with her sister, Mary. Martha was concerned about the household things as Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and take in the Truth. Jesus, aware of this, explained to Martha that Mary had “chosen the good portion.” At times when the buildup of life gets so busy and stressful that the focus of God is lost, it is necessary to stop and re-evaluate circumstances. This may mean giving up something that is not necessary in order to receive the most necessary, that being Jesus Christ. Finally, Pastor Camarata explained the need for “everything to be surrendered.” Using Psalm 62 and 55 as his reference point, he urged everyone to “hurl” or “throw” every stressor, and every area of their lives, at God. In doing these three actions, Christians will be able to walk underneath the will of God in all areas of their lives and in turn, experience the eternal peace and rest that Jesus Christ provides.

    Key Passages: Matthew 11:28-30, Exodus 18:17-18, Galatians 6:2, Luke 10:41-42, Psalm 46:10; 62:1; 55:22


  • Walking in Christ…Next Steps

    Collegiate Chapel - January 25, 2017

    This week in GCA’s chapel service, Chaplain Shipp summed up the events that took place in the past semester. From Spiritual Emphasis week, to senior-led chapel, to Fall Festival testimonies, he brought back to the attention of the student body all that God has done in their school. He reminded them of the spiritual awakening that had taken place and motivated them to continue growing in their walk with the Lord. After examining the results of a chapel survey sent out to students before the Christmas break, the chapel team learned the desires of the student body pertaining to their spiritual growth. Using this feedback, Chaplain Shipp presented a message on how to move forward in one’s walk with the Lord. Moving into the message, he presented the idea that moving forward in one’s walk with Christ involves setting one’s thoughts on things above. Setting one’s mind on things of the world results in “death”, spiritually and physically. However, when one sets their mind on the Spirit, they will receive “life and peace.” Moving forward in the message, he stated that humans, on their own, have no ability to overcome their broken, sinful state of being. However, in walking in the Spirit they are freed from the burdens of the world through the deliverance that the Lord Jesus Christ offers. One must “keep in step with the Spirit” by submitting themselves every day to the will of God through the discipline of "unceasing prayer." One is only able to win the battle of their faith through acknowledging their Savior as Lord of their life and then walking in line with the Holy Spirit, which gives them the ability to submit to His desires, recognizing that He is good.

    Key Passages: Romans 7:15-20; 8:5-6; Galatians 5:16-18, 25; 1 Thessalonians 5:17

  • Christmas Worship Chapel

     In this last chapel service before the New Year, the GCA community celebrated the birth of the Messiah through both worship and the reading of scripture. The service was used to tell the story, from the history of Israel and the great mercies of God, to the faithful prophets’ words of a coming King, culminating in the fulfillment of those prophecies through the miraculous, virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. This special service was a brilliant display of God’s faithful, loving kindness toward His people while also helping to give a fresh perspective on the reality of who Jesus is for everyone!

  • Lessons from the Lineage of Christ at Christmas

    Mark Turner, the Pastor of Family Ministries at Nansemond River Baptist Church, had the opportunity to address the students, faculty and staff of GCA during their weekly chapel service. Pastor Turner spoke of the unexpected nature of Jesus Christ, both through His genealogy and in the events leading to His peculiar birth. Basing his message in context, he taught about the people of Israel having had very specific expectations, based on Scripture as well as their own perceptions, concerning the coming of the Messiah. Pastor Turner went on to speak of three unexpected ways which prove to us the wisdom and sovereignty of God, the first of these being the unexpected lineage of Christ. At the beginning of the New Testament, Matthew takes the time to highlight the lineage of the Messiah in order to prove the point that the very people God used to bring Christ into the world were the same people that Jesus came to save. Secondly, God called Mary and Joseph, the most unexpected pair, to conceive the Savior of the world. And finally, as God’s people kept failing to earn their way to Him, God took it upon Himself to send His own Son down to them so that they might be saved. Pastor Turner tied these unexpected events together, proclaiming that all Christians should allow their expectations to be founded on and molded by God’s sovereign plan because what Christians see as unexpected, God has had planned all along.

