“Fix what’s broken!” Dr. John M. Perkins, challenged the Class of 2007 at the 2:00 p.m. Commencement ceremony held at Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY today. What’s “broken,” he declared to nearly 600 college and seminary graduates, is “family and community.”
The author and pioneer of community development and racial reconciliation said, “the people of God are a family of God…people living in relationship with each other,” just as “the church in the New Testament was a community.”
Perkins pointed out that people err by regarding the Bible more as a book of inspiration than as a book of application. He exhorted his Christian listeners to take up the responsibility not to simply hear the Word of God, but to do the Word of God. The five components of his call to action are that people embrace the Word of God as the truth, commit to a prayer life that is selfless, reconcile others to God, regard the church as a center to equip people for the work of the gospel and establish a philosophy of ministry with intention that fits one’s DNA.
An Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary was conferred on Dr. Perkins just prior to his Commencement address. This humble man with a third-grade education adds the Nyack/ATS honorary doctorate to seven others he has received from Wheaton, Gordon, Huntington, Geneva, Spring Arbor, North Park and Belhaven Colleges.
A second honorary degree, Doctor of Letters from Nyack College, College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded to Mr. Peter Dys, president of Shell Point Retirement Community, a continuing care retirement community in Fort Myers, FL. Mr. Dys is a longtime servant-leader with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and advocate for the senior citizen population nationwide.