BCF celebrates Fall graduates; presents honorary doctorate to Henry

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Pictured Above: The Baptist College of Florida’s Fall Commencement held Dec. 10 conferred 33 degrees on graduates. 1st row: BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen, Laurie S. Hargrave, Rebecca Strickland, Rashonda Johnston, Eveonna Nicole Williams, Melissa LeAnn Schmied, Kathryn Elisabeth Tipton, Emilie Grace Gainey, Kaylyn Searcy, Floresha Ann Pantlitz, Michelle Crane, Academic Dean Robin Jumper. 2nd row: Alexis Winsor (Marshal), Samuel Isaiah Shirah, Stephen Craig Attaway, Caleb Wade Mcvay, John Slade Wicker, Jesse James Greenwood Jr., Glenn Frazier Bryant, Isis Masterpalo (Marshal). 3rd row: Jordan Michael Ray Head, Clayton Andrew Terry, Nicholas A. Simmons, Hunter Page Searcy, Jason Harris.

GRACEVILLE–President Thomas A. Kitchen challenged 33 graduates of The Baptist College of Florida to “never, never, never settle for normal” during the Fall 2021 Commencement.

Then with a chuckle he added, “If you do, don’t tell anyone you graduated from The Baptist College of Florida.”

The graduation ceremony was held on Dec. 10, in the BCF Wellness Center located on the Graceville campus. The campus courtyard was filled with excitement as family, friends, faculty, and staff arrived early, many traveling from great distances, to celebrate the graduate’s hard work, sacrifice, diligent study, and dedication required to earn their degrees.

During the ceremony, an Honorary Doctorate in Christian Letters degree was presented to Jim Henry, long-time Florida Baptist pastor who led First Baptist Church in Orlando to become one of Southern Baptists’ largest megachurches with 13,000 members prior to his retirement in 2006. The highly respected Southern Baptist leader served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention and one term as president of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

During the commencement exercises, as the group of graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, the college’s Jazz Band conducted by BCF Professor Ronald Branning played “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Following the traditional processional, invocation was given by Roger Richards, the John Sullivan Chair of Baptist History, curator of the Florida Baptist Archives, and professor of History and Christian Studies.

Kinchen welcomed guests and recognized family members who played such an important role in the lives and success of the graduates assembled. The president offered the commencement address citing Luke 5:1-11 about “Let’s go fishing….”

Graduates were then instructed to turn their tassels from right to left, symbolizing the final official act of graduation. After the thunderous applause for the graduates, the audience joined the faculty, staff, and new alumni in singing the BCF college hymn, “Tell Me the Story of Jesus.”

For more information on The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800-328-2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.

Sixteen Florida students were among Baptist College of Florida graduates to receive degrees during the Fall Commencement Dec. 10. They are:

Baptist College of Florida

Floresha Pantlitz
Navarre
B.A., ES

Baptist College of Florida

Hunter Searcy
Perry
B.A., HI & SS

Baptist College of Florida

Stephen Attaway
Sopchoppy
B.A., CS

Baptist College of Florida

Kaylyn Searcy
Perry
B.A., PSY

Baptist College of Florida

Laurie Hargrave
Graceville
B.A., PSY*

Baptist College of Florida

RaShonda Johnston
Chipley
B.A., MU***

Baptist College of Florida

Michelle Crane
Graceville
B.A., MS

Baptist College of Florida

Jason Harris
Marianna
B.A., CS

Baptist College of Florida

Nicholas Simmons
Tallahassee
B.A., CS

Baptist College of Florida

Jesse Greenwood
Lakeland
B.A., HI & SS

Baptist College of Florida

Glenn Bryant
Graceville
B.A., BUS

Baptist College of Florida

Clayton Terry
Live Oak
B.A., HI &SS

Baptist College of Florida

Caleb Mcvay
Graceville
B.A., MS

Baptist College of Florida

Emilie Gainey
Mayo
B.A., MI

Baptist College of Florida

Sam Shirah
Bonifay
B.M.E

Baptist College of Florida

Rebecca Strickland
Old Town
A.A., MU

Degree Key:
Associate of Divinity: A. Div.
Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies: B.A., BS
Bachelor of Arts in Business Leadership: B.A., BUS
Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies: B.A., CS
Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies: B.A., ES
Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education: B.A., EE
Bachelor of Arts in Leadership & Christian Education: B.A., LACE
Bachelor of Arts in History & Social Studies B.A., HI & SS
Bachelor of Arts in Ministry: B.A., MIN
Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Studies: B.A., MS
Bachelor of Arts in Missions: B.A., MI
Bachelor of Arts in Music: B.A., MU
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: B.A., PSY
Bachelor in Music Education: B.M.E.
Bachelor in Music and Worship Leadership B.A., MWL
Master of Arts in Music and Worship Leadership: M.A., MWL
Master of Arts in Counseling: M.A., CO

Honors:
*Cum Laude
**Magna Cum Laude
***Summa Cum Laude

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