GRACEVILLE–“Changing the World Through the Unchanging Word®” is not just the registered trademark for The Baptist College of Florida (BCF); it’s the school’s mission. And at no time during the year is that more evident than during the school’s Annual Missions Conference.
Held each year in October, the missions conference continues to be a much-anticipated highlight of the year. This year’s conference, with theme “Turning Challenges into Opportunities,” was held Oct. 18-20 on the school’s Graceville campus.
As the three-day event began, missionaries from local, national, and international organizations representing 20 missions’ ministries and agencies engaged students in the BCF Wellness Center.
“We couldn’t do the conference last year, so the ability to do a conference of this magnitude with everything going on is just a blessing,” said Rich Elligson, BCF Theology Division Chair, professor of missions, and event coordinator.
“Out of all the events on campus, the missions conference is one of the best. It involves so many participants—both on the front lines and behind the scenes—to make it a success. Yet everyone works together to emphasize our unified commitment to the Great Commission,” Elligson added.
“The missions conference has always been one of the highlights on our annual schedule,” said BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen.
Speakers during the event were keynote chapel speaker Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention; and virtual conversations with Paul Chitwood, president of the International Mission Board; and Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board.
In addition to the chapel services, the Florida Baptist Disaster Relief team served lunch on Tuesday to help highlight its ministry and express appreciation to students for their involvement during disaster responses.
In addition to staffing exhibits, mission representatives spoke in classes, became acquainted with BCF students and guests, and participated in the annual Missions Roundtable Discussion.
All activities were designed to educate students in worldwide missions, to introduce them to the many mission opportunities available here and around the globe, and “to introduce agency representatives to the first-class students BCF produces,” said Sandra Richards, BCF director of Student Life and Marketing.
“The conference was a success by nearly every measure,” Elligson said. “Logistically, things went smoothly; our speakers were outstanding; our mission reps were engaging; and most importantly, our students connected with mission agencies and ministries in a personal way that will hopefully challenge them to explore God’s call upon their individual lives.”
Beyond that, it was great to see the mission agency representatives connecting to each other, renewing old friendships and developing new ones,” he added.
BCF senior intern Emilie Gainey said she was “amazed at the people I met during mission’s week. Each one had a unique story about the events and circumstances of their lives that God used to bring them to this place in their ministry journey,” she said.
“As a mission’s student, the conference strengthened my heartbeat towards missions. As an intern, I learned a lot from Dr. Elligson and from the organizations that attended. I may not know much, but I do know this: I am prepared to do conferences like this once I get out on the field because of the experience and guidance I received.”
For more information about the upcoming events at The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800-328-2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.