December 12, 2019
“I cannot live without Christ”
Gerald Blackmon ’19
At Wheaton Academy, we want every student to develop a personal, vibrant, and growing relationship with Christ. As our faculty, staff, and coaches walk alongside students, they have the privilege of participating in God’s transforming work. As a school, we celebrate stories of students’ growth and transformation. Gerald Blackmon’s story is one of those stories.
Gerald ’19 writes, “As a freshman I was unsure and confused about who I wanted to be. Then, I knew God, but I didn’t want to make him a part of my every day. Now, I know I cannot live without him. I face challenges and hardships a lot but the one thing that keeps me is God’s perfect peace.”
Eric Bowling, Gerald’s football coach describes this transforming journey like this, “When he started as a freshman at Wheaton Academy, Gerald was writing a story that revolved around himself and his accomplishments. Over the course of his four years as a student and my involvement with him as a football coach, I witnessed a transformation in his life as Jesus became the center of his story on the field and in the classroom. Through his relationships with teachers and coaches, Gerald was able to cultivate a worldview that sees God as the source of all things and that believes life is to be lived not for our own glory, but for God’s glory alone. Gerald’s shift in focus from himself to Christ allowed him to walk in obedience to Jesus most important commandment, “love God and love others.” Although he was not perfect, Gerald valued his relationships with his teachers, coaches and teammates because Wheaton Academy put people in his life who cared about him and who stood with him through both good and difficult times. At the time of his graduation, I would describe Gerald as being a leader on our football team and on our campus because he realized the joy in following Jesus!”
We celebrate God’s work in the lives of students like Gerald. Brian Hogan, Dean of Chapel and Spiritual Formation shares, “We want students to learn and live in the context of a biblical worldview. We hope that over the course of a student’s experience here at Wheaton Academy, they will learn to love Christ more deeply, and to serve him fervently among their peers, their community, and even internationally.”