Worman encourages students to love their education

Elyssa Parnell Staff Writer

November 22, 2013

NEWBERRY — Ernie Worman, campus pastor at Newberry College quoted the book of Palms for local high students at the YMCA’s 21st annual youth prayer breakfast Thursday morning, telling them they were “fearfully and wonderfully made” and to value their education.

More than 30 students attended each morning in Kaufmann Dining Hall this week at Newberry College to listen to a variety of speakers during the prayer breakfast. Other speakers included Adonis Hill, Claudia Cervantes, Chris Franklin and John Lesaine.

Worman has been the campus pastor at the college for five years and said he looks forward to getting up to go to work each morning.

“Each of us was made wonderfully,” Worman said. “We are special human beings with special gifts and talents, and life is a journey to discover what those talents are.”

Worman talked about his 20 years in the Navy, from being a chaplain, to fixing computers. He described himself to the students as not being a good student in high school himself, although he played a lot of sports, and was involved in theater and student government.

Upon joining the Navy, Worman said he told them he would do whatever jobs they needed him to do, but that he did not want to go back to school.

“I just wanted to work and see the world,” he said.

Before he knew it, Worman had signed on to spend six years in the Navy, with three of those years in classes learning how to be a computer repairman. “I worked on computers that were the size of refrigerators,” he said.

Worman said that being on the aircraft carrier and getting the chance to travel the world, he found that the more he knew, the more fun he had. “I found that education was now something I couldn’t get enough of,” he said.

After his time in the Navy, Worman jumped ahead to 2008, living in Kentucky with his wife and daughter, when the position for campus pastor became available at Newberry College.

“My wife and daughter told me I couldn’t let any excuses get in the way of my dream,” Worman said. He said that he had always enjoyed preaching and sharing God’s word with others.

Despite what Worman thought were unbeatable odds, he landed his dream job. His family still currently lives in Kentucky.

Because of his experiences and ending up in the last place he could have imagined, Worman told students they should and could love what they did for a living.

“You have no idea while you’re in school that there could be a job out there that you’re going to love, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made,” Worman said.

Worman encouraged the students to get excited about their education. “Figure out what it is that you love, what talents God has given you, and what he’s calling you to do,” he said.

Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108 or at