PAA Student Holds Revival Meetings
For his senior project, Sheldon Parris wanted to do something for his fellow Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) students. In collaboration with Les Zollbrecht, PAA chaplain, Parris prepared and presented a series of three meetings, calling for a revival at the academy.
During the meetings, Parris told of his personal experiences that brought him from the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, where he was born, to PAA. Unfortunately, his parents separated and divorced when he was 2 years old. He lived with his mother in Trinidad, even though his father moved to the U.S. when he was 7. When he was 13, he had his first sip of rum, and by age 16, he was spending most of his time with friends that were partying every weekend and deeply involved with alcohol. When Parris’ father learned of his son’s lifestyle, he urgently made arrangements for Parris to emigrate to the U.S.
Parris remembers the first big day in his life—his arrival in the U.S. on Oct. 30, 2002—and his next big day, Nov. 14, 2002, his first day at PAA. His third big day was when he made the decision to respond to the calling of his Lord and Savior and give his life to pastoral evangelism.
Although Parris had done some preaching previously, this was the first time he had done anything as extensive as a three-meeting revival with an alter call. His fellow students received his efforts well and seemed to relate to his messages.
When Parris first set foot on the PAA campus in November 2002, he says that he realized that this school was a unique and special place where people cared for each other and where it was apparent that God had a plan for every life. He was baptized in March 2004. Parris marvels at the changes in his life during the last two years and thanks God for bringing him to America and giving him the opportunity to attend a Christian school where he has learned to love and serve God.