Friends and family share emotion, graduation at Crossroads

May. 18, 2013 @ 03:49 PM

Emotions ran high Saturday morning as 24 graduates marched into the gym at Crossroads Christian School in Henderson.

Parents wiped tears from their eyes as a video slideshow gave a small peak into the lives of each student, displaying pictures from infancy to present day.

Images of babies dressed in Halloween costumes and miniature tuxedos brought laughter.

P.J. Preston, student pastor at C3 Church in Clayton and a former NFL football player, provided the commencement address, which urged students to, “fight the good fight.”

Preston, a graduate of Virginia Tech, was a starter for three years at outside linebacker for the Hokies. He had a brief stint in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers.

“I want to go back to 2nd Timothy, chapter four, verse seven,” Preston said. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Putting the message in his own words, Preston titled the phrase as going the distance.

“Going the distance is a phrase that’s mostly heard in the sports world,” Preston said. “As a runner ties their shoes, preparing for the big race, he has only one thought in mind, and that’s going the distance.

“Can I encourage you Class of 2013, no matter what happens, no matter if you have to stand by yourself, go the distance.”

Sarah Martin earned valedictorian and Elizabeth “Lizzy” Long salutatorian. Both received a 4.0 grade point average and addressed the audience.

“We finally made it, high school is now officially over and we are about to embark on a crazy journey that will be the next chapter of our lives,” Martin said. “We will be faced with adversity praised in our victories, and continue to be molded into the men and women that God created us to be.

“We will remember our times at Crossroads as we look forward to our future.”

Long gave thanks to the school’s administrative staff among many.

“Thanks to the administration and all of our teachers for putting up with us throughout the years and pushing us to be men and women of God,” Long said.

Students lined the front of the stage as they joined with worship leader and Bible teacher Ryan Russell in a song called “Marvelous Light.”

Russell strummed the song’s melody on guitar while students sang, “Lift my hands and spin around, see the light that I have found; Oh, the marvelous light, the marvelous light.”

They followed the lyrics in motion, lifting their hands, and spinning on stage as audience members looked on with smiling faces.


Contact the writer at