    Key Passages: Matthew 1:1-25


  • Dr. White Speaks in Collegiate Chapel

    This week in chapel the GCA community had the privilege of hearing from their Superintendent, Dr. Ron White, who addressed three crucial and challenging points to walking in the ways of Jesus Christ. After grounding his message in the context of the Old Testament narrative of Daniel, Dr. White explained that the first step in walking in Christ is "purposing our hearts", much like Daniel did, to follow Him. Following this point, Dr. White went on to teach that Christians must be willing to make time for Christ to speak to their hearts, in order to have a pure conscience as they approach the throne of grace. With that, he illustrated Satan’s relentless attempts to disrupt our walk with Christ, making the distinct point that devotional time with the Lord is a necessary element of each day. Finally, after understanding and implementing those realities, Christians will naturally use their hands to do the work of the Kingdom of God with confidence, knowing that they are doing the will of God, as opposed to the relentless, self-defeating attempts to look like a Christian. Summing up his three points, Dr. White insisted that these three truths of walking in Christ, mainly heart, head, and hands, must be done in that particular order if Christians are to confidently walk in the ways of the Lord. In closing, Dr. White adamantly proclaimed to the GCA community that the Christian life is not easy and that walking in Christ is a “day by day, step by step method of becoming like Jesus Christ.”

    Key Passages: Book of Daniel

  • Walking in Christ...With an Eternal Focus

    One of GCA’s History teachers, Mr. Robert Gibbs, had the opportunity to address the students, faculty, and staff in their weekly chapel service. He began his message using an illustration from the arena of sports with regard to the motivation by which athletes play. Tying this back to the Christian life, Mr. Gibbs challenged all to ponder what their motivation for being a Christian really is. He explained that all too often Christians see God as a “band-aid”, the fixer of problems. While God is indeed healer and redeemer, he questioned what happens to those people once their problems are solved? Using specific Biblical characters, Mr. Gibbs gave the GCA community historical and practical examples of what it looks like to walk with God in Christ. He explained that the motivation for the Christian life is not built on the immediate things, but on those things that are yet to come; the Christian motivation is having the perspective of what lies ahead! Going further, Mr. Gibbs proclaimed that, as Christians, God Himself is the ultimate acquisition. He is greater than reputation, money, family, and any other accolades that are received here on earth. In his final thoughts, Mr. Gibbs painted a picture of the Christian's greatest prize by reading aloud classic hymns that expressed the character and nature of God. All in all, he stated that Christians must focus on this motivation; the eternal, magnificent reward of God in Christ, awarded to all who would believe in Him!

    Key Passages: Hebrews 11:5-6; 24-26; 12:1-2

  • An Invitation to Walk With Jesus

    Pastor TJ Wallace, the Worship Pastor of Forest Park Church in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, blessed GCA this week by passionately proclaiming the great desire of Christ to change lives! Pastor Wallace taught of the man Zacchaeus, a very wealthy chief tax collector, who went to see Jesus. But due to his short stature he could not see over the crowds, so he decided to climb a tree in order to lay eyes on Him. Immediately, Jesus looked up at him and called him, by name, down from the tree. Jesus Christ proceeded to invite Himself to Zacchaeus’ home for dinner. Within those few hours in the presence of Jesus Christ, Zacchaeus’ life was changed forever! Coming to his main point, Pastor Wallace proclaimed that “one moment in the presence of Jesus can change your life completely!” Rounding out his message, Pastor Wallace applied these teachings to the lives of people today. Speaking from the heart through his own life experiences, he proclaimed the truth that everyone parallels to Zacchaeus’ life. They may not all be short physically, but all fall short of God spiritually. Because of that reality, Pastor Wallace put forth a challenge to “stop climbing the trees of tradition and legalism” and start climbing the tree of life in the grace and love of Jesus Christ!

    Key Passages: Luke 19:1-10

  • Aaron Ransom (GCA 2007) Speaks in Chapel

    In this week’s chapel service the GCA community invited back one of their own alumni, Mr. Aaron Ransom, who is now a Sports Performance Coach within the Physical Therapy department of the Bon Secours Health System. Mr. Ransom spoke to the students, faculty, and staff with humility concerning the idea of moving from a concept of religion to that of revelation. Speaking from the Gospel, he explained the dilemma of the Pharisees, teaching that they were constantly caught up in the rules and regulations of the Old Testament; they spent their time trying to debunk Christ’s teachings instead of taking time to understand who He really was for them. Tying it all together, Mr. Ransom applied this dilemma to the lives of Christians today. Through personal illustrations involving his own son, he emphasized that Jesus Christ came to save the sinner, not the righteous. He went on to explain that in order to move from religion to revelation, one must realize that they are a sinner saved by grace through faith. In his concluding remarks, Mr. Ransom proclaimed God’s great love for all regardless of their faults. That being said, all Christians should make it a priority to reflect the love that Christ has for them to others for the purpose of displaying His Kingdom here on earth.

