President Reagan's son visits Brook Hill

BULLARD — Michael Reagan stressed the importance of a Christian education Monday night, telling a crowd at The Brook Hill School that it was that very thing that helped bring him back to God and strengthen his relationship with his father.

Reagan, an author and adopted son of former President Ronald Reagan, addressed audience members, which included past Founder's Day honorees and city officials, outside in the campus quadrangle during the school's fifth annual Founder's Day fundraiser.

"It's really about changing lives," he said, adding that lives will change for the better because of Christian education.

He went on to talk about his own education, his faith, and how he became part of the Reagan family. He said he was able to eulogize his father in 2004 because of God, and that neither he nor his father would have gotten to where they did without that relationship.

"He spoke in parables. He was so steeped in the Bible. … He made us feel his speeches," he said of Ronald Reagan.

As for himself, he said he was sexually abused as a child and went through a period where he hated God. His mother eventually found a Catholic boarding school he could go to.
"I didn't understand then what was going on in my life," he said.

He later married a Christian woman who prayed for him every day from the time she met him.

He said when he decided he wanted to accept God and go to Him, he knew the path because of the Christian education his mother put him in.

While he struggled with his relationship with God, his father was "always with God," he said.

"He saw America as a Godly nation, and he wanted" to serve it, Reagan said.

He added, "He not only talked his faith. He lived his faith."

For instance, he said when Ronald Reagan was shot, he forgave the shooter, John Hinckley.

Toward the end of his speech, Reagan talked about hugging his father and telling him he loved him. He encouraged audience members to embrace students in the same way.

"How you raise them up is going to change the world …" Reagan said. "The future is in that classroom."


David and Shirley Lake were honored as Guardian Award recipients during Founder's Day.

Laurie Humphries, director of development, said Guardian Award recipients are chosen because of their contributions and support of the school's mission.

She said the Lakes have been part of Brook Hill since the beginning. Before Brook Hill was even a school, she said the family was supportive of founder Steve Dement, helping him as he was doing research to start Brook Hill.

Their oldest son, Jody, served as one of the original trustees, and their son, Kyle, was the school's first athletic directors over the Brook Hill summer camps. He is the namesake for the Kyle Lake Athletic Center, which was dedicated in 2009.

The Lakes now have four grandchildren at Brook Hill, and Mrs. Lake serves as a board member.

"They've just been huge supporters of the school from the beginning — financially and through prayer," Mrs. Humphries said.

They've also affected students.

Senior Kendall Kerns, who plays catcher on the baseball team, shared Monday how the Lakes' contributions to the Brook Hill athletic program inspire him "to be the best."

"When I came here, I was an average player. Now I'm a Division 1 prospect," he said.

Senior Baylee Rozell told the crowd how the Kyle Lake Athletic Center helped her recover from knee injuries.

She said the equipment there was important to her recovery and that she was able to return to athletics because of the center.

"It has most certainly made a difference in my life and my future," she said


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