BCF Lakeland Site launches classes in August; site administrator tapped

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LAKELAND—Inaugural classes for the Baptist College of Florida’s new Lakeland Instructional Site will launch Aug. 16 at Medulla Baptist Church under the leadership of newly announced administrator Stephen Thomas.

Stephen ThomasThe Lakeland site at Medulla, just off Polk Parkway on the southside of Lakeland, is equipped to train men and women for areas of ministry, service and leadership.

The site represents the second campus for the Graceville college.

When the new campus was announced in 2019, BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen said, “Launching the new work in Lakeland will give us the opportunity to provide top-quality Christian higher education in a high population growth area of the state,” he said. The Graceville campus will continue to serve as the primary location.

In announcing the beginning of classes, Kinchen added, “Now more than ever, we need to prepare the next greatest generation of Christian leaders to change the world.”

Preparations for the Lakeland site were stalled when COVID-19 slowed the process, said Sandra Richards, director of BCF’s Student Life and Marketing. “Through a culmination of months of prayer and preparation, the partnership between BCF and members of Medulla Baptist Church has taken root and the momentum for Christ centered, Bible based, affordable Christian higher education in Central Florida has arrived.”

Thomas comes to BCF from serving as an admissions counselor for Webber International University in Babson Park for the past three years. Previously he served as pastor of Peace Creek Baptist Church in Bartow for three years; and a mission pastor in Harrogate, Tenn. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville, Ken.

During the fall semester, eight courses will be available for Lakeland students: five originating in Graceville through web-based courses and three taught by local adjunct professors. These will include: Student Success Course; New Testament Survey; Introduction to College Composition; Intermediate College Composition; General Psychology; Southern Baptist Life; Appreciation of the Arts; and Old Testament Survey.

“Every class will be taught from a Christian worldview as students prepare to change the world,” Kinchen said.

Effective immediately, Thomas will be onsite at Medulla Baptist Church, located at 3930 Old Road 37, to answer questions, recruit students and work closely with faculty and students to help them reach their academic goals. His email address is sathomas@baptistcollege.edu.

For more information on enrolling as a student or know of someone that might be interested in becoming a student at the site, call 800-328-2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu and apply now.

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