    Key Passages: Matthew 9:9-13; Colossians 2:6-7

  • 2016 Fall Festival Chapel

    In the middle of Spirit Week leading up to Fall Festival, GCA held a chapel service in which the nominees for Fall Festival Court were given the opportunity to address the student body, each with their own testimony. Each speaker displayed great courage and boldness as they articulated how their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, had drawn them closer to Him throughout their lives. That being said, this service was a powerful display of the workings of God in each individual’s life. At the conclusion of the service, Dr. Ron White, GCA’s Superintendent, held a time of testimony as to how God had orchestrated the first few weeks of the new school year. After this, he led a time of worshipful prayer, giving thanks to God for His wisdom and provision over the last few months. This service was an opportunity to witness the Spirit of God, alive and active, working in the lives of the young men and women who represent Greenbrier Christian Academy.

  • Unshakeable Kingdom, Unchanging Person

    This week in GCA's Chapel service, Chaplain Greg West from Virginia Wesleyan College addressed the students, faculty and staff with a deep, meaningful message from God. Chaplain West spoke on what he called “Jesus’ favorite topic”, that being the Kingdom of Heaven. He insisted that this topic was God’s complete answer to the world’s complete need. Going deeper into his message, Chaplain West explained that the world is in a constant state of change; there seems to be nothing to cling to for an extended period of time. He encouraged them in saying that, even though the world and everything in it is shaking around them, the one and only constant that they all can trust in is Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. Going further, Chaplain West stated the reality that people in this world have not rejected the Gospel of Christ, but rather they have reduced the Gospel from what it is meant to be. That being said, he challenged everyone to live out the Gospel in all areas of their lives in order to bring the fullness of Jesus anywhere and everywhere God calls them to be. Closing his message, Chaplain West reminded everyone that God is love, and that the Kingdom and Person of Jesus Christ is the one constant that they can stand on as they journey through this ever-changing world.

    Key Passages: Matthew 13:44-46; Hebrews 12:28-29, 13:8

  • God is Better - Senior Class Chapel

    After the senior class returned from their fall retreat, they were passionately energized to proclaim to the underclassmen all that they had experienced throughout their weekend together. Therefore, with permission from the administration, this week’s Chapel service at GCA was designed and implemented by those seniors. With seven prayerfully chosen testimonies spanning a wide range of topics, the senior class spoke with love and humility to the underclassmen about their great need to know Jesus Christ, not only in their minds, but also in their hearts. Furthermore, they urged those who may have strayed away to turn back to Jesus. Though there were many testimonies, the one consistent strand woven throughout was the reality that God has a plan for His people, and that He is working all things for the good of those who love Him. Using the story of Jesus calming the storm, the last senior to speak tied every testimony back to this theme, grounding the entirety of what was said in the authority of Scripture. Closing their service, the senior class invited all who were willing to enter into an extended time of prayer for one another. Acting out of their responsibility as student leaders of GCA, the entire senior class took the opportunity in that time to go to their fellow underclassmen, their faculty, and their staff, engaging in prayer with them, in order to personify the body of Christ.

    Key Passages: Hosea 3; Mark 6:45-52; Exodus 33:17-23

  • Beta Induction - "Make A Difference"

    On October 5th, 2016, Greenbrier Christian Academy held its annual Beta Club Induction Ceremony during chapel. In keeping with the mission of the National Beta Club, Greenbrier Christian Academy seeks to recognize deserving students in the area of academic achievement, character, service, and leadership by appointing members to the GCA National Senior and National Junior Beta Club. Dr. William Cox, Professor and Director of Christian Education Programs at Regent University, gave a profound message based on the principles found in Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” He challenged the incoming Beta members to return blessings to teachers, and others, by way of using their speech to encourage one another. Greenbrier Christian Academy is honored to have inducted 24 new students into this prestigious club.

