When the Board of Trustees at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville met for their 2020 Annual Meeting, they made “Virtual” history. For the first time in the life of the seventy-seven-year-old college, trustees met virtually by means of Zoom technology. Meetings of the five standing committees of the Board, the Executive Committee, and the entire Board were conducted through telecommunications. According to BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen, “We had trustees scattered from Miami to Pensacola and all points in between. The technology worked smoothly, and we were able to conduct our Lord’s business in a most efficient and effective manner.” Kinchen continued by noting that after the success of the Annual Meeting, trustees are considering conducting future committee meetings by means of Zoom with only the traditional Fellowship Dinner and plenary session being conducted in person on the beautiful Graceville campus.
Although the Annual Meeting is the time when the Annual Operating Budget is approved, trustees approved a plan to postpone the adoption of the budget until June 26, 2020, in order to provide more time to project the effects of COVID-19.
Trustees received a report on the proposed sale of the Blue Springs property in Marianna, Florida. Currently, the college is under contract to sell the property to a Christian camping and conference ministry. The closing for the sale is set to take place prior to June 30, 2020. The BCF President stated, “One of our main concerns has been that the property would continue to serve as a Christian facility where thousands of children, youth, and adults would come to faith in Jesus Christ. This arrangement will make that desire become a reality.”
Kinchen announced the launching of a new Student Housing Scholarship program for the college. A fundraising campaign has begun in order to underwrite the cost of on campus housing for students during the 2020-2021 academic session. The goal for the campaign is $300,000. The announcement was made that over $62,000 of the total has already been raised. While housing is a large portion of the cost of on-campus education, Kinchen reminded trustees that there are many benefits for students living in a Christian community like that offered at The Baptist College of Florida in Graceville.
Trustees were updated on the opening of the College’s Central Florida Campus. The opening had been scheduled for August 2020; however, with the effects of COVID-19 on the arrangements that must be made for a new campus, trustees agreed with the administration’s plan to postpone the opening until at least January 2021. The college will offer enhanced connection classes through telecommunications in the Central Florida area during the Fall 2020 Semester.
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees of The Baptist College of Florida is scheduled for October 19-20, 2020. For more information about the degrees and programs offered through the college that is changing the world, please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.