FCS 2024 Graduation


Friendship Christian School held its 44th commencement on Friday, May 24, as 17 graduates received their diplomas and turned their tassels. The graduates were encouraged to appreciate this moment and embrace their next steps based on the foundation of God’s Word learned in their classes, at home, and in church.  

“God has given you what you need for your earthly life, and He has given you what you need for your eternal life,” said Pastor Aaron Gamble of Lighthouse Baptist Church, addressing the graduates.

“God is interested in your spirit and your physical body and your well-being, so when he says ‘be instant in season and be instant out of season’… you have to be steadfast,” he said. “The Bible talks about being rooted, steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the things and the principles of God.”

“Don’t be politically correct, be biblically correct,” Gamble continued. “Do right. Right never changes.” 

Salutatorian Jennifer Homan and Valedictorian Gretchen Murry also addressed their peers. 

“If I have learned anything from Friendship, it’s the importance of our Creator,” said Homan. “He is orchestrating everything, and I would be nowhere without Him.” She told fellow graduates to seek God whenever they are needing wisdom, strength, and love.

“I will continue to plead with you because we aren’t to walk this Earth alone. As you go about this new chapter in your future, remember this: Do not abandon God or ignore Him,” Homan encouraged.

“When life is hard, remember Him. When life is good, remember Him,” said Homan.

Murry next challenged her fellow classmates with the question, “How does a seed grow?” She said it must first be planted, like the spiritual seed of faith planted by their parents. Then others came along to help it sprout, like their FCS teachers who poured into them academically and spiritually.

A seed, however, doesn’t have a choice to grow. But followers of Christ do, and Murry celebrated her classmates’ growth through their time together in spiritual maturity, prayer, studying God’s Word, and encouraging each other with discussions about God and the Bible. Murry relayed how the Class of 2024 grew academically and spiritually, becoming closer as a class and more centered on the Lord.

“As the time has come to go our separate ways and lead different lives, I hope we all have that one thing in common – that we keep on growing,” encouraged Murry.

“Remember what our parents and teachers have planted in our hearts, and return the favor by planting seeds in the lives of others,” said Murry.

Senior awardees were then recognized for their academic achievements and Christian character; see a list below. Head of School David McClain and Pastor Bob Vradenburgh, President of FCS, then conferred diplomas on the 17 graduates. Finally, they turned their tassels and celebrated this important milestone!

Mr. McClain included these thoughts in his final prayer, “Father, tonight we’ve been reminded that our lives are not our own. They were given to us with purpose, a purpose to fulfill your will, a purpose to follow your word, a purpose to love you and serve you with everything that we have every day that we are given.”

“I pray you would anoint each one of these 17 graduates that as they go forth they would have a life that lives that they would live a life of purpose,” he continued. “I pray that they would not pursue empty vain things but that their life would be set on you. Like a ship that is set on a course, I pray they will sail toward your will for their lives.”

Congratulations, FCS Class of 2024!

See the Graduation 2024 photo gallery here.

2024 Senior Awards

A/B Honor Roll

Skylar Beaumont, Michael Brigham, Josiah Hemric, Andie McBride, Caisey Moran, Alexia Morgan, Isaiah Mercer, Adam Umesi, Michael Reed

A Honor Roll
Olivia Barrows, Jennifer Homan, Camden Loy, Gretchen Murry, Anna Umesi, Liam Willis

Scholar Athlete Award
Participated in a varsity sport and maintained a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the school year
Olivia Barrows, Skylar Beaumont, Michael Brigham, Jen Homan, Andie McBride, Isaiah Mercer, Alexia Morgan, Gretchen Murry, Michael Reed, Adam Umesi, Liam Willis

High Scholar Athlete
Awarded to the junior or senior male and female who played a varsity sport and earned the highest GPA among the other athletes.  This year’s female recipient is a senior.
Jennifer Homan

Highest Academic Average Award
Gretchen Murry – Honors New Testament, Honors Calculus, Honors English, Honors Physics, Economics, Government
Anna Umesi – Advanced Functions and Modeling, Creation Science
Alexia Morgan – English

Senior Christian Character Awards 

Patty Soemer Servant’s Heart Award – Olivia Barrows
Presented to a senior that displays the heart of a true servant. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Auf-Zum-Zeke Spirit Award – Gretchen Murry, Liam Willis
Presented to the senior athlete or athletes who best exemplify the outstanding qualities and virtues represented by the Friendship Falcons in the areas of Christian testimony, scholastic achievement, and athletic ability.

Timothy Award – Andie McBride, Josiah Hemric
Presented to the senior(s) who best exemplify the outstanding qualities and virtues represented by Friendship Christian in the areas of Christian Service, encouragement, school spirit, and spiritual commitment.

Dr. R. Gene Payne President’s Award – Olivia Barrows
Presented to the outstanding senior who best exemplifies the outstanding qualities and virtues represented by Friendship Christian School in the areas of academics, school spirit, Christian service, leadership involvement in extracurricular activities, and spiritual commitment.