Melvin Byers Jr., state overseer of North Carolina, was the commencement speaker. His message was titled, “The Arise, Shine Revelation.”
General Overseer Stephen Smith, Tennessee State Overseer James Cox and BTI Director Ray Dupree presented the diplomas.
The total enrollment for the school was 102 from 18 different states and two countries.
First termer Karen Richards from Birmingham, England, explained her experience at BTI as “no adjective, but indescribably, could come close to explaining what this spiritual experience has meant to me.”
She said she adored Bible study and has had a desire to complete all terms of BTI for some considerable time and was “incredibly happy that the Lord made a way for me to attend the school this year.”
Last year, Richards said she watched the school's broadcast over the Internet and felt blessed by the inspired teachings and devotions. “Now, in 2013, God has enabled me to be present and a participant myself!”
The classes, she continued, were exciting, inspired and appealing. “Also, mighty moves of God occurred during the services and classes,” she added, as she described one of the final days of class when “the outpouring of God's Spirit was so strong that our classes could not resume until the afternoon session.” She said they enjoyed great fellowship, also. “I praise the Lord for all He has done.”
Richards said she has learned so much from her time at BTI 2013 for her walk with the Lord, and “I'm already looking forward to BTI 2014 if time lasts.”
The graduation services were combined with the Heritage Day program held at the Zion Hill church. Visual presentations were made by the president on each of the three academic terms of the school: A.J. Tomlinson; Doctrine; and Government. The choir, composed of students and staff and directed by Deborah Perkins of South Carolina, gave a musical presentation.
Special features of the 2013 school included a class taught by Smith on Creation and the observance of the Lord’s Supper and Feetwashing on Wednesday evening. A baptismal service was held during the last week of classes.