Local pastor chosen to speak at commencement

Haley Mulder – Staff Writer

President Hoekstra announced on Jan. 30 that Rev. John Lee of Bethel Church in Sioux Center will serve as commencement speaker for the graduating class of 2014.

“I was surprised, but perhaps the better description is that I am humbled,” Lee said.

The graduating students submitted names of people to be considered for speaker at the ceremony, and the options were narrowed down to two names. The Co-curricular Committee made the final decision to send out the invitation to Lee.

“The Dordt community is full of articulate men and women who love God, have a vision for His kingdom, and who care deeply for Dordt’s students,” Lee said. “It is an honor to be included with that number and to speak to the seniors on behalf of that community.”

John Lee headshot

Lee has been involved on Dordt’s campus with students and faculty ever since he was a missionary in Nicaragua and coordinated AMOR trips from 2002-2004.

“Since becoming a pastor in Sioux Center, that engagement has deepened,” Lee said. “My wife and I enjoy interacting with students, staff, and faculty who attend Bethel CRC, including having students over to the parsonage for a meal or games.”

Lee is also involved by being a member of the Dordt College Board of Trustees, including the Executive Committee, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, and as the Board representative on the Strategic Planning Task Force.

Lee has spoken at GIFT and in weekly chapels. He attends a wide variety of Dordt’s events including senior recitals, sporting events and the First Monday Speaker Series.

“Seniors stand on the horizon line of a new adventure, facing a lot of unknowns,” Lee said. “On their last day as a student, I’m privileged to remind them that they will not make that journey alone.”

The Dordt community looks forward to hearing Lee speak at graduation.

“Over my past four years at Dordt, I have been extremely blessed to call John my pastor, mentor, teammate and friend,” senior Kristen Scholten said. “Throughout the years, I have learned of his heart for third world missions and I have been motivated to use my time, talents, and treasures for helping the poor at home and far away. I’m excited to hear his message to us before we take our steps into ‘the real world.’”

“We are honored to have Pastor Lee, who is a member of the Dordt College Board of Trustees and beloved pastor of many students, serve in this capacity to encourage us all and send our graduates forth,” President Hoekstra said in his email to the campus community.

The commencement ceremony for the graduating class of 2014 will be held May 9 in the BJ Haan Auditorium at 10 a.m.

“Going behind them and before them, God has plans for His people to prosper them and not to harm them, to give them a hope and a future in Jesus Christ,” Lee said. “I’m excited to be able to share that good news with them!”

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