Pastor Nathan Kilbourne of the Vilonia Methodist Church, told the 200 plus graduating Vilonia High School seniors, Friday morning, at a breakfast sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance, “We are proud of you. We are proud of your accomplishments and what lies ahead.”
Introducing Kilbourne, VHS principal Matt Sewell said the Vilonia Ministerial Alliance is currently made up of seven churches including the Methodist Church, Vilonia Nazarene, Liberty Nazarene, the First Assembly of God, First Baptist of Vilonia, Centerpoint Freewill Baptist, Vilonia United Methodist and Friendship Baptist.
Kilbourne currently serves as president of the Ministerial Alliance. He will soon be moving from Vilonia to serve as senior pastor at a Jacksonville church. He talked briefly about the accomplishments of the Alliance this past year and the ministries it supports including the Spirit of Vilonia foodbank and the Vilonia Disaster Recovery Alliance.
With thunder booming and rain falling during the event, some students appeared a bit edgy and questioned teachers regarding the pending weather forecast. Some of the students, according to teachers, were a bit on edge due to the date and the nearness to the April 25, 2011 tornado and the April 27, 2014 tornado.
While on stage, Sewell remained calm. He reminded students they are short-termers at the high school. He allowed them to take their cellphones out of their pockets for five minutes to take some selfies.
“Get out your cellphones,” he said. “You have a few minutes to take photos of you and your friends. Then, they go back in your pockets. This is one of the last two times left that all of you will be in the same room together at the same time.”
Some also signed annuals as well as filled out paperwork regarding college intent.
Concluding the event, seven student athletes were recognized for signing letters of intent to play for colleges and universities including Trey Fox, Central Baptist, soccer; Averi Ratliff, Central Baptist, cross country; Garrett Sherrill, Oklahoma Westlyn, baseball; Sydner Wader, University of Louisiana/Monroe, softball; Charlie Thomas, St. Francis in Illinois, basketball; Brendan Hale, Missouri Baptist, football; and Jaret Byrd, Lyon College, football.
It was also said two cheerleaders Brooke Gober and Anne Forsberg plan to try out for college teams.