Gilead Graduates Its Sixteenth Class
WITHOUT a question of doubt the greatest expansion of all times, on a global scale, of the knowledge of Jehovah God and his purposes as contained in the Bible, has taken place in the past eight years. Hence, the great rejoicing on the campus of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead during the week end, February 10 and 11, was not alone due to the fact that it was graduation time; it was also because of the great share Gilead has had in the expansion of this vital Bible education. The school of Gilead (this name meaning “heap of witness”) was dedicated in February, 1943; and since then its students have gone out to the ends of the earth, there to help and aid others to gain a deeper knowledge of the most precious Scriptures. The graduating of 125 more ministers, bringing the total above 1,600, gives every reason to look for a continued expansion in the number of earthly praisers of Jehovah God.
At the first session of the week-end program, held on Saturday evening, the regular weekly study of the Watchtower magazine was conducted. An audience of 890 filled the auditorium. The material under discussion, “Measuring the Visible Part of the Restored City,” was particularly appropriate, it being a review of the theocratic expansion throughout the earth. The graduating students had come from 27 countries outside the United States and Canada, and so they were able to tell of the tremendous increases during the past year in their native lands.
Adding to the international theme, a very delightful program of musical selections followed, native songs of many lands sung by the students. Then, amid great applause, group after group, some in their native costumes, were called to the platform to receive their assignments in the foreign missionary field. The 125 ministers had come from 27 countries, and now their assignments showed they would leave for 38 lands, with only a few returning to where they came from. Their faces now glowed with joy and gladness!
Sunday morning, at 9 o’clock sharp, the principal session of the graduation exercises began, with the auditorium and additional rooms overflowing with 1,294 in attendance, despite midwinter. Each of the instructors spoke a few parting words to the student body. Telegrams and cablegrams of greetings from many parts of the world were read. Then the president of the school, N. H. Knorr, delivered a grand talk on a very interesting subject, “Divine Healing.” Watchtower readers can study its many good points in the May 1 and May 15 issues. At the conclusion of this talk he presented diplomas to those graduating with merit. It was the largest number (121) ever given out by the school.
In a “Resolution adopted by the graduates, these many races and nationalities declared that they would take with them the same theocratic love and devotion that had enabled them to live, work and study together in peace and unity. To quote in part, they resolved:
“THAT we will not prove ourselves unworthy of the things Jehovah has given to us, but we will grasp hold of the opportunities that are offered to us;
“THAT in spite of world-wide opposition we will continue to defend and legally establish the good news, and even in countries where the Devil is using communism to hinder the work, we will continue to fight with boldness and determination and wait upon the Lord to deliver us in due time;
“THAT we will show appreciation for the knowledge we have received by helping the mild-tempered of all nations to come to an accurate knowledge of the truth, so sharing in the inevitable expansion of true worship.”