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Greater Israel Bethel honors grads with special Baccalaureate service

6/5/2014, 9 a.m.

There were plenty of hallelujahs with pomp and circumstance as Greater Israel Bethel Primitive Baptist Church in Overtown held its annual Baccalaureate service on Sunday. It was a spiritual boost to high school and college graduates as they face new challenges in their lives.

High School graduates from Booker T. Washington, Northwestern and Jackson along with local college graduates were given strong words of wisdom from community and religious leaders.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not going to be successful,” said Rev. Kenny Washington, pastor at Greater Bethel. “There are going to be times when you are up and there are going to be times when you are down, but God will keep you if allow Him to keep you.”

Uwezo Frazier, principal at Madison Middle School, cautioned the students to stay grounded in the lessons they learned at church. Frazier encouraged the graduates to choose values over materialism.

“Being first class is not about the clothes you wear, the car you drive or the house you live in,” Frazier said. “Being first class is about the content of your character.”

About 70 worshippers applauded as the names of the graduates were announced in the final moments of the service. They included: Monica Washington, Miami Northwester who will attend the University of Central Florida; Shankeisha Washington, Booker T. Washington, Florida A&M University ; Chardene Jackson, Miami Jackson, Tallahassee Community College; Roosevelt Dixon, Robert Renick Education Center, U.S. Marine Corps; Antonia Mobley, Miami Northwestern, Florida Memorial University; Shanice Hammond, Miami Carol City, Miami-Dade College; Margaret Washington, Barry University, B.A. in Public Administration.