Each semester, students, staff, and faculty at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) look forward to hosting the open house event known as Preview Day with eager anticipation. Preview Day holds a special place in the heart of many because it is when the Lord made clear to them that this is the college that God would have them continue their education. Following the wake of Hurricane Michael, it was up in the air whether or not the event would go on. After much thought and prayer, administration came to the conclusion that, “even if just one prospective student decided to come, it would still be worth it.” This year, the special event was held on October 19; not only did many prospective students show up for Preview Day, many made the decision to call BCF their future home and began the application process.
Upon arrival, potential students and their families poured into the BCF Wellness Center where they registered for the planned activities and received bags filled with all of the information and resources they might need regarding campus life and academics. Once they were registered, campus guests were encouraged to visit the large array of exhibit displays designed to provide information on BCF’s Campus Safety, campus housing, financial aid, student life activities, intramural sports, mission opportunities, and specifics on each degree program. There were booths that provided information on campus resources available to students such as the library, writing center, and the computer lab. There was also a photo booth, complete with fun props, where guests were also encouraged to have their picture taken to commemorate the fun memories that were made during Preview Day.
Director of Student Life and Marketing Sandra Richards and BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen gave guests a bubbly welcome and began the day by awarding several $500 scholarships to those who had traveled the longest distance to participate in Preview Day. Next, prospective students were given the chance to experience a typical day in the life of a BCF student as they visited a class in accordance with their desired degree interest. The class choices included psychology, missions and theology, music, education, business leadership, and dual enrollment which is one of the newer additions this semester. Prospective students also had the option of attending a financial aid brief and hear from the capable staff in place to help navigate through scholarship opportunities and federal forms. The classroom visits were planned to provide extensive information on specific areas of academic interest while getting to know professors, and gain information on the financial assistance available.
Immediately following the classroom visits, guests made their way to the historic R.G. Lee Chapel where BCF students participate in worship three times a week. The Preview Day chapel service featured a time of praise and worship led by multiple music groups on campus such as the BCF College Choir and Orchestra, College Singers, and duet by Guitar Professor Jay Erp and soloist Megan Erp. Afterward, Kinchen delivered a powerful message from Philippians 2, focusing specifically on self-denial, service, surrender, and the serenity that only comes from Christ. As noted, regular chapel services are held on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during the week to refresh students and challenge them to grow in their knowledge and faith in the Lord.
Following chapel, a delicious lunch was provided by Valley Services in the school’s dining facility, the Deese Center. During mealtime, guests had the opportunity to interact with faculty and current students and enjoy the eclectic sound of the BCF Jazz Band. After lunch, visitors toured campus housing (dorms) with the BCF Resident Assistants (RAs), or had the chance to tour the campus with the BCF Admissions Counselors. As prospective students walked through the dorms, current students lined the hallways, enthusiastic for the chance to answer any questions on what dorm life is like.
Everyone on campus gathered in the BCF Wellness Center for concluding activities. Ending the day with as much vigor as it began with, BCF held the annual Challenge Volleyball Game where a group of hand-picked juniors and seniors competed against a team comprised of faculty and staff. Though both teams left the building as winners, the victory was ultimately attributed to the faculty team. Afterwards, a BCF filled gift basket was given away and several more $500 scholarships were awarded. Campus Minister and Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry Lance Beauchamp concluded this semester’s Preview Day with a brief word of prayer. As prospective students and their families left the campus, they were encouraged to take advantage of the waived application fee and apply to The Baptist College of Florida where students are “Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word®.”
For more information on The Baptist College of Florida or to sign up for the Spring Preview Day, please call 850-263-3261 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.