New Florida Baptist seminary graduates!

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This spring Southern Baptist seminaries across the country conferred new ministry degrees on students and sent them out to make disciples of the nations.

For churches, training and equipping leaders is an important responsibility and at times can be a challenge.

But as Alberto Ocaña, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Northside in Hialeah, explains, having a close relationship with a seminary is very good for church health.

“I was a music professor at seminary in Cuba and completed my thesis at the same seminary,” he said and added that his time at the institution equipped him with tools to better serve.

Northside has a close relationship with the nearby New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Center for the Americas. Many of Northside’s members have either taken short certification courses or completed longer programs at the Center.

“Church can teach you most of the essentials for ministry but in seminary one can gain a much deeper education,” he said.

The Florida Baptist Convention congratulates all of the following Florida Baptists who graduated from seminary in the last couple of weeks.


From Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary:

Gracie Ammons from Lynn Haven, MA

Raymond Cordova from Boca Raton, BA

Tyler Gibbens from Sarasota, MDiv

Leonard Goenaga from Miami, PhD

Herman Griffin from Tampa, MA

Rickey Houston from St. Petersburg, DMin

Lane Jones from Lakeland, MDiv

Steven Madonna from Wellington, MDiv

Lauren Morris from Plant City, MDiv

Alex Robinson from Orlando, MDiv

John Ryman from Dunnellon, MDiv

Anthony Scialabba from Hollywood, MAIS

Kristopher Woods from Gainesville, MDiv

Benjamin Woolbright from Groveland, ThM-N


From Gateway Seminary:

Daniel Hayes Furukawa – MDiv

Joel Lamour – DMin


From New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary:

Paul S. Mixon from Crestview, BA

Jocelin Maurilus from Miramar, BA,

Lynnda Maurine Floyd from Melbourne, MA

Ryan Garrett O’Kelly from Melbourne, MDiv


From Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

Eddie Bevill from Coral Springs, DMin

Stefan S. Bomberger from Coral Spring, ThMA

Ernest Johann Lagarejos Celestial from Jacksonville, BS

Deborah Eppinger from Tallahassee, BS

Zachary Allen Fuller from Merritt Island, BS

John Kahrs from Jacksonville, ThMA

Lauren Rae Konkol from Maitland, ThMA

Christe Eleise Marshall from Marianna, BS

Nicholas McCarty from North Port, MA

Micah Noelle Nave from Bradenton, PhD

Ronald David Rentz Jr. from Quincy, Th MDiv

Barry Sproles from Jacksonville, Th MDiv

Kathryn M. Walliser from Wimauma, MA

Spencer C. White from Milton, BS

By Keila Diaz, Florida Baptist Convention, June 8, 2018

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