On April 10, 2021 during their Executive Board Meeting, a formal signing took place for the new partnership (tuition scholarship) between The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville and the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists (WVCSB). Signees included BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen and Eric W. Ramsey, WVCSB Executive Director-Treasurer. Kinchen, who also served as West Virginia’s third executive director from 1986 to 1990, told WVCSB Executive Board members, “I don’t know what your questions might be, but the answer is yes; whatever we can do, however we can do, whenever we can do, please know that West Virginia is in my heart.” He drew laughs from the board while sharing, “I was sitting here remembering the last time I attended a meeting in this room was the celebration they threw when I left.” Kinchen has served faithfully as The Baptist College of Florida’s President since accepting the position in 1990.
Ramsey explained both he and Kinchen “believe the future of churches in North America will largely be led by bio-vocational pastors – those who do not receive a full-time salary from the church but hold additional jobs to support their families.” The free-tuition partnership allows for the pursuit of any degree program; however, students will be encouraged to pursue a theological education whether it be a major, double major, minor, or graduate degree. “On behalf of West Virginia Southern Baptists,” stated Ramsey, “the generosity that The Baptist College of Florida is extending to us is very kind and an incredible demonstration of Dr. Kinchen’s love and kingdom mindedness, and we are grateful to him and the BCF Board of Trustees for loving West Virginia.”
The goal is to equip pastors and missionaries from West Virginia for a life of gospel multiplication in and through West Virginia. In order to apply for the program, students must be a member in good standing at a cooperating West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists church, be affirmed in a call to ministry by their church, and meet the requirements for admission to The Baptist College of Florida. “I’m honored and privileged to get to come back,” Dr. Kinchen concluded. “Many places you leave and you don’t know if you can go back or not. But I feel like I can come back to West Virginia, and I am so grateful for that.”
For more information on this program or other financial programs at The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.