BCF trustees make ‘virtual’ history

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GRACEVILLE–When the Board of Trustees of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville met for their 2020 annual meeting, May 7, “virtual” history was made. For the first time in the life of the 77-year-old institution, trustees met virtually by means of videoconferencing technology.

Meetings of the five standing committees of the Board, the Executive Committee, and the entire Board were conducted through telecommunications.

According to BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen, “We had trustees scattered from Miami to Pensacola and all points in between. The technology worked smoothly, and we were able to conduct our Lord’s business in a most efficient and effective manner.”

Kinchen noted that after the success of the annual meeting, trustees are considering holding future committee meetings by means of telecommunication with only the traditional fellowship dinner and plenary session conducted in person on the Graceville campus.

Although the annual meeting is the time when the annual operating budget is approved, the Board approved a plan to postpone the adoption of the budget until June 26 to provide more time to project the effects of COVID-19 on budget planning.

Baptist College of Florida, Zoom Meeting, Dr. Tom KinchenDuring the meeting, trustees received a report on the proposed sale of the Blue Springs property in Marianna. Currently, the college is under contract to sell the property to a Christian camping and conference ministry. The closing on the sale of the property is set to take place prior to June 30.

“One of our main concerns has been that the property would continue to serve as a Christian facility where thousands of children, youth and adults would come to faith in Jesus Christ,” said the BCF president. “This arrangement will make that desire become a reality.”

Kinchen announced the launching of a new Student Housing Scholarship program for the college. A fundraising campaign has begun to underwrite the cost of on campus housing for students during the 2020-2021 academic session. The goal for the campaign is $300,000. The board learned that more than $62,000 of the total has already been raised. While housing is a large portion of the cost of on-campus education, Kinchen reminded trustees of the many benefits for students living in a Christian community like that offered at BCF in Graceville.

Trustees were updated on the opening of the college’s Central Florida campus. The opening of the campus had been scheduled for August 2020; however, with the effects of COVID-19 on the arrangements that must be made for a new campus, trustees agreed with the administration’s plan to postpone the opening until at least January 2021. The college will offer enhanced connection classes through telecommunications in the Central Florida area during the Fall 2020 semester.

The next meeting of the BCF Board of Trustees is scheduled for Oct. 19-20. For more information about the degrees and programs offered through the college that is changing the world, please call 800-328-2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.

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