    The video of Dr. Cox's message can be viewed below:

  • Living Life on Mission for God

    Spencer Helm, the Student Pastor of Liberty Greenbrier, had the opportunity to round out GCA’s Spiritual Emphasis Week. After being witness to the movement of the Spirit of God throughout the week, Pastor Helm felt God’s call to encourage everyone to apply what they had learned and experienced through the Biblical concept of mission. Using the Great Commission as his foundation, Pastor Helm explained that the concept of Christian mission is not about the things we create, nor is it about the things we might do, but that Christian mission is always, first and foremost, about people. He went on to proclaim that when Christians live on mission for others, the Gospel frees them to live a full life for God and to rely on Him. Closing out his message to GCA, Pastor Helm taught that if you never apply what you know and learn about Christ, then you will never reach the full potential of your life in Christ. He summed up his message with a reminder that Jesus Christ’s heartbeat, even while he was near death on the cross, was beating out of His own great love for His people. Therefore, if Christians are to imitate and follow Christ by applying what they know to be true, the love in their hearts must not beat for themselves, but for everyone around them, just as Christ’s does.

    Key Passages: Matthew 28:18-20

  • The Christian Life in Community

    On the third day of Spiritual Emphasis Week, Pastor Dalton Stoltz from Liberty Greenbrier addressed the GCA community for the second time. After a quick summary of witness to the movement of the Spirit of God over the week, Pastor Stoltz took time to emphasize the immediate need of “authentic community” in the Christian life. With conviction, he proclaimed that, as Christians, it is impossible to live alone and there is no possible way to grow in Christ through a life lived in isolation. He continued in explaining this reality by describing how God Himself lives in perfect, authentic community through communion with His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Through the reference of Ecclesiastes 4, Pastor Stoltz challenged those present to encourage one another in their Christian faith and to defend and protect one another in order that they might run with endurance toward Jesus Christ together. In closing, Pastor Stoltz turned the attention to Jesus, teaching of His great command toward the end of His life to love one another as Christ loves them!

    Key Passages: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; John 13:33-35

  • Run To Jesus

    In the second chapel service of Spiritual Emphasis week, GCA's Collegiate Academy students heard a convicting message from Pastor Daniel Ethridge, the Worship Pastor of Liberty Greenbrier. Pastor Ethridge proclaimed from his heart the close realities of the continual battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Opening his message, he explained that trying to “hit the mark” as a Christian is impossible without the reliance upon Jesus Christ. Opening God’s Word to Hebrews 12:1-2, he encouraged the GCA community in three commands which, if put into practice, would ultimately lead to freedom from sin and a full life in Christ. The first of which was to “throw off the weight!” To lay aside every weight that is bearing them down and cast it upon Jesus Christ. The second command was to “throw off the sin!” He explained that those two commands are separate from one another in their meaning and in the way they play out in their lives, but that both must happen if we are to do the last command, that being, “Run with endurance toward Jesus Christ!” Pastor Ethridge made the point that walking with Christ is not a checklist of tasks, but rather is all about the intentionality of the heart. He encouraged all to throw of the weight, to throw off the sin, and to run with endurance to Christ, with the intention to know Jesus Christ more! He then asked GCA an intimate question, “When you fail, where do you run?” He emphasized that it is not if we fail, but when we fail. In closing, Pastor Ethridge solidified his point saying that in those times of failure the correct response is not, “try again”, but rather, “run to Jesus!”

    Key Passages: Hebrews 12:1-2

  • An Eternal Identity!

    During the annual Spiritual Emphasis week, Greenbrier Christian Academy hosted the pastoral staff from Liberty Baptist Church of Greenbrier. In their opening chapel service, the GCA community had the privilege of hearing from Pastor Dalton Stoltz, the Campus Pastor of Liberty Greenbrier. In his message, Pastor Stoltz challenged all to ask the question, “what is your identity in today?” He explained to them that their identity needs to be in something that is bigger than their self; their identity needs to be founded in Jesus Christ. Bringing GCA’s chapel theme into context, Pastor Stoltz explained that Colossians 2:6-7 presupposes that people are already in Christ. That being said, he went on to describe four categories that could have been sitting in the room that day: those who have intellectual knowledge of Christ but who are not ashamed to say they do not believe, those who put on the mask of Christianity, those who are just starting their journey with Christ, and lastly, those who are walking in Christ and are passionate about deepening their relationship with Him. He challenged the students further by asking them which category they thought they were in and then probed GCA in asking, “What are you holding onto that is hindering you from clinging to Jesus Christ?” In closing, Pastor Stoltz walked all of GCA through elements of the “Roman Road”, exalting the Gospel message of Christ and exhorting all to consider making Him the foundation of their identity.

