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BCF Press Release



May 13, 2016

Press Photo

BCF graduating seniors prepare to enter the Wellness Center for graduation.

Press Photo

Graduating Senior Shelsea Denson Rickman with her brothers, BCF Alumni Brennan and Richard, and her brother Matthew scheduled to graduate in May 2017.

Press Photo

Graduating Senior William “Lewis” Goodman IV followed a long line of BCF alumni in his family to include his father, Buddy Goodman, his wife, Marli, sister, Rachel Goodman Lauen, and his father-in-law, Jeep Sullivan.

On Friday, May 13, the Wellness Center at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville was filled with faculty and graduating seniors wearing black robes and mortarboards as family and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the Spring 2016 graduating class.

Fifty-one graduates entered the front doors of the Wellness Center as the BCF College Winds played “Pomp and Circumstance” under the direction of Professor Ron Branning. Following the processional, the invocation was voiced by BCF Associate Professor of Leadership and Christian Education David Coggins, the father of graduating senior Jonathan Coggins. After the heartwarming prayer, the congregation joined in singing “O Worship the King” led by BCF Music and Worship Division Chair William “Bill” Davis, the father of graduating senior Jared Davis. BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen welcomed guests and personally recognized the tremendous support the graduates received from their parents, grandparents, spouses, children and church families.

Following the welcome, a combined ensemble directed by BCF Professor Buford Cox performed the anthem “To Love our God” prior to Kinchen delivering the graduation address. During his inspirational message, Kinchen shared how “Life is filled with questions; Life changing questions,” and how we are called to be a sweet smelling fragrance in the world, referencing 2 Corinthians 2:15. “How do you smell?” asked Kinchen, “Delicious? Heavenly? Do you offer the world that sweet fragrance of Christ?”

After the message, BCF Academic Dean Robin Jumper presented the graduating class having been confirmed by the Registrar and Faculty. Final approval was granted by the President resulting in the seniors victoriously walking across the stage to receive their diploma. Family and friends cheered and celebrated as the graduates one-by-one were called by name and presented their degree. When directed, the class moved their tassels in unison symbolizing the official completion of all the requirements being met for graduation. After a brief moment of applause, the audience joined the graduating class in singing the BCF College Hymn “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” followed by the benediction given by BCF Distance Site Director and Associate Professor of Christian Studies James “Jim” Robinett.

The conclusion of commencement is always exciting as the new graduates exit the building and begin taking pictures with professors and loved ones in the courtyard area. This particular graduation is exceptionally momentous as BCF senior James “Jim” Womble became the first graduate in the Bachelor of Arts in Missions with a Concentration in Aviation degree. “Our missions aviation program is designed to combine solid missions training with fully qualified flight certification,” stated Missions Professor and BCF Theology Division Chair Rich Elligson. “The end product is a God-called, fully equipped missionary who can take the light of the gospel to the darkest of places. With the graduation of Jim Womble, our Missions Aviation program has been moved from ‘on the radar screen’ to ‘on the map.’ And that’s where we want to be.”

Additional highlights of the spring graduation included three recipients earning the Master of Arts degree and multiple families continuing the legacy of BCF graduates. William “Lewis” Goodman IV followed a long line of BCF alumni in his family to include his wife, both sisters, his father, father-in-law, and his grandfathers. Graduating senior Shelsea Denson Rickman’s husband, two brothers, and sister-in-law graduated from BCF, and Shelsea’s brother Matthew is scheduled to graduate in May 2017. Jonathan Coggins’ father, sister and brother-in-law all graduated from BCF and continue to serve faithfully.

Many of the graduates of The Baptist College of Florida will continue their education or begin working and serving in their degree fields. One thing that is certain, BCF graduates are trained, equipped and prepared to change the world as the next greatest generation of Christian leaders.

For more information on how to become a student at The Baptist College of Florida, contact 800-328-2660 ext. 460 or obtain more information by accessing the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.