On Nov. 13-15, representatives from The Baptist College of Florida in Graceville took part in the Florida Baptist Pastors Conference and the 155th annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention held at Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater, Fla. The theme for this year’s convention meetings was “Gathering to Exhort, Stir Up, Send Out.”
Messengers, exhibitors and visitors attending the convention were greeted by the smiling faces of BCF students serving in the registration area as they verified credentials and registered those in attendance. BCF alumnus Joel Breidenbaugh, president of the 2016 Florida Baptist Pastors Conference and senior pastor of First Baptist Sweetwater, presided over the pastors conference with the focus theme, “Exalt. Equip. Encourage.” One of the guest speakers for the pastors conference was BCF alumnus Micah Fries, senior pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., and several BCF graduates led songs during a special time of praise and worship. BCF Professor of Theology and Philosophy Mark Rathel led one of the breakout sessions on Monday morning.
The annual meeting began Monday evening with powerful preaching followed by reports on Tuesday from all of the cooperating ministries in the convention. BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen addressed messengers after a brief video presentation illustrating how The Baptist College of Florida is focused on exhorting, stirring up and sending out the next greatest generation of Christian leaders. Kinchen shared his heart and vision for reaching the world by equipping and preparing students for the challenges of sharing the Good News.
The BCF marketing team manned an exhibit booth at the convention where visitors received information on regionally accredited and affordable degrees available on the Graceville campus, at the distance sites and completely online. For BCF students, faculty and alumni, the convention was nothing less than a family gathering as many members of the BCF family and friends stopped by the booth to rekindle friendships and gather information on upcoming campus projects and new ventures.
It was truly an exciting convention as BCF graduates were leading in worship, preaching and presenting during session workshops. BCF Dean of Students and Associate Professor of History and Christian Studies Roger Richards was honored by the Florida Baptist Historical Society, receiving the 2016 Baptist Heritage Award for his contributions in publishing of the “History of Southern Baptists” and work with Florida Baptists.
For more information on how the faculty, staff, students and alumni of The Baptist College of Florida are exhorting, stirring up and sending out, call 800-328-2660, ext. 460, or visit www.baptistcollege.edu.
Sandra Richards is director of enrollment management and marketing at The Baptist College of Florida.