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December 12, 2011

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Front Row: Thomas A. Kinchen, President,  H. Larson (Marshal), K. Paetzold, M. Morris, S. Stahl, J. Williams, J. Duby, S. Timms, H. Calkins, N. Brooks, W. Owens, E. Casey, M. Rogers, K. Morgan, L. Forrest, M. Temples, A. Deery, L. Clarke, A. Spicer, H. Howington (Marshal), R. C. Hammack, Senior Vice President.
Middle Row: M. Kirkland, T. Kirkland, D. Brown, J. Stockton, D. Bell, B. Bean, D. Maguire, H. Mancin, G. Riddle, J. Barnard, J. Roland, T. Fann, T. Alan, F. Johnson
Back Row: K. Roberson, D. Morris, M. Jones, T. Pate, C. Stinson, D. Taylor, C. Gann, G. Poole, J. Linton, J. Laseter, Z. Culpepper.

Although they occur like clockwork every semester, graduations at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville are still welcomed with jubilation and excitement from each graduating class. Friday, December 9th was no different as degrees were conferred on fifty seniors in the Assembly Center at 10 a.m.

Black caps and flowing gowns filled the aisles when graduates marched into the building as the BCF Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Professor Ron Branning, played the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance." The commencement service officially began with the invocation led by Jacksonville Site Director Joe Molina and followed by Music and Worship Division Chair Bill Davis leading the congregation in hymn favorite "Great is Thy Faithfulness."

BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen welcomed guests and recognized the family members of graduating seniors. The new English Professor David Grier then joined Kinchen at the podium to sign the Articles of Faith pledging to uphold the Christian doctrines and standards of The Baptist College of Florida.

The Male Chorale provided the special music selection entitled "Then Will the Very Rocks Cry Out," before Kinchen addressed the graduating class. Kinchen reminded those gathered that the world is still looking for Jesus just as they were years ago when He came as a baby and brought light into the world. "When they come asking to desperately see Jesus, will they see Him in you?" asked Kinchen. "The world is still looking. The world is still wondering."

Senior Vice President R.C. Hammack presented the graduating seniors to Kinchen as recommended by the registrar and approved by the faculty. Kinchen proceeded to confer degrees and instructed the graduates to move their tassel. Davis led the congregation in singing the College Hymn, "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," and Grier pronounced the benediction.

The 2011 December graduates exited in a flurry of excitement as Branning led the Brass Ensemble in the Recessional. As at most graduations, family members quickly began taking pictures documenting the special occasion. One 2011 graduate, Dave Maguire, was able to take a picture with his dad, Steven Maguire, who was a 1980 graduate of BCF when it was Baptist Bible Institute. Another graduate, Mackenzie Kirkland, was pictured with her dad, BCF Trustee Tim Williams, Senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winter Haven, Fl. Photographs just begin to tell the story of how these graduates earned their degree at BCF and where they will go from here.

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2011 Graduate, Dave Maguire, with his dad, Steven Maguire, 1980 graduate of BCF, formerly Baptist Bible Institute.

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BCF Trustee Tim Williams, Senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winter Haven, Fl, celebrates with daughter Mackenzie Williams Kirkland. 

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BCF graduates line up to enter the ceremony.