By Bob Dickson
“Here I raise my Ebenezer.”
With those words, 2012 TMC graduate and now Second Lieutenant Blaise Selby—the school’s first-ever ROTC program graduate—addressed the crowd of friends and family who had come to campus to see him commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army.
With those words, Selby echoed the sentiments of the prophet Samuel, who raised a stone he called Ebenezer—“the stone of help”—as a reminder of God’s provision and as a sign of Israel’s dependence (1Samuel 7:12).
“Until this far, the Lord has been my help,” Selby said in his address. “I’m excited for what He has planned for the rest of my career. I wouldn’t be standing here without the strength the Lord gave me.”
Selby, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Biblical Counseling with Magna Cum Laude honors in May, came to The Master’s College for two reasons: its commitment to biblical fidelity and its commitment to help members of the armed forces afford a college education.
I started listening to (college president) John MacArthur on the radio and just knew I had to find a way to get to the college,” Selby said. “I wanted to study the Bible from people who knew it well—people who filtered it into their daily lives. I couldn’t pay out of pocket, so I looked up ROTC scholarships.”
What Selby discovered is that TMC, through its new Military Resource Office, offered a way for him to pursue ROTC training at the University of California (Los Angeles) and apply the scholarship funds the Army provided to his tuition at TMC. Such “Cross-Town Agreements” are a new development at The Master’s College. They reflect the school’s desire to equip the church’s next generation of leaders with a biblical education.
“We want to serve the members of our military,” said TMC provost, Dr. Mark Tatlock. “These servicemen and women are going to lead others. It’s important to arm them with a sound biblical foundation to help them do that in a way that honors the Lord.”
Selby is already recognized by his peers as a leader. Captain Sid Mendoza, one of Selby’s ROTC professors, says that when he asked the classroom who the leader was, they all named him.
“He’s not a very vocal person. He doesn’t yell or scream. But when Selby speaks to them, they’re challenged,” Mendoza said. “I asked one of them why and he said, ‘Well, sir, if you don’t listen to him you feel like you’re going to go to hell or something.’ It’s very clear that he has a strong Christian testimony. They’re all aware of it. This is a great place for him to have a ministry, especially now that he going to be a leader.”
You could argue that leadership runs in the Selby family. Blaise’s father, Reggie, is a retired Air Force officer. In his address, Blaise thanked his dad for his example of leadership. He said he wouldn’t be where he is without it. He also said his greatest example is Christ.
“I think leadership is realizing that other people are more important than you,” he said. “It’s the ability to put yourself aside and figure out what needs to get done. The whole time I was at ROTC I just did what was expected of me. It’s like that parable Jesus told. When we get to heaven we’ll say, ‘Lord all we did was what were supposed to do.’ That’s what I feel I’ve done.”
Selby married his fiancée, Elizabeth, in June, and will spend the next four months training at Fort Sill in Lawton, Ok. From there, he says, he’ll go wherever the Army sends him. He’s confident he’ll be ready for whatever God puts before him.
“All the counseling classes I took here helped me build a foundation that I can go to the Word for help in any situation,” he said. “I was so blessed to be able to come here and learn from these men. I’m grateful to the school for investing in me. The Lord is my help.”
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