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September 27, 2012

Press Photo

The Fearsome Four:  Doyle Bell, Jim Nalls, Mike Ramage and Donnie Holley.

"Friends that last a lifetime..." is not easily found these days, but for four seminary buddies that shared their story of friendship and accountability with students this week at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF), their relationship has spanned over 35 years.

They first met in the R. G. Lee Reading Room at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) back in the 80's and quickly became close friends, prayer partners, and accountability brothers. Former BCF Trustee and the Pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., Doyle Bell was a member of this group making it a priority to get together annually for a time of retreat and prayer. Bell made the arrangements for the "Fearsome Four," as the BCF students referred to them, to meet in Graceville and to spend time sharing with students about the tremendous benefits of having lifelong friendships and people to share life's victories and disappointments.

In addition to Bell, NOBTS graduates Jim Nalls, Mike Ramage, and Donnie Holley spent their time on campus with BCF students encouraging them in their studies and stressing the rewards of establishing relationships as they begin their ministry journey. "Our plan was to reach the world for Christ," stated Bell to a group of BCF students in the Southern Baptist History class. "But sometimes the realities of life and hardships in ministry require a brother to come along side to help bear one another's burdens and then share those victories together."

"My group of students in EDU 3000F were totally blessed by the four pastors who visited the campus this past Tuesday," stated Teacher Education Chair Donna Kincaid. "They could not have been here at a better time, nor had a better message in that life is about relationships, starting with Christ in our lives. The student feedback was phenomenal."

Through 35 years of ministry, continuing education, loss of loved ones, and employment struggles, these Godly men make it a priority to come together for the purpose of lifting each other up and pressing on "...toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus," Philippians 3:15.