BCF president to graduates: 'God is with you'
Jun 6, 2014
By STAFF

GRACEVILLE (BCF)—The Baptist College of Florida Wellness Center was filled to capacity May 16 as friends and family gathered to celebrate the accomplishment and hard work of 65 seniors—52 from Florida—earning their degrees.  

Donned in black caps and flowing gowns waiting patiently before moving their tassels from the right side to the left, graduation marks a pinnacle in the lives of graduates as they go out into the world and use the knowledge and training acquired through hours of studying.
 
The traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” was played by the BCF Orchestra as friends and family stood to honor the graduates upon their entrance. The invocation was delivered by Edwin Scott, Chair of the Graduate Division, followed by a hymn of praise led by Music and Worship Division Chair Bill Davis.
 
The Baptist College of Florida President Thomas A. Kinchen recognizes the graduating class and welcomes guests to the spring 2014 graduation on May 16. BCF photo
BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen excitedly recognized members of the senior class and welcomed guests, thanking them for their support and encouragement of the graduates. 
 
The combined singers from the Women’s Ensemble, College Singers and Male Chorale sang “Song of Exaltation” with an overwhelming applause response. 
 
Kinchen then addressed the graduating seniors as well as those in attendance, noting the appropriate setting for the graduation service: the BCF Wellness Center. He spoke about the sickness in the world and the only cure is Jesus Christ. 
 
“There are many unanswered questions,” Kinchen said. “What will I do? Where will I go? Who will be there when I get there? The answer to these and so many more questions can be found in Psalm 139. Wherever we go, God is already there. He is with you, before you, behind you, below you, above you, to your left and to your right and nothing escapes Him.”
 
The message brought assurance and peace to those graduating and facing a whole new world of unknowns and mysteries. It was a reminder that God is not only already where they are going but going with them.
 
BCF Senior Vice President R.C. Hammack, retiring after 36 years, presented graduates to Kinchen to receive their degrees. Upon receiving their diplomas, students were then instructed to turn their tassels. This simple act represented a huge moment in the lives of the students, indicating the successful completion of all of the requirements for their degrees.
 
During the ceremony, there were several graduates who received their diplomas from members of the faculty or administration that were also part of their family. Among these were Ross Scott, awarded his degree from his father Edwin E. Scott, Chair of the Graduate Division; Charles Parker III of Graceville received his degree from his grandfather, Charles R. Parker, Vice President for Development; and Maegan Erp of Graceville received her degree from husband Jay Erp, Assistant Professor of Guitar. Judy Fullington of Bascom, Administrative Assistant to the BCF Senior Vice President, also completed all of the requirements to receive her degree.
 
Davis led the congregation in singing the college hymn, “Tell Me the Story of Jesus,” followed by the benediction offered by Charles R. Parker. The graduates exited the building with flashes of cameras, ready to change the world.
 
For more information on how to become a student at The Baptist College of Florida, call 800-328-2660, ext. 460 or visit www.baptistcollege.edu.

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