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Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, TN, has been the official college of the Free Will Baptist Denomination since 1951. To find out more information about the school, visit their website at





James StevensStevens Leads LifeWay Music Workshops

NASHVILLE, TN—Dr. James Stevens, (pictured, right) chairman of the Music Department at Free Will Baptist Bible College, presented seven keyboard workshops June 2-5 during the LifeWay Worship Leadership Conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. More than 800 people registered for the four-day event that featured 49 faculty/staff members and a large number of participating musical groups.

“Ridgecrest offers a great opportunity for learning the latest in worship trends and music training,” Stevens said. “It’s a great place to make new friendships and renew old ones.”

Kathy Franz, music events strategist at LifeWay, said Dr. Stevens received “very high comments on the surveys turned in from last week’s workshops.”

Dr. Stevens has chaired the FWBBC Music Department since 2004. He continued his summer music in July as a presenter in Glorieta, New Mexico, at another LifeWay Worship Leadership Conference.



South Carolina Firm Replaces Emergency Exit for FWBBC

Emergency ExitNASHVILLE, TN—Three men from South Carolina arrived on the Free Will Baptist Bible College campus May 29, bringing with them a 2,500-pound metal emergency stairway exit to replace the aging stairs on the Thigpen Building, according to Tom Sass, vice president for financial affairs.

“These men amazed me,” Sass said. “They drove eight hours one-way in a Ford F-250 pulling a trailer loaded with equipment and that big metal stair case. They worked 18 hours dismantling the old system and installing the new one. They provided the $15,000 stairs, the work crew, and the equipment—all at no cost to the college.”

The project began some months earlier when A.C. Allen, a member of the FWBBC Board of Trustees, spoke with the Mac Atkinson, Sr. family about the college’s urgent need to replace the worn stairs.

Pastor Mac Atkinson, Jr. (Lebanon FWB Church, Effingham), point man for the work team, said, “My dad has always believed you can’t out-give God. He owns Commercial and Industrial Piping, Inc., in Effingham. When he learned of the need, he authorized his company to build the stairs at no cost to the college. It took about a week. We’re glad we can help.”

Pastor Atkinson was accompanied on the trip to FWBBC by Shane Atkinson and Jeff Crisp. Mr. Crisp works for another company and was on vacation when he volunteered to join the team.

(L) Mac Atkinson, Jeff Crisp, and Shane Atkinson take a break before attaching the last section to the new emergency exit steps on FWBBC’s Thigpen Building.



Keri BartlettKeri Bartlett, FWBBC Grad, Named Law Review Editor

NASHVILLE, TN—Keri Bartlett, a 2006 Free Will Baptist Bible College business administration graduate, has been named senior articles editor at Trinity Law Review Journal, a publication of Trinity International School of Law in Santa Ana, California. Keri graduated cum laude at FWBBC with a B.S. degree and was selected to be included in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

Her article dealing with bankruptcy, titled “Decoding the Code: Making the Means Test Meaningful,” was published in the 2008 edition of Trinity Law Review Journal.

“I went to law school because I wanted to help people,” Keri said. “I switched majors during my junior year at FWBBC from Teacher Education to Business Administration, and it was a great decision for me. While nothing could have prepared me totally for law school, all the writing and public speaking required in FWBBC courses helped, and the Bible courses gave me an understanding of our law and where it originates. FWBBC taught me how to think for myself.”

Keri entered Trinity International School of Law in May 2006. She commutes almost three hours round-trip twice a week. She expects to complete her J.D. degree in May 2009, and then enter private practice in bankruptcy law which she has found “very rewarding.”

In addition to responsibilities with Trinity Law Review Journal, Keri has participated in Moot Court proceedings and is president of the Federalist Society chapter at Trinity. The Federalist Society is a national organization of attorneys and students started at Yale Law School by young conservatives and libertarians concerned with making sure the conservative voice is heard.

“FWBBC always had a big place in my heart,” Keri said, “and has made more of an impact on my life than anything else. When I was younger, music and drama groups from the college came to our church, and I wanted to be just like them. I thank God for the FWBBC faculty and staff, for their guidance, teaching, and support.”

Keri’s father, Reverend Keith Bartlett, pastors Sloan Canyon Free Will Baptist Church in Castaic, California.



U.S. News & World Report Ranks FWBBC Among America’s Best Colleges

NASHVILLE, TN—Free Will Baptist Bible College received notification in mid-August that the institution is ranked among “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” (South Region, Third Tier) in U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 edition of America’s Best Colleges guidebook, according to President Matt Pinson. Highlights of the college rankings were published in the September 1, 2008, issue of U.S. News.

President Pinson said, “We are so pleased to be ranked among America’s best colleges in this prestigious national study. This is another confirmation to our alumni and denominational constituency that their investment in FWBBC has produced exceptional dividends in the academic marketplace. I hope this report encourages more potential students and their parents to look at FWBBC first when considering a college.”

The “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” category where FWBBC is ranked includes 319 institutions that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs in the liberal arts, and in professional fields such as business, nursing, and education. The colleges in this category are ranked within four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest, and West.

The U.S. News rankings offer the opportunity to judge the relative quality of institutions based on widely accepted indicators of excellence: peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and more.

FWBBC received particularly high marks in four strategic areas—percent of classes with under 20 students (84%), student/faculty ratio (9/1), freshman retention rate (69%), and graduation rate (41%).

Provost Greg Ketteman said, “Our inclusion in U.S. News’ list of best baccalaureate colleges indicates that by several important measures, including our standing with peer institutions, FWBBC continues to provide high quality college education for our students and our denomination.”

This is the first time FWBBC has been ranked in the annual America’s Best Colleges guidebook. More information is available about the rankings and methodology at:

©2008 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists