BCF News


“If you do not know who you are called to be, you will be who people pay you to be.” An insight that those who are desiring to pastor and preach the Word would be wise to take into consideration. This statement struck many of the young men during their time with Dr. Ken Whitten. Dr. Whitten was the guest lecturer in Dr. Cloer’s Expository Sermon Preparation class. Dr. Whitten recently retired as the Pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, FL. He now serves as the National Director of Pastoral Leadership for the North American Mission Board (NAMB). When it comes down to it, “Who are you called to be?” is a challenging question to resolve, but after decades of pastoral leadership, who better to help students than someone who has weathered the storms of pastoral ministry and guided God’s people from the pulpit. 

Florida’s pulpit is here, and at The Baptist College of Florida that means we are responsible for equipping the men that are sent to us from Florida Baptist churches. Some of these young men had the privilege of sitting in on this class with Dr. Whitten. After talking to them about the experience, they expressed the impact he had on them. 

Dawson Troutt, a Junior at BCF majoring in Ministry Studies, shared that he valued Dr. Whitten’s energy and wisdom displayed during their time together. With his style of teaching, Dawson was able to gain a greater grasp at how vital it is to have intimacy with the Father, community with other believers, and a firm foundation of faith as he does the work of the ministry. Dr. Whitten’s teaching reminded him of how Jesus did this perfectly. Moreover, Dr. Whitten provided Dawson with goals to strive for in these three areas. 

A Sophomore at BCF also majoring in Ministry Studies, Nathan Washington was deeply impacted by a singular quote from Dr. Whitten: “We are broken people helping broken people.” To Nathan this was a beautiful reminder of what Paul says, “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I [Paul] am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15 ESV).

Christopher Nelson, a Sophomore at BCF majoring in Missions was captivated by Dr. Whitten’s perspective on discipleship. Dr. Whitten mentioned that “We have made discipleship a gateway to the gospel and not a pathway.” This statement left Christopher with both a burden and a desire to prioritize discipleship in his life as he seeks to walk with Jesus and not merely to stand with Him. 

Each of these young men had a different takeaway, yet they were all fascinated by Dr. Whitten’s lesson of The Temptation Triangle. Dr. Whitten walked them through the three primary areas the devil utilizes to attack those who desire to serve the church. These areas involve the approval sought, the ambitions pursued, and the appetites desired. Each of these areas are fueled by lies that contradict the truth of God’s Word. Lies such as you will never be enough, you will never do enough, and you will never have enough. By believing that Christ not only went through every temptation but was able to resist, it will help those in ministry regardless of the challenges and hardships they may confront in ministry. For when you are sitting under someone who has been where you are going, then you can have confidence that your preparation is not in vain. As posed earlier, it is important to answer the question, “Who are you called to be?” During his time on campus, Dr. Whitten gave these young men a confident response to who they are called to be in Christ, and how they are to go about doing the work of the ministry. By teaching them to fight off the world's temptations, love people as Christ did, and to prioritize the importance and process of discipleship, Dr. Whitten inspired the future men of Florida’s pulpits. May we all choose to cling to these truths and become those who live out their calling in Christ.


- Emily Robinson,

BCF Staff Writer