Dear Family and Friends,
On behalf of Cedarville University, Samuel, Rachel, Joy, and I pray you have a blessed Christmas and start to the new year. Please allow me to share a few special moments from this past year.
Samuel turned 12 this year. He continues to play soccer and basketball, and his love for music keeps growing. He takes lessons for drums, piano, and acoustic guitar, and he also enjoys playing the bass and electric guitar. He helps lead worship for his middle school youth group at our church, Grace Baptist. He still loves video games, Legos, and getting lunch with his “big kid friends” (i.e., college students.)
Rachel will turn 19 this month. During the spring she tied the high school record in pole vault, and her 4x200 team finished first in the conference while her 4x100 team finished second. She also participated in the musical “Freaky Friday” at Cedarville High School and graduated from high school this year. During the summer, she attended Worship Camp at the University and went on a missions trip to Utah. She is currently a freshman at Cedarville in the BA in biblical studies + MDiv program. She has enjoyed living in Maddox Hall and making many new friends this semester. She takes voice lessons, visits Wright State University to share the Gospel, and enjoys thrifting with friends.
Joy continues teaching classes at Cedarville and homeschooling Samuel. She is currently helping teach Counseling and Mentoring Women and Biblical Theology of Womanhood. She also teaches Biblical Womanhood at Word of Life Bible Institute. Joy loves attending local high school and University events and pouring into young people. She shines in her ministry of hospitality, and she loves our dogs, Duchess (a German shepherd), and Jacket (a yellow Lab mix). Joy also checked two more National Parks off her bucket list after visiting Mount Rainier and the Great Smoky Mountains. The latter came on a trip with Rachel and 12 college friends during fall break, where we played games, went hiking and fishing, and enjoyed many meals together on Douglas Lake.
I am thankful for my family and the opportunity to go on a cruise to Alaska this summer. I have also enjoyed preparing for and preaching through Romans in chapel at Cedarville, and I always look forward to teaching Ephesians at Word of Life Bible Institute. When I am in town, I have the joy of serving with the first and second grade children at my local church. They know me as “Mr. Thomas” and we frequently employ “Thomas the Train” to move from one area to another. I am also thankful to God for keeping our leadership team together at Cedarville for another year. The members of the Cabinet have incredible talents, love the Lord, and are a joy to serve alongside. Words can’t adequately express how much we love the faculty, staff, and students at Cedarville.
The University continues to thrive. Here are a few highlights:
- We saw lives transformed at Fall Bible Conference, with many professions of faith and rededications to Christ.
- We welcomed our second-largest freshman class ever with 1,017 students.
- We experienced another record enrollment of 5,456 total students, up 374 students over last year.
- We started construction on phase 1 of our new student village that will open fall of 2024, which will allow us to house almost 350 additional students.
- We increased One Thousand Days Transformed: The Campaign for Cedarville from $125 million to $175 million to include the new residence hall due to unprecedented student growth and to cover inflation in the cost of the Scharnberg Business Center and the new academic center. We currently have over $140 million committed. God is amazing!
- The campaign also includes new scholarship dollars as we focus on affordability and accessibility to serve our students well. Every student matters, and every gift helps them.
God has blessed us and gives us joy in so many ways. Please join me in giving Him glory and praise for the great things He has done.
Finally, we would appreciate your prayers. Would you pray for God to grant us wisdom from above, to continue to bless our efforts to serve Him faithfully, and to send a revival to these cornfields of Ohio?
I pray that you will join our family in taking time this holiday season to celebrate the birth of King Jesus. It is through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection that we have been saved and have the incredible opportunity to serve Him on this earth. May the grace and peace of God be with you.
Thomas, Joy, Rachel, & Samuel White