August 20, 2011 (Jackson) - Belhaven's faculty, staff, and friends joined together for the annual Service of Dedication on Wednesday, August 17 at the Center for the Arts.

The kick-off ceremony was the first time Belhaven has streamed the event live to the other campuses in Memphis, Chattanooga, Houston, Orlando, and Atlanta who also had their own dedication services.

Attendees of the dedication service also enjoyed special music, a time of worship, and a dessert reception.

Part of the ceremony celebrated and honored Belhaven's employees for years of service, starting from five to forty-five years of service. A good number of Belhaven faculty and staff were given beautiful clocks for their continued work. Bettye Quinn, Associate Professor of Education, had the most years of service, having a total of 45 years with Belhaven University.

The new verse of the year from Isaiah 61:3 was presented and read by Dr. Kristena Gaylor. They will be called great trees of righteousness, planted by the Lord for His glory.

Dr. Parrott passionately delivered a convicting message about the verse of the year while offering a call to action. The inspirational message took a hard look at the failure of universities to produce graduates of integrity, values, and high academic standards.

He then compared the incoming students to new trees that need the care and nourishment to become strong with roots that run deep into the ground. Dr. Parrott urged faculty and staff to see all students as unique, full of worth and potential, with a need for love and encouragement.

He also pointed out that Christ is the foundation that Belhaven rests upon for giving students the truth, love and nourishment to become great trees of righteousness, planted by the Lord for His glory.

Belhaven proudly stands among the select Christian colleges and universities that offer a unique general core curriculum encouraging the development of a personal worldview. The university believes a Christian worldview is a key to preparing men and women academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Founded in 1883, Belhaven University now serves over 3,000 students from campuses in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, Atlanta and online, offering traditional undergraduate degrees, graduate and adult degree programs, and online degree programs.