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Mission Series

For over a decade, the Mission Series has brought speakers of faith who have delivered messages of hope and challenge to Wilson Hall students and who have drawn hundreds of visitors from around the state to our campus. In the fall of 2009, a family approached Wilson Hall with the idea of doing something for the community with a particular focus on young people. The family was interested in something that would impact the lives of our young people for the better and for their future. From that meeting was born the idea of bringing in a well-known, inspirational speaker who might offer to the local population a message of encouragement, a challenge to leadership, an invitation for the greater good. As a reflection of the desires of this community-minded family, the event was named the Wilson Hall Mission Series.

Mission Series 2024

Wilson Hall is hosting best-selling Christian author Dane Ortlund as the keynote speaker for the Mission Series on October 2. The program will be held in the Nash Student Center at 7:00 PM, and the doors will open at 6:00 PM. The event is open to the public free of charge, and tickets are not necessary. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Pastor Ortlund is the author of several books, including Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers. He is also an editor for the Knowing the Bible series and the Short Studies in Biblical Theology series. He earned a Ph.D. from Wheaton College and is the senior pastor of Naperville Presbyterian Church in Naperville, Illinois. 

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow visited the campus for the Mission Series on October 18 in the Nash Student Center, speaking to a crowd of approximately 700 people. This marked Tebow’s second visit to our campus. The event was open to the public free of charge. 

The program opened with prayer by Rev. Phillip Beacham of neighboring Wise Drive Baptist Church. Tebow began his message by addressing members of the Senior Class, who were seated together near the front of the gym, commending them on founding the Acts of Kindness Club. Giving examples in his own life, he spoke of how simple acts of kindness can positively impact the lives of others. Tebow’s central message was “be the hope” and he exemplified this through many personal anecdotes of the people he has met throughout the world through the work of his foundation. With the use of scripture throughout his presentation, he encouraged members of the audience to find a purpose in life greater than oneself. 

Prior to the program, Tebow met with members of the Senior Class in the Founders Chapel for a casual question and answer session. Sullivan Jarecki ‘24, Fellowship of Christian Athletes President, offered a prayer before Tebow opened the floor to questions for approximately 30 minutes. Ranging from the challenges he faced as a student to remain firm in his faith to how he made his college decision, to what is his favorite country to visit to who was the most interesting football player he competed against, Tebow answered over a dozen questions. Some were serious, thought-provoking questions which caused him to pause, while others were on the humorous side, leading to laughter by Tebow and the students. Following the session, Tebow commented to the program’s coordinators how impressed he was with the students. Each senior received a copy of his most recent book Mission Impossible: Go Create a Life that Counts.

Tebow is a two-time college football national champion, Heisman Trophy winner, first-round NFL draft pick, and a former professional baseball player. The four-time New York Times best-selling author, speaker, and football analyst is most passionate about his work with the Tim Tebow Foundation (TTF), whose mission is to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The TTF is currently fighting for people who can’t fight for themselves in over 70 countries. The TTF focuses on special needs ministries, orphan care, children with profound medical needs, and anti-human trafficking through a variety of programs.

The Mission Series is coordinated by Mrs. Laura Barr, Director of Development, and Mrs. Martha Jo Smith Johnson ‘99, Development Associate.

Mission Series Speakers

2022 & 2023 - Tim Tebow: Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow Foundation founder, best-selling author, and sports commentator

2021 - Max Lucado: Best-selling Christian author of over 200 books and pastor

2017 & 2019 - Bob Goff: Christian philanthropist, author, attorney and professor

2018 - Sadie Robertson: Christian actress (Duck Dynasty), businesswoman, podcaster, and author

2016 - Taya Kyle: Author & military veteran's family activist. Known as the widow of US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle portrayed in the film American Sniper

2015 - Eric Metaxas: Christian apologist, author, and co-creator of Veggie Tales

2014 - Dr. Ravi Zacharias: World-renowned Christian apologist

2013 - Dr. Ben Carson: Former Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, pioneering neurosurgeon, and author

2012 - Sara Hill: Christian speaker and youth leader portrayed in the film Soul Surfer

2011 - Ron Hall: Author of Same Kind of Different as Me

2010 - Herman Boone: Coach portrayed in film Remember the Titans