The following was written by one of our 2014 graduates:
The choices we make in life determine everything, and although I didn’t choose to be raised in Oneida, I know God had a plan when he moved my parents to OBI. As I grew up at Oneida Baptist Institute, I learned to love and be loved by Christ. I learned about different cultures through my international friends here. I discovered I had a passion for learning, and I was able to excel in my classes due to the faculty’s desire to help students, AP classes and other opportunities I availed myself of.
At OBI, I had so many options for extracurricular activities, so I chose to do as much as I could, including drama, choir, band, cross country, basketball, tennis, student council, National Honor Society, yearbook, and so many other activities that I likely wouldn’t have had the chance to do at another school.
As the Oneida chapter of my life ended and the next was beginning upon graduation in 2014, I began to wonder what good my time at OBI was for me moving forward. I had gained so much in the way of college prep, a foundation in Christ, and support of friends here, but I kept asking myself, “What next?” It was in this confusion that I believe God was working in me through the people He had put in my life at OBI. I fell back on my experiences in my extra-curricular activities and classes.
Then I read Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I knew that regardless of my doubts, God was there, and the choices I had to make were in His hands.
Soon I was off to Eastern Kentucky University to study music education and political science, and my background at OBI allowed me to adjust seamlessly to the programs. After two years at college, OBI’s influence in my life is evident. Every single day I face hundreds of choices, many of which are vital to the success of my future, and I feel as though all of these decisions are positively influenced by my time spent at Oneida.
Now I have been given the opportunity to serve at OBI during the summers, which I consider a big honor. Not only do I have the chance to serve the school, but I can spend time with my family. Growing up at Oneida is a unique experience, to say the least. I made a lot of sacrifices but received so much in return. As I said before, I believe our choices both big and small are vital to our successes. I know because of my time at OBI, I have the confidence to make these choices and follow the plan God has for me.
Larry Gritton is the president of Oneida Baptist Institute.