BCF trustees celebrate heritage and hope

BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen and First Lady Ruth Ann honor Dr. and Mrs. John Sullivan at the establishment of the John Sullivan Chair of Baptist History.

When the Board of Trustees of The Baptist College of Florida met on October 12-13, 2017, they celebrated and made history. In the celebration of the school’s history, Trustees adopted resolutions establishing the John Sullivan Chair of Baptist History, establishing the Florida Baptist History and Heritage Center, and expressing gratitude to the Florida Baptist State Convention for its unwavering support of the college.

Establishment of the Sullivan Chair and opening the History and Heritage Center resulted, in part, from the sale of the convention office building in Jacksonville, Fla. The State Board of Missions appropriated a portion of the proceeds from the sale for the establishment of the Chair and the transfer of the Florida Baptist Archives to the college. The college renovated and designated a special building on the campus as the History and Heritage Center to house the archives. BCF History Professor Roger Richards was named as Curator of the Archives and Director of the History and Heritage Center.

BCF establishes the Florida Baptist History and Heritage Center and expresses deep gratitude to the Florida Baptist State Convention for entrusting the college with the Florida Baptist Archives.

In presenting the Resolution of Appreciation for the Florida Baptist Convention, BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen stated, “At a time when many Baptist colleges and their respective state conventions are distancing themselves, the relationship between The Baptist College of Florida and the Florida Baptist State Convention has never been stronger. We thank our Lord for the privilege of being a part of the Florida Baptist family. With the addition of this endowed chair and the convention archives, we will have ongoing reminders of our shared heritage and hope.”

Trustees honored board members whose membership on the board ends this year and adopted a Resolution of Appreciation for Dennis Brown, a member of the board who passed into Heaven May, 2017. During the meeting, the board received committee reports from several areas of college life and BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen shared a report on developments at the Blue Springs campus. “This was our first summer of operation of camps and conferences, and it was a real learning experience,” stated Kinchen. “We wound up the summer season with over 1,500 guests and, most importantly, 200 decisions for Christ.” Kinchen reported that reservations and inquiries for the summer of 2018 are already ahead of the total numbers for 2017. He further noted that the first summer camping season had ended “in the black” financially. Renovations and repairs are continuing on the facilities at the Blue Springs campus to include a construction project for the expansion of the athletic fields.

Trustees were updated on the significant progress that BCF is making on its reaffirmation of accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. They also received a report on a First Year Initiative (FYI) program of the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) that has just begun. This program is designed to enable students to make a successful adjustment to college life, thus completing their degree programs.

For more information on the new History and Heritage Center or degrees offered through The Baptists College of Florida, contact 850-263-3261 ext. 513 or access the website at baptistcollege.edu.