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November 27, 2012

Press Photo

BCF Senior Ross Ponder wins Presidential Excellence in Preaching Award.

On Tuesday, November 27, 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 Ross Ponder from Winter Haven became the front-runner in the Fall 2012 competition.

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

Ponder spoke from the familiar "love" passage found in 1 Corinthians 13:7, but delivered a different kind of message concerning believer's hearts in ministry. He began by confessing, "I often catch myself losing love for the people in my congregation--the people I have been called to minister to." He went on to discuss what it means to truly love the people we've been called to minister to even in the midst of disagreements or discouragement. Ponder stressed that true love is an action and not a reaction, and the love one receives or doesn't receive should not determine the love one gives.

Ponder expressed how people involved in ministry cannot do this alone, but only with a divine love which is the love of Christ. "Christ is that perfect love that bore, believed, hoped, and endured all things. We are called to do the same in our congregation, not as they love us, but as Christ loves us," concluded Ponder.

Ponder will graduate December 7 with a Bachelor's degree in Ministry and plans to attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary through their extension center in Tampa. He is engaged to BCF Senior Sarah Kline who will also be receiving her degree in Elementary Education on December 7. For more information on all of the degree programs offered at BCF, please call at 800-328-2660 ext. 460 or visit www.baptistcollege.edu.