Stenner to speak at Atlanta Christian’s commencement

Atlanta Christian College announced today that the Rev. Rhys Stenner, senior pastor of the 6,500-member New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, will speak at this year’s spring commencement exercises. Commencement for the college – which will become Point University this summer – will be held May 14 at New Hope Baptist.

Stenner, originally from the United Kingdom, sensed a call to ministry after hearing a message by Billy Graham. He and his wife, Louise, are honors graduates of the London School of Theology, where they met as students. Stenner completed four years of extra study as a probationer minister before gaining full accreditation as a Baptist minister in 1992.

Stenner pastored his beloved home church, Teignmouth Baptist, for five years. He then served for 13 years as senior pastor at Holland Road Baptist Church in Hove, 50 miles south of London. During this time, HRBC and New Hope established a missions partnership in Wales that continues today, now including a growing network of Churches in the U.K. and U.S. These mission efforts in Wales reach thousands each year.

In 2005, Stenner became senior pastor of New Hope Baptist. New Hope has two locations and multiple missions. The church gave over $1 million last year to missions and continues to “focus on connecting locally with south metro Atlanta to grow a healthy church, spread the gospel and make disciples.”

The Stenners have three daughters, ages 19, 17 and 11. Louise also serves New Hope as women’s minister.

“Rhys’s love for Jesus, His church, and the lost make him a perfect choice to speak to our graduates,” said Dean Collins, president of Point University. “His commitment to the local and global communities fits the context of how we teach our students to engage both locally and around the world.”

Founded in 1937 as Atlanta Christian College, Point University is a private, four-year liberal arts institution preparing students to influence culture for Christ in all spheres of life – through business, church, government, arts and entertainment, education, media and family. In fall 2012, the university’s traditional residential campus will relocate to West Point, Ga.