Sometimes, life gets complicated — goals and aspirations get pushed off or delayed to make room for more practical and essential circumstances.
That’s a life lesson former pastor Horace Sheffield learned after he started college back in 1961, and then dropped out a few years later to devote his energies to his own kids who were about to enter higher education.
Decades later, Sheffield, 88, has finally graduated college — an accomplishment that came this month when he completed his Bachelor of Science degree from Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, as CBN News reported.
“I didn’t care about having a diploma back then, but I’m getting my degree this time,” he said of his accomplishment, noting that he was inspired to finish school after reading about other senior citizens who have done the same.
A woman named Amanda Brannock who knew Sheffield from church decided to step in over the past two years and help him type and submit his hand-written papers; she’s been an essential ally in his success.
“I saw him write until his hands couldn’t write anymore, and I’ve seen him focus so hard to the point where his vision wasn’t normal,” she told Shorter University. “We are so proud of him.”
Brannock said Sheffield told her his degree was “the only thing in life he had never finished, and he did not want to meet the Lord without that degree,” so she decided to help. After all, the pastor had led her family to God and she was grateful, CBN News reported.
And while Brannock said she doesn’t yet have a degree of her own, she’s inspired by Sheffield and plans to invite him to walk with her across the stage when she eventually finishes school, ABC News reported.
Sheffield is clearly a pioneer of sorts. He’s “the first graduate of Shorter’s online degree program in Christian Studies,” according to the college. And he’s also an inspiration to his peers, as he’s hoping to encourage other elderly individuals to take a similar path.
“I am living proof that you have no excuses,” the retired preacher said.
Sheffield’s two kids, five grandkids and 14 of his 15 great-grandchildren gathered to watch him graduate earlier this month.
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