As Dr. Clayton Cloer stood at the podium for his inauguration as the seventh president of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF), he shared what he believes God is going to do in and through BCF. Looking among the crowd of family, friends, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, Dr. Cloer stated, “Our maker is on a mission. He’s touching lives now, and I believe He is going to do something amazing.” For Dr. Cloer, under his tenure as President, it is time for BCF to join in the work that Christ is already accomplishing. It is time to join the movement.
Strong leaders such as Dr. Tommy Green, Dr. Michael Cloer, and Dr. Ted Traylor led the way for the inauguration of the seventh president of BCF. Students and alumni heavily involved with our college such as Dawson Troutt, Chanee Otwell, and Michael Orr reflected on the visionary leadership displayed by Dr. Cloer in the short time that he has been at the helm of BCF. The ceremony, which drew 350 honored guests, was marked by a spirit of adoration, gratitude, and humility.
Troutt, a Junior at BCF majoring in Ministry Studies, was one of the first to speak about Dr. Cloer’s relationship with the students. With great respect and thanks, he shared a story about the purpose and care Dr. Cloer had already given to the students in his short time as president, even if that story was the president beating him twice in a game of basketball. Yet the focus did not stay on the basketball court for long. Rather the fact was that the president took time to be with, listen to, and invest in his students. Alongside Troutt’s reflections about Dr. Cloer, Dr. Traylor took a moment to remind Dr. Cloer of the great responsibility that he now bears as the president of an institution that must remain committed to its original foundations. Dr. Traylor stated simply to Dr. Cloer, “Keep this school on the rock.” The rock being Christ Himself.
As if the initial reflections were not adequate, Dr. Michael Cloer, Pastor Emeritus of Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, introduced Dr. Cloer. Sharing from a proud spirit for his nephew, Dr. Michael Cloer commended him for all his accomplishments and shared with those in the audience that he is both a multifaceted leader for such a time as this as well as ready to lead the college with excellence. Then challenging Dr. Cloer to accomplish just that, Dr. Willy Rice, Senior Pastor of Calvary Church in Clearwater, Florida, charged the new President to “Stay close to the people of God, stay grounded in the Word of God, and stay committed to the mission of God.” Following Dr. Rice, Dr. Cloer took the podium and recounted the monumental moments that marked his journey of faith and the blessings in life that got him to this place. He could not help but beam with thankfulness and gratitude to his Lord who has been so gracious to him. During this time, Dr. Cloer made it a priority to share that despite the “sewer pipe” of darkness and persecution that has infiltrated our world, God is on the move, and as he boldly proclaimed, “Our God reigns and operates in this context so well.” In conclusion, he invited all the students to join him at the front of the stage, challenging them to lean on and pursue God during their time at BCF.
A strong leader who is focused, marked by integrity, driven by the mission of God, and committed to boldly proclaiming God’s Word is the only kind of man suited to be at the helm of BCF. If the first 100 days were a sign of what is to come, then it is safe to conclude that Dr. Clayton Cloer is the right man to lead this current movement of God. So, whatever your calling is and no matter where the Spirit of God may send you, Dr. Cloer would say one thing to you, “Let’s do this together. Let’s see what God can do through us.”
-BCF Staff Writer