Senior Spotlight – Matthew Mansfield

      Matthew Mansfield has attended LCA for eleven years, making many memories and special friendships during those years.  Matthew was born in West Seneca, New York, where he lived for nearly three years.  Matthew still has many family members in the Buffalo area, including three grandparents and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.  When his family moved to Clifton Park just before Matthew’s third birthday, they found a place to call home and have been in the same house ever since.

Matthew’s father has worked for Norton for over twenty years and has been able to travel to many exotic locations such as China, Luxembourg, and France, as well as many destinations across the United States.  Matthew’s mother has taught in the K3 program at LCA for ten years after being a stay-at-home mother with her four children.

When the Mansfield family first moved to the Capital District, they began attending Latham Bible Baptist Church.  Pastor Davoll, then the senior pastor at LBBC, had previously served as youth pastor at their church in West Seneca, so the family made the connection right away.  Matthew grew up at LBBC, serving in a variety of ministries, including youth group and VBS.  Matthew remembers, “I’m the kid who just shows up and says, ‘Where do you need me?’”  Matthew, along with his father and his brother Sam, have repaired and upgraded just about every part of the church and school building here, including the gym floor, the roof, and even the restrooms.

Matthew accepted Christ as his personal Savior when he was six years old, during the summer between kindergarten and first grade.  Having grown up in a Christian home, Matthew always knew about Christ, but that summer was the first time it “connected.”  His older brother Sam (LCA Class of 2013) led him to Christ in their bedroom one evening that summer.  Matthew followed Christ in believer’s baptism at LBBC several years later, being baptized by Pastor Walter.

Matthew enjoys music during the free time he has, playing his guitar, bass, and drums.  As a boy, he played some tee ball and some rec. league hockey, but today he enjoys more one-on-one activities with his brother as well as playing basketball on LCA’s team.  Matthew’s father continues to build an ice rink in their yard nearly every winter so they can play hockey together as well.

Matthew will carry some lasting memories from his time at LCA, including one time that a nearby house had a fire in their shed, leading to thick black smoke and a propane tank exploding in a “black mushroom cloud” after school one day!  In third grade, Matthew also got to go on a special reward trip to a bowling alley.  He and classmate Joshua Arthur started walking around the alley until they found a pool table.  While looking for a pool cue, they suddenly realized that they were in the alley’s bar.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Kettlewood noticed them at the same time.  Matthew reports, “We got kicked out of the bar by Mrs. Kettlewood!”

Matthew and Joshua, his only senior classmate, have been together for many years.  Matthew says, “If you got in trouble, you got in trouble with Josh!”  He was that kid!  Josh has been one of Matthew’s few classmates also to be into sports.  They have spent a lot of time at each other’s houses, especially since they became close in seventh grade.

Matthew also misses his friend Matthew Heller (LCA Class of 2017), calling Josh and the two of them “The Remnant”!  Matthew will remember that he and Matthew Heller were close in elementary and would “hang out” together, while he and Josh would do “stupid stuff” together!

Family is very important to Matthew.  He has been close to his older sister Lydia (LCA Class of 2011), especially since she came home from college with her driver’s license, helping to make the connection between them.  Current LCA faculty member Sam has also come home now, and Matthew has noticed, “There is less food in the house!”  Matthew and Sam will “compete about who is more competitive”!  While Matthew missed Sam while he was away at college, he has enjoyed having him home again.  Matthew and his “baby sister” Grace (10th grade) just “understand each other” and became especially close while their older siblings were away at college

Matthew is seeking God’s will for the future and is considering going to Bible college for a two-year program there.  One special Bible verse for Matthew is John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Senior Spotlight – Joshua Arthur

Latham Christian Academy is privileged to have two graduating seniors during the 2017 – 2018 school year.  Both members of the Class of 2018 have attended LCA for a long time, and they have become good friends during their time here.  We will be highlighting one of the seniors in an article published in our Knightline newsletter today and again in June.  We begin this week with senior Joshua Arthur.

      Joshua’s father, Reginald, was born in Karachi, Pakistan.  His parents were educators there, but came to the United States with the desire for a better life.  They moved from Pakistan to Troy when Reginald was 12.  Joshua’s grandmother’s sister had married an American and sponsored the family’s move.  Joshua’s father graduated from Troy High and went on to American Intercontinental University.  After working for several financial institutions, Reginald eventually settled in working for New York State, where he continues to be employed.

Joshua’s mother, Shana, was also born in Karachi, Pakistan where her mother was a nurse.  Shana and Reginald had known each other for many years through family connections.  They got married in Pakistan and then they moved back to Troy.  In 2000, Joshua was born, and in 2003, David joined the family.  After staying at home to raise Joshua and David, Shana went to work as a dialysis technician at Albany Medical Center.  Today, Shana is training to become a Registered Nurse.

The family moved to Albany in 2003, and Joshua started at LCA in Mrs. Urban’s K4 class the following year.  Josh is the last remaining LCA student taught by Mrs. Greaves in elementary school!  Josh also fondly remembers being notified of Mrs. Greaves’s daughter’s birth over the intercom while Mrs. Cole was serving as a substitute teacher for the first-grade class.

Joshua has remained at LCA ever since.  He remembers what appeared to him to be the fast pace of the secondary program when he entered seventh grade, a pace he says now feels very slow!  Through these years, he built friendships with two other guys—“The Big Three”!

Josh became friends with Matthew Heller (LCA Class of 2017) in third grade.  As Giants and Yankees fans, they bonded over sports.  Their friendship continued and grew through the years, especially when they began playing basketball together when Josh was in seventh grade.

Josh’s friendship with classmate Matthew Mansfield began a year or two later, even though they first met in kindergarten with Mrs. Mein.  Josh says they have always been together and that alone has cultivated a tight friendship, adding, “Thankfully we haven’t gotten sick of each other!”  Matthew’s older brother, Sam, is like an older brother as well.

Josh also remembered that, as an elementary student, he always wanted to be close to Mrs. Kettlewood, but it never happened until his junior year.  Josh said, “Suddenly while I was a junior, she liked me!”  Now they enjoy trading nearly daily barbs over Yankees vs. Red Sox!

Josh and his family attended a church in the area until it closed when Josh was in fifth grade.  The family then joined Latham Bible Baptist Church where they continue to attend today.  Pastor Walter has been their only pastor at this church.  Josh accepted Christ as Savior at a young age and has been involved in Vacation Bible School at LBBC.  Josh remembers that everyone he knows in his extended family is a Christian.  Josh’s middle name, Hugh, is shared with his dad and comes from a great-grandfather who served as a pastor in Pakistan.

This fall, Josh plans to study biology at the University at Albany to prepare for a career in the dental field, perhaps as an oral surgeon.  After the 2016 primary and general elections, Josh became interested in politics, and Josh reports that he may run for political office someday, noting, “America needs a bunch of young conservatives, and I would like to be one of them.”

Joshua’s life verse is Joshua 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”