The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) President Thomas A. Kinchen was recently presented the 2019 Florida Baptist Historical Society Heritage Award for his leadership, vision, and dedication to the preservation of Baptist heritage. His numerous contributions were published in the October, 2019 edition of the Florida Baptist Historical Society’s LEGACY publication. The elegant plaque and award citation was presented by Donald Hepburn, Florida Baptist Historical Society Secretary-Treasurer, during the October meeting of the BCF Board of Trustees and dedication of the new pavilion in Heritage Village.
The Florida Baptist Historical Society has presented the Baptist Heritage Award to 22 individuals based on their significant impact in preserving and sustaining Baptist history. President Kinchen has led the way in making sure that the next generation is educated and exposed to their remarkable heritage. In addition to adding the extensive Florida Baptist Historical Collection that was surrendered by Stetson University to the BCF library collection, BCF is home to the Florida Baptist Archives and the John Sullivan Chair of Baptist History. Under Kinchen’s visionary leadership, the library and archive holdings have become a tremendous asset and resource for faculty, students, and churches.
The award citation referenced the establishment of Heritage Village where Kinchen provided office spaces for the Florida Baptist Historical Society from 1998 to 2017 at no cost. The historic buildings in Heritage Village include mid-nineteenth century to early twentieth century structures that Kinchen had moved and restored to include three churches, two log cabins, a one-room schoolhouse, and three homes. The Village serves as a visual reminder of the past and is home to the annual Holiday Heritage Festival where period craftsmen demonstrate cane syrup making, soap making, basket weaving, guilting, and so much more.
Honored and humbled at receiving the prestigious award, Kinchen stated that he is committed to teaching students at The Baptist College of Florida about the men, women, and churches that sacrificed so much for the Gospel and our deep Baptist heritage.
For more information on The Baptist College of Florida or Heritage Village, please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.