Warner Pacific Experience a Spiritual Slam Dunk for Seeker Student

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Colleges & Universities, Western

By Carl Stagner

The way to your destination wasn’t the traditional route. Your educational background, emotional temperament, and spiritual status may not impress. Your personal history may be dotted with poor choices, and you may feel like you let time and opportunity slip through your fingers. But God likes to work in the eleventh hour, and he loves to take the credit for a total turnaround. Such is the case with student Teirra Hicks of Warner Pacific University in Portland, Oregon. Her story that weaves together basketball, educational hurdles, and personal redemption proves the Lord continues to harness our Church of God institutions of higher education to change the world one person at a time.

Warner Pacific University wasn’t her first choice. In fact, it wasn’t on her radar at all. Though she’d been in the vicinity, she didn’t even know the school was there. Ultimately a few years passed before Teirra Hicks had even stepped foot back inside a classroom. Though she had plenty of opportunities due to her skills on the basketball court, she’d gotten caught up in the pressures of the world and felt utterly lost. She was a single mom, her grades were dropping, and she had turned to substances and immoral relationships to sooth her soul. Even her God-given talent had become an idol, as she admits basketball was everything to her.

Even after Teirra had moved away, she always knew she could come back home to Portland where her mom was always available with a listening ear and solid advice from a loving heart. Logistical hurdles were numerous; she didn’t know what to do next. But ultimately her brother suggested, seemingly out of the blue, that she look into Warner Pacific. That very day, she applied.

Smooth roads didn’t immediately appear on the horizon, though. After all, the devil’s territory had been trampled upon, and the enemy of our souls certainly didn’t like the transformation story being written on her heart. GPA issues, prerequisites, and goals seemed just out of reach, at times—but God never failed to open doors, even at the last minute. New mentoring relationships began, and good things started to happen, reflecting what Christ had already been doing in her heart. Chains of the past have been broken, and Teirra Hicks confesses the liberating power of Jesus on her life—satisfying the innermost parts of her being in no way that substances or relationships could ever do. Teirra’s soul had experienced the Healer’s touch.

Today, she continues to shine on and off the court, offering encouragement to others who find themselves in situations that used to define her story. We can’t wait for Chapter 2.

Knight Talk with Pastor Zo of Warner Pacific University originally released Teirra’s story by video interview. Check out her full story, and listen to Teirra tell it, on YouTube. Thank you, Pastor Lorenzo “Zo” Peterson!

Learn more about Warner Pacific University at www.warnerpacific.edu.

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