What an exciting time at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville as students arrived for the very first time to the college campus. Although bittersweet, with enthusiasm the BCF President of thirty-two and ½ years, Dr. Thomas A. Kinchen, welcomed the last class of freshmen that he will preside over during New Student Orientation. The two-day orientation event was held August 11-12, and included a special time of praise and worship, words of wisdom from the BCF President, and instructions preparing new students for the first day of classes that began on August 15. It was important that the first few days of orientation be filled with key information as well as a warm welcome.
Orientation began with registration and a hot breakfast in the Deese Center where students got to meet their new classmates for the first time. Following breakfast, a sweet time of acoustic worship was held in the Mills Center led by Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) Coordinator Daniel Shenning, followed by Kinchen’s message on the Prophet Elisha and the way God protected him from an entire army. “Though it may feel like you have an army of problems around you, the Lord has always been there and will see it through to the end,” stated Kinchen. “Jesus will never give up on you and there will never be a time you should give up on Him.”
After an amazing time dedicated to the Lord, students watched a video tour of the campus and were introduced to the staff. BCF Registrar Stephanie Orr introduced resource staff members with a short description of what students may need their help with. Students were also given an introductory brief on the ETS exam they would take on Friday, tips on financial aid, academic expectations, and on-campus mental health counseling. Student Life and Marketing Director Sandra Richards went over campus policies and procedures found within the Student Handbook and discussed ministry and employment opportunities, social media, and college-life balance.
BCF students then had the unique opportunity to enjoy lunch with their academic advisors and learn even more about their degree choice. They were also able to meet current students in the same area of study. After lunch, new students were invited on a bus tour of the campus and the surrounding Graceville area to identify important facilities such as doctor’s offices, drug store, the post office, restaurants, grocery store, and recreation areas. The first day of orientation ended with a scavenger hunt led by BCF Resident Assistants (RAs), dinner in the Deese Center, and a successful “Meet and Greet” time with local church representatives who provided information and amazing gifts to students to encourage them and to share more about the worship and ministry opportunities in the area.
Day two began with “BCM Coffee Hour” in the Kinchen Center led by Admissions Counselor Collin Dollar sharing the importance of being active in a local church throughout the college experience. After lunch, students were given time to complete the required ETS exam and then a fun time of games with returning students in the Wellness Center for “Game Night” led by the BCF Recreation Team and RAs.
For more information on the college where students are preparing to change the world, call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.