BCF News


The brotherhood of ministry formed at The Baptist College of Florida can be seen throughout churches and communities all over Florida; Parkview Baptist Church (PBC) in Lake City, FL is an excellent example of that. Three friends and BCF Alumni: Skylar Teel (ST), JonSeth Sammons (JS), and David Harris (DH) serve together at PBC. Teel is the Worship Pastor, Sammons is the Student Pastor and Functioning Missions Pastor, and Harris is the Associate of Worship and Media at PBC.  We had the opportunity to check up on our alumni and ask about the impact BCF made on them personally. Here is what they had to say!


What is your degree and graduation year?

ST: I graduated in May 2016 with my Bachelor of Contemporary Worship Leadership degree (minor in leadership).

JS: I graduated in 2018, with a degree in Missions.

DH: I graduated in May of 2022 with my Bachelor of Arts in Music.


What are you enjoying about your current ministry assignment and how is the Lord bringing forth fruit?

ST: After serving here for 6 years now, there is a trust built between me and the people I pastor.  I’m loving going through the different seasons of life with our people. Loving our people and being in community with them brings me a lot of joy. We’re seeing some great fruit in regard to spiritual growth within our people. Our gatherings are filled with much joy and passion. It’s a joy to sing with God’s people!

JS: I enjoy leading students through the Word of God, and seeing them in turn grow in their faith! I see the fruit in how our students serve our church and deepen their walks with the Lord.

DH: Every Sunday really feels like a family gathering, and there has been such a sense of unity and love for one another. As a staff, we are constantly encouraging one another to depend on the Holy Spirit and to guard against doing "dead ministry." I think this is helpful because mindlessly acting out a routine is a real temptation for people in church leadership.

One thing that's been really incredible to see is the change from one adult (me) on an acoustic guitar trying to sing with a bunch of shy teenagers (it was like pulling teeth to get them to sing anything), to what it is now: a full student band, some of them even helping lead on Sunday mornings! When I tell you these students love Jesus and sing LOUD, I mean it. There's nothing quite like it, and it has definitely influenced the culture of the whole church! This is the Spirit's work, and there's no boasting in anything we've done, but I thank God for JonSeth who has faithfully invested in our students and pointed them to Christ. Without him, I'm not sure that we would be in the same place we are now.


Why did you choose BCF? All three men shared that they learned about BCF through friends and ministers in their churches who were alumni but, Harris had a particularly powerful testimony.

DH: I had previously attended a Christian university, and had a negative experience. My schedule was so full that I couldn't even plug into a local church. I was really discouraged and ended up leaving. After getting the opportunity to serve at Parkview, I finished my Associate's at a community college and looked at a few different options for my Bachelor's Degree. I was really happy to see that BCF offered some of their music degrees completely online, and I have had so many friends, pastors, and mentors that I look up to who have graduated from BCF. The family dynamic and the emphasis on serving and loving the local church was an incredible change of pace after what I experienced at my previous schools. Even though I was an online student, I still had close relationships with my professors and ended up making a lot of friends with my peers. My experience was so great that my wife, Emily, is now finishing her degree at BCF and has been loving it!


What is your favorite memory from BCF?

ST: There are a lot of stories that came out of my time in college. The people made the experience what it was though.

JS: My favorite memory is going undefeated in indoor soccer and others come to mind but can't throw anyone under the bus here! hah!

DH: There was an instance where the jazz band was touring in my area, and Professor Branning asked if I would like to play with them, even though I wasn't on campus. It ended up being so much fun, and it helped form and deepen friendships with a lot of the other music students. We had the chance to lead worship at Parkview, and at my home church in High Springs, which was really special! Way too many bad jokes were told, good food was eaten, encouragement was given, good music was made, and many sarcastic comments were made by Branning. Good times.


How did BCF equip you to serve the local church?

ST: I learned a lot about God’s Word and how the gospel transforms everything. Those things are obviously of utmost importance. I learned to value and treasure God’s Word. I learned to study and dive deeply into the great truths that are revealed in Scripture. As important and necessary as those things are, more than anything, my time at BCF equipped me to love and pastor people well.

JS: I use my degree daily in my context here, not just in the missions area, but also in student ministry. Dr. Elligson always said student pastors make great church planters and missionaries because teenagers are always so foreign!

DH: To keep it brief, I'll just say that it helps when your professors actually serve and love their own local churches. Particularly Dr. Cox, Dr. Davis, and Professor Branning really helped me think through what it means to Biblically serve my local church, not just by the book, but practically. Because they have all hit walls and had to work through difficult circumstances in their ministries, they were able to help me plan for those situations, and they were always a huge encouragement to me as a young person serving in full-time ministry.


What is one interesting/weird/funny thing about one another?

ST: JonSeth is impressively bad at keeping up with his keys. I mean he literally never has his keys.

JS: One interesting thing about David is that he has a song on Spotify playing the saxophone solo! Another interesting thing is that David can play basically any instrument!

DH: Once upon a time, Skylar used to record voice memos of himself singing the alto and soprano parts, and then upload those recordings to Planning Center to help the women on the vocal team learn their parts. This doesn't mean he sang the parts in his normal range, and then edited them to make them sound higher (we didn't get so lucky), he actually just sang like a girl into his phone microphone and uploaded those audio files. Here's the part that makes me mad: as absolutely ridiculous it is to be singing that high as a man, Skylar still sounds like a baby angel. I mean yes, you'll laugh when you know that it's Skylar, but if nobody had told me it was him, I would've thought it was just a really good female singer. It's not fair.

Beyond the personal instruction that students receive to make them biblically capable and spiritually fruitful, The Baptist College of Florida fosters friendships that persevere through a lifetime of following Christ. Whether our students serve as educators, businessmen, counselors, or pastors they will be sent out from The Baptist College of Florida alongside friends who will remain for a lifetime. As can be seen at PBC the camaraderie and service displayed are reminiscent of Colossians 4 when Paul calls one of his own friends in ministry, Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord. May we all seek to be as devoted to ministry and as encouraging to each other as these brothers are to one another.


For more news on BCF alumni and all the incredible ways they are getting involved in ministry and the marketplace, please call us at 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.

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