The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville has been successful in training and equipping students for the task of “Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word®” for a total of 75 years. In celebration of the recent 75th Anniversary of the institution, students, staff, and faculty spent the past week reflecting on the rich history of the school and the positive changes that have occurred over the years. Despite the revisions in name, buildings, degrees, leadership, and so much more, the heart and soul of BCF has remained solid and the desire to “Tell the Story of Jesus” is stronger than ever.
On Thursday, September 13, the BCF Board of Trustees joined the faculty and staff for a 75th Anniversary Dinner in the Deese Center located on campus. After a time of fellowship and light appetizers, BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen took the podium as those gathered quickly found their seats. “The future looks even brighter than the past,” stated Kinchen. “After 75 years, we are still telling the story of Jesus. The school has gone through several different levels and looks, yet the purpose has not changed. Practices may have changed, but principles have not.” Following a brief welcome and heart felt prayer by Kinchen; the guests enjoyed a delicious dinner and celebrated with their fellow BCF family members.
In addition to celebrating the amazing blessings of the past seventy-five years and sharing historical events around the dinner table, there was also a special time of recognition for five retiring trustees who have been crucial to the success of the college. Chris Coram, Bill Flannigan, Dianne Lovett, Charles Warren, and Tim Williams were all presented with plaques for their faithful service.
The formal evening included moving tributes and remarks made by the Executive Director-Treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention Tommy Green and BCF Trustee Chair Tim Maynard. After sharing his heart and continued vision, Kinchen was presented with a commemorative copy of the 75th Anniversary (Diamond) edition of BCF’s History, “Still Telling the Story of Jesus,” by author and The John Sullivan Chair of Baptist History and Curator for the Florida Baptist Archives Roger Richards.
One of the highlights of the anniversary celebration was the establishment of the 75th Anniversary Scholarship fund. A target amount of $75,000.00 was set to represent the lifespan of the college thus far. At the celebration, Kinchen noted that there was bad news and good news. The bad news was “we didn’t hit the $75,000.00 mark.” The good news was “we blew past the goal and have raised $138,210.00 at this time.”
Anniversary festivities continued thru chapel on Monday, September 17. During an exciting patriotic Praise and Worship Service held in honor of Constitution Day, the amount for the 75th Anniversary Scholarship fund was unveiled for BCF students, emphasizing that the scholarship would be used exclusively to train the next greatest generation of Christian leaders. Immediately following chapel, Kinchen and First Lady Ruth Ann met faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the college for the official cake-cutting celebration at the gazebo.
During the lifespan of The Baptist College of Florida, students have been prepared to boldly fulfill the role that the Lord has called them, whether in Graceville, throughout the state of Florida, all over the United States, and overseas. From 1943 to 2018, BCF has faithfully crossed the t’s, dotted the i’s, and taught the best of the best! Anticipation is high as to what the Lord has in store for the next 75 years!
For more information about upcoming events held at The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800-328-2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.