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December 10, 2012

Press Photo

The Baptist College of Florida Fall 2012 Graduating Class.
Front Row (left to right): Dr. Thomas A. Kinchen, Rebeca Salmeron, Dorothy Carter, Belinda Canter, Christian Brown, Melody Diehl, Amy Brown, Katie Lilly, Melissa Baldwin, Chantel Oney, Vickie Harrelson, Becky Castle, Peyton Kirk, Sarah Klein, Amber Cowan, Anda Scott, Jessica Graham, Patricia Ayala, Bethany Osborn, Dr. R.C. Hammack.

Middle Row (left to Right): Caleb McGee (Marshal), James Younis, Taylor Lambert, Samuel Toole, Ross Ponder, Jeromy Donlon, Revani Rosalia, Cody Griffith, Lee Chorn, Alan Cox, Brandon Crews, Jonathan Cooper, Daniel Watts, Andy Smith, Bobby Griffin, Justin Ward, Katrina Bierman (Marshal).

Back Row (left to right): Johnny Frambo Sr., Earnest Parker Jr., Kyle Johnson, Donald Files, Josh Wilson, Matthew Files, Tommy Melvin, Colin Henderson, Tony Deese, Brett Lamberth, Max Kelly, Anthony Alliman.

At the end of each semester, there is an atmosphere of joy surrounding the campus as The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville prepares to send off students who have worked hard to fulfill the requirements for their degree. On Friday, December 7, 2012, commencement exercises were held for fifty-five graduates prepared to venture out into the world to minister and serve.

Black caps and flowing gowns filled the aisles as graduates marched into the building with their tassels on the right sides of their caps. BCF Professor Angela Glover played the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance" on the piano and friends and family stood in honor as graduates entered the building. The commencement service officially began with the invocation led by Florida Baptist Convention President and Pastor Timothy Maynard of Fruit Cove Baptist Church in Fruit Cove, Fla., and a hymn of praise led by Music and Worship Division Chair Bill Davis.

BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen welcomed guests and recognized the family members of graduating seniors, thanking them for their unending support. New Professors Bill Knowles and Susan Wegmann then joined Kinchen at the podium to sign the Articles of Faith pledging to uphold the Christian doctrines and standards of The Baptist College of Florida.

Adding to the reverence of the occasion, successful businessman, church leader, International Mission Board (IMB) advisor, and BCF Ambassador Raymond B. Howard was presented with an honorary doctorate in Christian Letters for a lifetime of faithful Christian service and honor to the Lord.

The Women's Ensemble led by BCF Professor Buford Cox provided the special music selection entitled "The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi," before Kinchen addressed the graduating class. Kinchen posed a question to those gathered repeatedly asking them "When trouble comes, who ya gonna call?" He reminded them from Psalm 121 that Jesus was not only the secure and satisfactory answer, but the shelter and protector of those who love Him. "Call on the Savior who loves you and who is there for you," Kinchen concluded.

Senior Vice President R.C. Hammack presented the graduating seniors to Kinchen as recommended by the registrar and approved by the faculty. Kinchen proceeded to confer degrees and instructed the graduates to turn their tassel. Among the new degree recipients were a set of twins, Matthew and Donald Files, an international student, Revani Rosalia from the Dominican Republic, and several couples engaged to be married in the next few months. Lots of new beginnings and exciting opportunities await the 2012 graduating class.

Davis led the congregation in singing the college hymn, "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," and newly conferred doctoral recipient Ray Howard pronounced the benediction. The 2012 December graduates exited in excitement as photographs and social media sites were telling the story for the world to know.

For more information on how to make The Baptist College of Florida your alma mater, contact 800-328-2660 ext. 460 or access the website at baptistcollege.edu.

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Ray Howard receives Honorary Doctorate. Platform includes new professors Susan Wegmann and Bill Knowles, Senior Vice President R. C. Hammack, President Thomas A. Kinchen, degree recipient Ray Howard, and Florida Baptist Convention President Tim Maynard, pastor of Fruit Cove Baptist Church.

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Twins Matthew and Donald Files graduate together.