    Key Passages: Colossians 2:6-7; Romans 3:23, 5:8, 8:1, 10: 9-10

  • Choosing Discipline Over Regret

    Pastor Jeremiah Camarata, the Youth Pastor of Great Bridge Baptist Church, was able to address the GCA community this week in their weekly chapel service. God used him in mighty ways to explain the concept of “discipline vs. regret” in the Christian life. He began his message in the book of Romans, laying out the foundation of what it means to be a human in this fallen world. He brought to life the relentless battle, which the apostle Paul speaks of, between the Spirit and the flesh. Pastor Camarata went on to explain that though all Christians struggle with this battle, thank God that they do not have fight alone, for through Christ’s sacrifice, they have an advocate in Him! As a result, they should run each of their races well through making disciplined choices instead of foolish ones. Much like an athlete disciplines his or her body for competition, so Christians must condition theirs in Christ-likeness. Pastor Camarata summed up his message with two simple, yet profound questions. The first being, “what do you want most?” The second, “what do you need to choose now to achieve what you want most?” He closed by explaining that every step in the journey of life matters. Therefore, Christians should be disciplined in their choices in order to reach their goals. If they do this then they will not look back on their lives with regret, but rather they will look back with joy in their hearts seeing how God orchestrated and used them for His glory!

    Key Passages: Romans 7:15, 18-19, 24-25; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

  • Raising the Bar

    In the second week of chapel at GCA, one of the Collegiate Academy Administrators, Mr. Gary Wilson, addressed his fellow faculty, staff, and the student body. The Lord laid on Mr. Wilson’s heart the idea of “Raising the Bar” as a Christian. He emphasized in his message that Christians must imitate God in everything they do and that they must be aware of how they do it and with whom they do it. He went on to uncover the reality that, as Christians in this fallen world, they are always being observed. The idea that Christians are walking one way in Church, and then a completely different way throughout the rest of their week is a complete contradiction that the world uses against them. In saying that, integrity is crucial. Closing out his message, Mr. Wilson harkened back to the concept that, as the Apostle Peter states, Christians are indeed called to be a “peculiar people.” With this, it is implied that they will likely find themselves alone in the midst of the crowd, but they are never alone because they have Christ and they should choose to glorify Him above their own gains. Ending their time together, he encouraged all who attended to dive deeper into their relationship with Christ which, in turn, will naturally result in increased sanctification.

    Key Passages: Ephesians 5:1-20; Psalm 34:15-22; 1 Peter 2:9

  • New Year - New Focus "...So Walk in Him"

    In the first week of chapel at Greenbrier Christian Academy the Campus Chaplain, Mr. Shipp, laid out the vision for their coming school year. Chaplain Shipp started by setting a high expectation for chapel services, explaining that chapel is a place of equality and worship, where the school can come together on common ground to praise God. His message spoke on the significance of the school’s chosen theme for the year, coming out of Colossians 2:6-7, and described to students and faculty how they will be encouraged to “walk in Him” over the course of the year. After giving some background on Colossians, Chaplain Shipp explained that the Christian community today has a problem similar to that of the church in Colossae: saying that they believe in the Lord, Jesus Christ, but choosing to allow the world to influence the way in which they live, day by day, instead of God. With this backdrop, he challenged students and faculty to begin to consider what would happen if they allowed themselves to view the world through the lens of Christ, allowing Him to have influence in every part of their lives. He provided three goals for their year which included setting their eyes fresh and anew on the person and work of Jesus Christ, learning how to be rooted and built up in their Christian faith, and putting to practice the truths of scripture in every area of their lives. Additionally, he laid out the importance of community as they learn to walk in Christ this year – he emphasized spurring one another on and encouraging each other to dive deeper into the Word and its application in their daily lives. With this first message, Chaplain Shipp set the tone for the year reminding all who have been saved by God's grace to live in a way that shows it, in order to draw others toward Him and give glory to Jesus Christ.

    Key Passages: Colossians 2:6-7