Stevens Point Church Hosts Send-Off for Graduates in Local Adventist Christian Fellowship Chapter

Zack Payne, Youth Director

Youth May 24, 2024

The following was shared on the Wakonda Blog, from our Youth Department, on May 15, 2024.

This past Monday, May 13, the Stevens Point Church hosted a special send-off service for members of the local Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) chapter (known as “OnPoint”) who will be graduating soon. Josh Guerrero, our Public Campus Ministries (PCM) Coordinator, planned the event, along with Katherine Bellow, Jeremiah Bellow, and Kevin Wilkinson, Jr.–which essentially consisted of a haystack dinner (and desserts), outdoor games, and even a “kidnapping” (one of the graduates was brought to the party unsuspecting). After dinner, the service comprised of the graduates coming forward to reminisce about the years they spent with OnPoint, Pastor Zack Payne sharing a charge with the graduates, and then Josh Guerrero sharing some words about each graduate as he handed out special gifts.

The graduating president of OnPoint, Brendan (the one who was kidnapped), thought back to his early interactions with the chapter: “[Josh] was doing a survey, and one of the questions on there was “on a scale from 1 to 10, how’s your faith in God?” and I put it at a 7. And I’m like…I gotta work on this–this is bad. I need this to be a 10. And fast forward, you’ve really helped me build my relationship with God. It’s just been an incredible journey and I wanna thank you for every single one of those moments that you’ve given me during my four years here at Point. You’re a great leader, keep going.” Another graduate, Nolan, reminisced about how Josh was just one of many people who handed him a survey on the first day of school. “I didn’t think I mattered, I just thought he was someone who wanted me to fill out something. But then in the spring semester of that year, I was eating dinner and Josh walked up to me and was like “oh hey, Nolan.”” Nolan expressed that he didn’t remember Josh, and didn’t know why Josh remembered him, but he invited him to an annual scavenger hunt, where he met friends he kept throughout his time in college. He even met his best friend because of OnPoint. These testimonies display powerful insights to the positive spiritual, social, and emotional impacts our ACF groups are having on public campus students.

During his charge, Pastor Zack focused on the key text of Deuteronomy 31:8: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” He talked about his experience of finding work after graduation and how he didn’t end up with the highest paying starter job, or the best living conditions, or the benefits from full-time employment. What he did recieve, however, was the chance to lean on God and to see that when we trust and let God win our victories for us, we can see real miracles happen. “So may you go forward with courage to know that, if these things (career, family/dating, success) belong to God: He is going to give you a beautiful story to tell. Trust Him. He’s got you.” We hope all of our graduates embrace this message. Life in the “real world” (after college) can be sobering and eye opening, but it also can be an awesome opportunity to build faith and learn to rely on God in a more mature way.

To wrap up, Josh gave out gift bags and certificates to each of the graduates, and also shared a few thoughts and memories of his own. “When I met Jordan, I was like, “there’s something different about this guy.” He’s been a part of our ministry for a couple of years, and so we’re going to miss having him here. So I just want to present him with this certificate, which just shares with everyone that you’ve successfully been a part of our ministry and we are now launching you to go make disciples of other people.” He also explained an item in the gift bag: “This baton, we ordered for those of our students who have been a part of our discipleship program…the goal is everything he’s learned he passes on to someone else. So it doesn’t just stay with him, but it keeps going.” It’s this intentional relationship building, discipling, and sending off that we hope inspires our ACF team members to continue to incorporate ministry as an important part of their life, even after graduation.

We want to say thank you to Josh, who helped coordinate this event, to the Stevens Point Church for hosting, and to our ACF OnPoint team for their years of ministry and community building at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Over the summer, we look forward to the annual DiscipleTrek training that many ACF students will participate in, the various PCM grants that are being applied for now, and continued missionary work at our Wisconsin public universities. Please, continue to keep our campus ministries in prayer! We hope to see even more groups, and witness even more inspiring stories in the upcoming school year.

To view pictures from the event, visit: