When Wesleyan students arrived at school this Thursday, the excitement in the air was palpable. The 2019 Annual Gift Giving Opening Assembly was just moments away and everyone knew there was a "monstrous" surprise in store. The AGG assembly is a highlight of the year, not just because we share our fundraising goal and all of the plans for this year's campaign, but also because of the inspiration and truth that is poured into each student's heart that attends.
Pastor Paul Coates welcomed the standing-room-only crowd of K-12 students, faculty, and parents, and introduced this year's theme "On the Horizon"; encouraging the Wesleyan family to dream about "what God has on the horizon for you."
Appropriately so, two treasured Wesleyan alumni who have stood strong in their faith as they have pursued their dreams came ready to speak to that very question. As a monster truck driver and an off-broadway singer and actress, Bryce Kenny (2006) and Maria Reginaldi (2015) work every day in two of our world's most competitive industries.
Maria is living in New York City since graduating from Liberty University and recently starred in the off-broadway play, "Revelation: The Musical". Just a month later, Maria secured another starring role in "The Bachelor Girls."
"By the Grace of God," shared Maria, "I am living in New York and pursuing theater. And it's the best because I trust God." Though she has been blessed to find success, she is quick to point out that it's more important to her to be remembered for living a life surrendered to God. Maria reminded students that ultimately, it's not all of your accomplishments and all of your "check-lists" that matter, it's your relationship with the Lord. As recently as this year, she shared, the Lord has used her favorite verse, Matthew 6:33, "Seek first his kingdom and all His righteousness and all these things will be given to you," to remind her it's by seeking Him that worldly success becomes meaningful.
Bryce Kenny, who was accompanied to WCA by monster truck "Mohawk Warrior," entered the gym to the sound of a revving engine and excited everyone. Married with two children, Bryce joined the Monster Jam circuit four years ago and in 2017, began driving Great Clips' Mohawk Warrior.
Bryce shared that after graduating from WCA, he went on to Campbell University, where he played Division 1 soccer, but eventually wanted to race cars, a family business. Later, as a college graduate, Bryce began a drag racing career that would conclude in 2011, leaving him believing his dream of racing cars had ended. Not long after, he received a call from a friend who was now driving "Stone Crusher" on the Monster Jam circuit. After two conversations and four years passed, Bryce received a call inviting him to join the Monster Jam franchise.
Bryce challenged the students to believe that "if you are pursuing the face of God -- regardless of where you are down the road -- if you are faithful, I promise you, I promise you, that God will resurrect that dream in a way that is bigger and better than what you could have ever thought or imagined it to be."
We are so privileged and blessed to watch our alumni make such impacts in their spheres of influence for the advancement of God's Kingdom!