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Members of the Franklin County High School Class of 2018 need to find their “why” and their destiny, with faith in God, will follow.

“Your life will be fulfilled when you find your why,” Pastor Larry Sterling told soon-to-be graduates at the annual baccalaureate service, held May 6 at Eastpoint Church of God, where he serves.

“Why are you part of this planet? What purpose do you fulfill?” he asked the students.

“Don’t drift through life, find your purpose, find your destiny,” he said, dressed in the robe he wore when he earned his doctorate in transformational leadership.

“You are God’s masterpiece. You are something God is working on,” Sterling said. “You’re just getting started.”

In striving to be the best, the pastor urged them to follow their best instincts, and not to be swayed by what others may think.

“Your good thing is your good thing, not theirs,” he said. “Find for yourself where you’re going. Your destiny, your vision. Your friends will love you for it.”

Sterling said that because sin has entered the world, these young people need to turn to God for help in their futures.

“This is where we need God to find the light on in our souls,” he said. “You must be born again. We can’t make it without Jesus.

“Discover that purpose, and become that shining light that Christ has made you to be,” Sterling said.

He likened the path ahead to be like a Mozart masterpiece, layered with rhythm and blended expertly, and the task to engage the heart and mind in its beauty.

He cited the verse “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” in Ephesians 2:10, to reinforce his message.

“Your purpose is to add your voice, and your instrument, to the masterpiece God is creating in this world,” he said.

The service opened with a welcome from Scott Shiver, youth pastor at Eastpoint Church of God, followed by an opening prayer from Pastor Themo Patriotis, from the First United Methodist Church of Apalachicola.

Senior Chance White led the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, with classmate Nathan Jones leading the pledge to the Christian flag.

Seniors Sara Gibbs and Landon Nash offered songs of worship, followed by readings from Scripture by India Sewell and Faith Sapp.

The traditional slide show followed Sterling’s words of inspiration, with Pastor Susan Roach, from the First Pentecostal Holiness Church, offering a closing prayer.

A reception in the fellowship hall, for students and their families, followed the afternoon service.

The service was organized by a committee that included Ricky Jones, Casey Nash, Sherry White and Terry Tipton.