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August 28, 2012

Press Photo

Former Baptist Bible Institute (BBI) First Lady Ms. Mabel Southerland went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, August 26.

The administration, faculty, staff, and friends of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) celebrate and remember the life of Mabel Southerland as she went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, August 26, 2012, at 94 years of age. Mabel Arthur Southerland served alongside her late husband, James E. Southerland, who was president of Baptist Bible Institute (now The Baptist College of Florida) from 1957 to 1977.

Originally from Orlando, Fla., and a student at Stetson University, Southerland was known fondly at BBI as "Ms. Mabel." She was a deeply devoted partner in ministry for over 60 years, serving faithfully alongside her husband. According to everyone that knew Ms. Mabel, she was an absolute joy to be around and showered love and encouragement on everyone she came in contact with. She had a passion for life and loved being a minister's wife.

"Nobody in the life of The Baptist College of Florida has ever left more of their heart invested in the students and the greater community than did Mabel Southerland," commented BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen. "She will be long remembered and forever cherished by those of us who had the privilege of knowing her."

Ms. Mabel is survived by her children, Carol and David Knight of Dothan; David and Mary Lynn Southerland of Tallahassee; Becky and Mike Barr of Dothan; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends who rejoice in her life and celebrate her legacy of faith.

The funeral service for Ms. Mabel will be held at the First Baptist Church in Graceville, Fla., on Friday, August 31, at 11:00 a.m. with David Southerland officiating. Visitation for family and friends will be at 10:00 a.m. prior to the celebration service. Memorials can be made to the James E. and Mabel Southerland Scholarship Fund at The Baptist College of Florida.

For more information contact Williams Funeral Home of Graceville at 850-263-5116.