On Feb. 12, Gretchen Whitmer gave her State of the State address. Prior to that, however, Alma College’s very own Reverend Dr. Andrew Pomerville delivered the opening invocation.
“It was an honor to be invited by Governor Whitmer to deliver the invocation prior to her historic first State of the State address. The Governor and I have known each other for nearly a decade from my time as the senior pastor at The Peoples Church of East Lansing,” said Pomerville.
Dr. Pomerville spoke to the house and senate in a joint meeting and called them to remember their call to leadership. He led the Michigan Legislature in a prayer where he tiedin many of the elements that Whitmer planned to touch on in her state of the state address.
Pomerville may have only spoke for three minutes, but his prayer moved legislators and reminded them why they were there in the first place. While Pomerville gets to partake in these opportunities off campus, he also leads several groups on campus.
The chapel sponsors eight separate events and clubs each week. The Hillel Jewish student organization, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Tea-Time with God, Interfaith Service, Catholic Student Organization (CSO), Muslim Student Association (MSA), Night of Worship and Chapel Service take place each and every week.
Night of worship is an event that takes place on Friday nights in the chapel. “The whole premise of the worship is to be more laid back and chill. It allows those who want more of a community with their service to have a relaxed setting,” said Chris Nolan (’19).
Chapel is every Sunday at 7 p.m. and is open to anyone associated with Alma College. FCA takes place on Tuesday evenings, Tea-Time is for women only and takes place on Wednesday nights at 8:30 and Interfaith services take place on Thursdays during the day.
“We have our Interfaith Service held every Thursday from 11:20-11:45, and it includes guests from a number of religious traditions, including Christian clergy, Jewish rabbis, Zen Buddhist teachers and special leaders from our community talking about their faith. It is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate our love for our neighbors as we get to know all our sisters and brothers,” said Pomerville.
The CSO meets each week and carpools to Catholic mass as well as other events centralized in Catholicism, and Hillel, a part of the national Jewish Students Organization, offers workshops for both Jewish and non-Jewish students.
Pomerville has been able to see these things grow since his time as a student at Alma College himself. After graduating in ’01, he traveled to Alaska to work in the environmental field before returning to work as a youth minister. From there his passion for ministry only grew.
“I went to Princeton Theological Seminary for my Masters of Divinity and ordination in the Presbyterian Church. I completed my Doctor of Ministry degree in Reformed Theology in 2018 through a joint program of study between University of Aberdeen, UK and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. All of these experiences have prepared me for my favorite and most memorable calling to be the Chaplain here for Alma College. This really is a dream come true!” said Pomerville.
And through all of that, Alma has added PreMinistry to their list of majors. “I am delighted to see the Pre-Ministry program revitalized here, and I’m happy to be directing the program. Like other preprofessional programs, it encourages more than just specific coursework. Our pre-ministry students are provided with internships, mentors, field experience, graduate school visits and opportunities for scholarships and grants,” said Pomerville.