Bishop Harry Jackson ’75 was the Commencement speaker at Patrick Henry College last year.

Saturday’s commencement featured a rousing and inspirational keynote speech by Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in D.C., who spoke not only of the high honor but of the high cost of obedience to God’s call to lead the nation and influence the culture. Having served courageously at the forefront of the evangelical community’s efforts to halt the legalization of gay marriage within the District, Bishop Jackson recounted how he, his family, and church, have paid a heavy price as a result.
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“We’re in one of the darkest seasons in the history of this country,” he began, reciting a list of cultural trends marking the nation’s unmistakable and rapid retreat from its Christian roots. Citing Isaiah 59:15 – “Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey,” he recalled the vicious attacks on his person by gay marriage activists incensed by his work in defense of traditional marriage.

“We’re in that place in our history,” he continued, “when the righteous will be seen as prey. But the glory of the Lord is committed to each one of you as you contend for the truth. The evangelical wing of the Church must be honored, and you must go out and make your voices heard. We cannot afford for you do just disappear into your careers and miss the great opportunities before you.”

Observing how the American church has contracted “social laryngitis,” having apparently abdicated its role to “speak out with authority” on social issues, Bishop Jackson echoed Dr. Farris’s call to live lives worthy of the God we serve. Citing Isaiah 60:1 – “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you,” the Bishop concluded his speech to graduates with a call to action.

“Go forth from this place with trust, passion and commitment,” he cried out. “Great Awakening ‘number three’ is coming to America, and it just might come through [the young men and women in this auditorium].”

Bishop Jackson is as successful in his field — religious leadership — as Eph Bicentennial Medals are in theirs. Why won’t Williams award him a medal and/or invite him to speak at Claiming Williams or Convocation or Commencement? Political correctness.

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