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BCF Press Release



October 29, 2015

Press Photo

BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen presents Secretary of the Board of Trustees Don McLaughlin a plaque of appreciation for his faithful leadership to the board.

The Board of Trustees of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) recently met for their pre-convention meeting on the home campus in Graceville. Two major areas in which the board members heard recommendations and took action were Enhanced Campus Security and Long Range Planning and Development. BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen shared with the board that the recent rash of shootings on college campuses created the need for a review of their campus wide security measures. Kinchen noted, “We must exercise a real stewardship of trust for our students, faculty and staff. To overreact would be unwise, but to be unprepared would be unimaginable.” Trustees asked the President to conduct a study of possible scenarios for enhanced security on the campus and to bring recommendations not later than their next meeting in February 2016.

Kinchen shared with the trustees his desire to see the college move from being “merely the denominational college for the Florida Baptist State Convention, to being the ‘heart college’ of all Florida Baptists.” With many denominationally related colleges distancing themselves from their heritage and roots, Kinchen told trustees that it is now more important than ever that The Baptist College of Florida be seen as a first choice school for those individuals who desire to be change agents for Christ in contemporary society. Christian higher education must be seen as the preferred route not only for those who will serve in church based occupations, but also the route of choice for those serious Christians serving in any area. Board members approved a plan by which the Executive Committee of the trustees will serve as a special long range planning committee. The committee will invite other Florida Baptist leaders to join in this special venture. The board will receive a report and recommendations from the special committee not later than their pre-convention meeting in 2016.

The board received an update report on the 20/20 Vision development plan for the home campus in Graceville. They were told that the new Deese Center is complete and will be dedicated October 30, 2015. This center will provide state of the art dining and meeting facilities for the campus. With overall seating of 400, the Deese Center will provide indoor as well as outdoor dining along with open seating and private banquet areas. The private dining room which seats 80 persons, also serves as home to the college’s Glory of God Christian Fine Art Collection. This area of the facility will host conferences, banquets, and future meetings of the Board of Trustees. Kinchen noted that the current dining facilities had been in use since 1969 and were “just tired.” Another part of the development report dealt with the construction of a new Teacher Education Center on the campus. With a growing enrollment in this vital field there is the need for further specialized space. Current development efforts have brought in approximately 65-70% of the funds needed for the project. Architectural and engineering services have been contracted. Kinchen noted that this project will be done just like all capital projects at the college with a pay-as-we-go strategy so that there will be no debt incurred for the facility. Groundbreaking is anticipated in the first quarter of 2016.

During the meeting, trustees said good-bye to one of their most faithful members who will rotate off of the board in November 2015. Don McLaughlin has served as Secretary of the Board during his tenure, as well as provided leadership on special committees and projects. Most recently he served as Chairman of the Committee to Celebrate the College President’s 25th Anniversary at the college.

Trustees also adopted amendments to the College’s Charter and By-Laws that would take into account the request made by the Florida Baptist State Convention through action of the Denominational Polity and Practice Committee of the State Board of Missions.

For more information on how the trustees, faculty, staff and students of The Baptist College of Florida are “Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word®” call 800.328.2660 ext. 460 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.