“The worst days in God’s will are better than the best days outside of His will.” Often quoted by Dr. Thomas Kinchen over his tenure here at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF), it served as one of the hallmarks of his address to those who joined us for breakfast on November 14 at Olive Baptist Church. Kinchen gave a heartfelt speech, which detailed some of the ways God has worked throughout his time as President of BCF and how grateful he is for that work, even on the difficult days. As announced in November 2021, Kinchen will retire on December 31, 2022. There were a couple of events on the agenda, in conjunction with the Florida Baptist Convention (FBC) annual meeting, to celebrate this new chapter for the Kinchens after three decades of faithful service at BCF.
Many alumni and friends visited Kinchen at BCF’s convention booth, but the breakfast was the first of two special opportunities for individuals to personally thank Dr. Kinchen and his wife for the unique ways they were impacted by their ministry. The second opportunity was an afternoon fellowship reception held on the following day. Earlier that day, Kinchen was presented with a standing ovation and resolution, expressing thanks to him and his wife for “dedicating their lives in faithful service to their Lord and to Florida Baptists through their devotion and love for The Baptist College of Florida and its students.”
Those who joined us on the morning of November 14th also heard from Dr. Clayton Cloer, President-Elect, as he shared his appreciation for the vision Dr. Kinchen set for BCF and what the Lord has put on his heart regarding the future of the institution. While presenting, Cloer interviewed two current students, Emily Robinson and her fiancé Christopher Nelson who are proud second and third generation BCF students, respectively. They got to share a bit about their story and love for their college.
As a cooperating ministry of The Florida Baptist Convention (FBC), BCF had the opportunity to share ministry updates and plans on stage with the Executive Director, Dr. Tommy Green, during the convention meeting. Dr. Cloer was invited to the stage for the first time ever as the voice of BCF. He discussed, in greater detail, the wants and needs he has heard from Florida Baptists regarding the college and how the college will serve Florida Baptist churches in the days ahead. As a previous headmaster at Central Florida Christian Academy, Cloer sees a great need for an “exceptional, affordable, accessible, and sizable” partner available to students looking to be equipped for the ministry and the marketplace. Cloer made the statement, “we exist to serve Florida Baptist churches…to educate, inspire, and equip young people to know and to serve Jesus.” Dr. Green expressed his gratitude for Cloer answering the call to lead The Baptist College of Florida forward and invited messengers to commit to praying for their college.
Before Dr. Cloer came up and spoke, the first of two votes required to adopt the name change to “Baptist University of Florida” was held and approved by messengers. BCF looks forward to the next annual meeting where we will get to gather with our Florida Baptist family once more to celebrate all that God will do this coming year!
To stay updated on what is happening at The Baptist College of Florida visit our website at www.baptistcollege.edu or give us a call at (800)-328-2660.