For many students at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville, the concluding weeks of each semester are stressful as final projects, papers, presentations, and exams are due. For graduating seniors, however, this is also a joyous time as their academic career at BCF concludes and they determine which direction the Lord is leading them. The Presidential Excellence in Preaching Award was announced and Senior Honors Day was held on May 8 to celebrate and recognize the academic achievements of the forty-four graduating seniors.
On May 7, the Presidential Excellence in Preaching Award was the first award of the week presented by BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen and the First Lady Ruth Ann. Each semester, seniors work meticulously on a message in the preaching class with the goal of being selected as the recipient of the preaching award and the opportunity to preach in the R. G. Lee Chapel before their peers and faculty. Commended for his undeniable gift of preaching the Word of God, graduating senior Davis Howell earned the honor this semester.
During the student preaching chapel service, Howell shared from Proverbs 4:20-23, focusing on the idea that “transformation of the heart happens from the inside out,” which he explained happens when “we are filled with the Word of God and we guard our heart…” Howell shared that this transformation should prompt believers to go out and tell others what the Lord has done. Howell did an outstanding job proclaiming what the Lord put on his heart and raised expectations for future student preachers. He is currently serving as the Student Pastor at Lakeside Church in Lake Oconee, Georgia, and will be able to devote more time, attention, and efforts to his ministry there after graduation.
Before meeting in the BCF Wellness Center on May 8, for the Senior Honors Day Luncheon held each semester, friends and family members of the graduates gathered in the R.G. Lee Chapel for a special chapel service recognizing seniors who have excelled in their academic careers. Senior Honors Day activities included a time of praise and worship led by the graduating seniors, recognition of those who had earned high GPA honors, the presentation of the senior class project, and a challenging message delivered by BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen. Kinchen preached from Luke 14:7 and defined exactly what honor means. He stated that “we are not entitled to honor, and when God brings you the honor of service, then let it be that we are only stewards of those honors.” What an inspirational reminder for graduates as they continue their journey of “Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word.”
Now that the Excellence in Preaching Award has been presented and Senior Honors Day has taken place, the only item remaining on the graduates’ agendas is the final commencement ceremony. On May 17, at 10:00 a.m. students will walk across the stage in the BCF Wellness Center to receive their hard-earned degrees and turn their tassels. Following this special day, several will go on to seminary and/or pursue a graduate degree, while others will begin fulfilling positions of leadership in areas of ministry, missions, music, education, business, and psychology.
For more information on the spring 2019 graduation ceremony to be held on May 17, at The Baptist College of Florida, please visit www.baptistcollege.edu or contact 850-263-3261.