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5/9/2006 Local pastor to present baccalaureate address

McMINNVILLE – The Rev. Kent Harrop, pastor of the First Baptist Church in McMinnville, will present the address at baccalaureate services to Linfield College graduates Saturday, May 27, at 6 p.m. in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

He will speak on "Grace: The Last Best Word."

Harrop has been pastor at the First Baptist Church since 1994. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Rhode Island College and a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Mass. Harrop has served congregations in Massachusetts, Montana, California and Ohio. He is the president-elect for Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, a coalition of 17 Christian denominations serving the needs of the poor throughout Oregon and advocating on issues of justice, peace and stewardship of the environment. He has served on the Linfield College Board of Trustees since 2000 and is also a trustee of the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, Calif.

"Baccalaureate is intended to be a spiritual exclamation point to our academic pilgrimage, one that gives thanks for the awareness and knowledge we have gained and anticipates, through hope and prayer, the challenges yet to come," said David Massey, Linfield chaplain, who will preside over the service.

The Linfield Baccalaureate Brass, under the direction of Joan Haaland Paddock, professor of music and the Linfield Concert Choir, under the direction of Larry Marsh, professor of music, will perform. A number of graduating seniors will also participate in the program, presenting readings and prayers.

The baccalaureate service precedes Linfield's commencement exercises which will be held Sunday, May 28, at 10 a.m. in the Oak Grove.

Baccalaureate has existed for centuries in colleges and universities as a time of worship for graduating members of the senior class. College officials, faculty and graduating seniors wear academic dress for the occasion. Linfield's baccalaureate service is ordered according to the traditions within Protestant Christianity and strives to touch the universal themes of common humanity that can be found in all of the world's great religions.