When the Board of Trustees of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) met in Graceville on October 17-18, 2019, they took steps toward the launch of a second location in Lakeland, dedicated a new pavilion, and broke ground for two new housing units in Graceville. BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen noted that, "These actions come at an absolutely pivotal time in the life of the college. Launching the new work in Lakeland will give us the opportunity to provide top-quality Christian higher education in a high population growth area of the state. Also, the new facilities being provided in Graceville will ensure that the same top-quality education will continue to be offered in northwest Florida."
Trustees received reports on the progress of negotiations relating to insurance settlements for damages from Hurricane Michael. The college is still involved in negotiations between its insurance carrier and the public adjusters hired by the college. According to Kinchen, "We are closer than we have been in the negotiations, but we still have a long way to go." The college has already carried out some vital repairs on the campus, but the majority of the needed repairs are still waiting.
Progress on the sale of the Blue Springs property in Marianna was another topic of interest for the Trustees. A great deal of cleanup work has been completed on the property. The college has already begun the process of renovating some space on the Graceville campus in order for it to be used for camping and conference programs in the future. Over the years, the college administration has purchased over 100 acres adjacent to the original campus. This land will provide enough space to relocate all of the programming from the Blue Springs location without the need to purchase additional space.
The dedication of "Grand Bobbie's Pavilion" marked the completion of a project to honor the memory of a beloved friend of the college. Mrs. Bobbie Wyrick was a long-time supporter of the school. She loved visiting the campus and especially enjoyed events at the Heritage Village. After her passing, Wyrick's family desired to honor her with a physical memorial on the campus. "Grand Bobbie's Pavilion is well named," stated Kinchen. "Grand Bobbie was the title that her grandchildren called Mrs. Wyrick. It is especially appropriate for the pavilion because she was a grand lady and the pavilion is a grand facility. It will be used by countless generations at the college."
Groundbreaking for two new housing units marks the beginning of a new community housing model for the college. Currently, all married student housing is in one section of the campus with housing for retirees and staff in another area. According to Kinchen, "With the new housing units, we will have true community with married students, retirees, and staff members all living in an intergenerational setting. This will add to the strong sense of community on the BCF campus."
For more information on upcoming events or BCF degree programs, please call 800.328.2660 ext. 410 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.