GRACEVILLE (BCF)—Ross Ponder, a senior at the Baptist College of Florida won the Presidential Excellence in Preaching Award for Fall 2012. He earned the opportunity to preach to students and faculty in the R.G. Lee Chapel on the college campus Nov. 27 after first preaching before a student gallery and a panel of faculty judges.
Ed Scott, chair of the graduate division, introduced Ponder, congratulating him on this significant accomplishment and the distinct honor of preaching before his peers and faculty.
Ponder, from Winter Haven, spoke from the familiar “love” passage found in 1 Cor. 13:7, preaching about the believers’ hearts in ministry.
“I often catch myself losing love for the people in my congregation—the people I have been called to minister to,” Ponder confessed. He went on to discuss what it means to truly love the people we’ve been called to minister to even in the midst of disagreements or discouragement. Ponder stressed that true love is an action and not a reaction, and the love one receives or doesn’t receive should not determine the love one gives.
Ponder said those involved in ministry cannot truly love people on their own, but only with a divine love which is the love of Christ.
“Christ is that perfect love that bore, believed, hoped, and endured all things. We are called to do the same in our congregation, not as they love us, but as Christ loves us,” Ponder said.
Ponder graduated Dec. 7 with a bachelor’s degree in ministry and plans to attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary through its extension center in Tampa. He is engaged to BCF senior Sarah Kline who graduated with her degree in elementary education.
For more information on all of the degree programs offered at BCF, please call admissions at 800-328-2660, ext. 460, or visit online at www.baptistcollege.edu.
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