On Friday, December 9, the Wellness Center at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville was filled with faculty and students in traditional black robes as family and friends gathered to witness and celebrate the accomplishment of the Fall 2016 graduating class.
Graduating seniors entered through the front doors of the Wellness Center as the BCF College Winds played “Pomp and Circumstance” under the direction of Professor Ron Branning. Following the processional, the invocation was voiced by retired pastor and soon to be honorary doctorate recipient Travis Hudson, followed by the Christmas hymn, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” led by BCF Music and Worship Division Chair William Davis. BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen welcomed guests and acknowledged the tremendous sacrifice as well as the unconditional support the graduates received from their parents, grandparents, spouses, children, friends and church family.
Following the BCF Male Chorale anthem “Tune Our Hearts to Sing,” Kinchen delivered the graduation address prior to BCF Academic Dean Robin Jumper presenting the graduating class for approval. During his message to the graduates, Kinchen charged graduates and attendees to be an Acts 1:8 Christian, one who is “sold out and surrendered completely to Christ.” Kinchen went on to say that, “Being a BCF graduate is synonymous with being an Acts 1:8 Christian and going in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Following the confirmation of the graduates by the registrar and affirmed by the faculty, approval was granted by the president and seniors victoriously walked across stage to receive their diploma.
Family and friends cheered and celebrated as the graduates one-by-one were called by name and given their diploma from Kinchen. When directed, the class moved their tassels in unison symbolizing the official completion of all the requirements for graduation. After a brief moment of applause, Kinchen turned the attention to two faithful pastors and denominational leaders, Rev. Ken Harrison and Rev. Travis Hudson. In recognition of their many years of Christian service, Kinchen presented the Honorary Doctorate of Christian Letters to Harrison and Hudson during the Fall 2016 Graduation Ceremony.
The audience joined the faculty, staff and graduating class in singing the BCF College Hymn “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” followed by the benediction from newly hooded Dr. Ken Harrison, pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Ponce de Leon.
The delightful conclusion of the ceremony is always visible as the new graduates exit the building and begin taking pictures with professors and loved ones in the courtyard area. Many of the graduates of The Baptist College of Florida will continue their education or begin working and serving in their degree fields. One thing is certain, as graduates exit the doors of The Baptist College of Florida, they enter the world trained and equipped as the next greatest generation of Christian leaders.
Seated: Coral Molchanoff, Julia Robinson, Kristen Wanamaker, Katlynne Waldrop, Jessica Wiggins, Sarah Hardison, Rebecca Giles, Elizabeth Carnley, Chelsea Nelson, Sarah Poovey
First Row: President Thomas A. Kinchen, Anne Marie Sapp (Marshal), Jean Gregoire, John Miller, Anna Webber, Tricia McKinnon, Donald Files, Karl Hudson, Emily Pope, Allison Paul, Tabithia Brown, Jacob Beaupré, Kathryn Taylor (Marshal), Academic Dean Dr. Robin Jumper
Second Row: Nathaniel Collins, Hank Baker, Nolan Lovering, Dylan Honeycutt, Jared Jernigan, Larry Neal, Jeremy Schoemann, Judson Mock, Damon Poole, Joseph Shivers, Garry West, Zachary Wiggins, Luke Kulpa
Back Row: Kyle Marks, Freddie Zayas, William Priest, Jeremy Gibson, Matthew Fernandez, Robert Fletcher, Christopher Wasson, Jayson Williams, Ray Harper, Zackrey Hatton
(Not Pictured: Marcus Bailey, Christopher Bennett, Tommy Davis, Justin Douglas)