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May 10, 2013

Press Photo

BCF Senior James Oney Jr. receives the Presidential Excellence in Preaching Award during Senior Honor’s Day from Dr. Thomas A. Kinchen.

On Tuesday, May 7, students and faculty at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville filled the R.G. Lee Chapel in anticipation of hearing from the Presidential Excellence in Preaching Award winner. Having preached before a student gallery and panel of faculty judges, BCF Senior James Oney Jr., from Lynn Haven, Fla., became the front-runner in the Spring 2013 competition.

BCF Graduate Division Chair and Preaching Professor Ed Scott introduced Oney congratulating him on this significant accomplishment, and the distinct honor of preaching before his peers and faculty.

Oney preached from Matthew 6:1-4 which involves the Pharisees doing good deeds for the sake of their image and broadcasting their own righteousness for all to see. He challenged students to ask themselves why they were pursuing ministry and to examine their intentions in ministry.

Oney explained that the Pharisees apparently cared solely about displaying, declaring, and delighting in their own righteousness. They had little to no concern or love for the people who benefited from their deeds, but rather wanted to be seen and praised by the people. "The Pharisees were using the needy as a prop in their own show," he stated, as he compared the Pharisees to actors in a drama seeking the praises of an audience.

According to Oney, Christians in ministry must daily surrender their wills to God, conform to God's will, and sit and listen to God in order for their motives to remain authentic in ministry. "Stop tooting your own horn and stop announcing what you did good," Oney exclaimed.

Oney will graduate May 17 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ministry Studies and plans to enroll in the Christian Studies graduate degree at BCF. For more information on all of the degree programs offered at The Baptist College of Florida, please call at 800-328-2660 ext. 460 or visit www.baptistcollege.edu.

Press Photo

BCF Senior James Oney Jr. preached before his peers and the faculty as the recipient of the Presidential Excellence in Preaching Award.