Story by Jaymie Pottinger
At Allegheny East Conference's Pine Forge Academy (PFA), placing God at the
center of operations is the overall objective for the 2018–19 school year. It is for this reason the Religion Department, in collaboration with the Pine Forge church, intentionally planned a powerful and impactful back-to-school revival.
Keynote speaker and alumnus Garnett Adams (’10), currently a business major at Bowie State University (Md.), gave riveting experiences about lessons he has
learned—and poignant lessons he failed to learn— while attending PFA.
Adams shared, how, like Jonah, he ran away from the calling God placed on his life. He detailed his runins with the law that led to his incarceration shortly after graduating from PFA. He recounted the multiple occasions in which his life was spared and underscored the fact that it was nothing but the mercies of a loving God why he was able to stand before them. He cited his struggle with suicide and drug use during his years of incarceration, and attributed his survival to the unwavering support, prayers of the saints and the watchful eyes of faithful friends that kept him alive.
In his presentation, Adams confessed that while he was behind bars, he prayed for God to give him an opportunity to address the students of his dearly beloved PFA about the need to develop a relationship with God.
Adams shared that his deliverance truly came when he poured his heart out to God. “Giving it all to Jesus and taking Him as your Lord and Savior is the recipe for deliverance healing and success,” he said.
He used the opportunity to inform students that their parents did not just send them to receive an education at PFA, but to establish a relationship with Jesus Christ that will impact their decisions over a lifetime. “You may choose to fail in everything, but you
should never fail to establish a saving relationship with Jesus Christ,” he admonished.
Kohren Joseph, a fellow classmate of Adams and current PFA science teacher, highlights the relevance and timeliness of Adams’ message: “I think his testimony was essential for the students as they navigate through high school and develop their relationship with God.”
Tatyana O’Mara, president of the school’s United Student Movement, shares, “As students, we were able to connect with Garnett. ... We learned that if we fail to develop a relationship with God, we will have consequences, but it is never too late to get back on track.”
Junior Kevin Zapata adds, “As a minority, I realize that things can be difficult in the real world, and I can’t afford to waste a spiritual moment or opportunity while I’m here at Pine Forge Academy.”
To conclude a powerful weekend, Adams gave each student a signed copy of his book, One Choice Away, an initiative the National Pine Forge Academy Alumni
Association and other PFA supporters funded.