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June-July 2013


June-July 2013

God's Hands


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Welch College (formerly Free Will Baptist Bible College) in Nashville, TN, has been the official college of the Free Will Baptist Denomination since 1942. To find out more information about the school, visit their website.


FORUM13 and Bible Conference Inspire Students

Welch College hosted the annual FORUM event and Bible Conference March 3-5. The event, themed “Culture and the Kingdom,” featured six speakers, according to President Matt Pinson. These speakers refreshed and inspired students and visitors alike as they tackled the daunting challenge of engaging the surrounding culture with the gospel.

This year’s speakers included Dr. Timothy Tennent, Ken Myers, Jose Rodriguez, Matthew McAffee, Matt Pinson, and Barry Raper.

Dr. Timothy Tennent, president of Asbury Theological Seminary, is a highly regarded preacher, professor, missiologist, and author. Before his inauguration in November 2009, Dr. Tennent held teaching positions at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Toccoa Falls College. He has also taught and ministered in Eastern Europe and Asia. He and his wife Julie have two children.

Ken Myers, founder and president of Mars Hill Audio, has worked in radio since the age of nineteen. He began working for National Public Radio after completing his B.A. degree in communications, with an emphasis in film theory. He received a Master of Arts degree in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1979. He is a champion for Christian journalism’s role in engaging the secular worldviews that permeate contemporary society.

Jose Rodriguez pastors Ebenezer Free Will Baptist Church (Miami, Florida). The veteran church-planter and pastor has preached nearly 20 years in the Miami area. He graduated from Welch College in 1994 and later received a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and pursued graduate work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Pastor Rodriguez serves as the primary Spanish interpreter at the Free Will Baptist National Convention.

The slate of speakers also included three Welch College faculty members: Mr. Matthew McAffee, Dr. Barry Raper, and President Matt Pinson, who brought a campus perspective to the conference and FORUM event. Mr. McAffee serves as Welch College’s Campus Pastor as well as program coordinator of Theological Studies. Dr. Raper is the program coordinator for the Youth and Family Ministry program. President Pinson has served as the college’s president since 2002. He also teaches select theology and Free Will Baptist history courses.

President Matt Pinson said, “This year’s conference offered a unique opportunity for those involved in Christian ministry to grapple with the nature of the relationship between the Church and its unique kingdom culture and the culture of contemporary America. This was a time of challenging biblical preaching and stimulating discussion about some of the most important ministry challenges of our day.”

The FORUM13/Bible Conference schedule included a number of workshops and breakout sessions covering a variety of subjects and featured the music of the Welch College Music Department. The Classes of 1963 (50 years), 1988 (25 years), and 2003 (10 years) were honored at an alumni dinner on Tuesday evening, March 5.
Read more about the conference:


Spring College Choir Tour a Success

The Welch College Choir gave nine performances March 6-12, during a weeklong, 1,700-mile tour of the Southeast, with stops in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky. “It was a great tour,” said chaperone Dr. Garnett Reid. “We had good services, and I was impressed with the quality and dedication of choir members. We enjoyed worshiping together every night.”

To schedule a music or drama group for your church or ministry, contact the college at:


Tour stops included:

  • March 6 Hardin Valley FWB Church Knoxville, TN

  • March 7 Unity FWB Church Greenville, NC

  • March 8 Bethel Christian Academy Kinston, NC

  • March 8 First FWB Church Washington, NC 

  • March 9 Lebanon FWB Church Effingham, SC

  • March 10 Horse Branch FWB Turbeville, SC

  • March 10 Temple FWB Darlington, SC

  • March 11 First FWB Church Bristol, VA

  • March 12 Trinity FWB Church Bowling Green, KY



Welch College Hosts 32 High School Seniors for Record-breaking Senior Days

Thirty-two high school seniors, accompanied by parents and sponsors from 12 states, traveled to Nashville for Welch College’s spring semester Seniors Days, according to Debbie Mouser, director of enrollment services. The Senior Days event, which takes place twice yearly, was held January 31 – February 1, and afforded students the opportunity to experience student life on campus. At 32 visiting students, this marks the highest attended Senior Days in the event’s history.

The 32 seniors represented Tennessee (8), North Carolina (6), Alabama (3), Arkansas (3), Oklahoma (3), Illinois (2), Mississippi (2), Louisiana (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Ohio (1), and Texas (1).

Registration began at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, and the closing reception ended at 4:00 p.m. the next day. The 24 hours between were filled with events and sessions designed to give the visiting students a brief but informative look into life as a Welch College student. The schedule was brimming with classes, campus tours, breakfast with President Matt Pinson, and informative sessions addressing campus life, academics, and financial aid.

Visiting seniors were asked to complete a survey highlighting their Senior Days experience. The scores given for all categories were up at this event, according to enrollment staff, with highest marks given to faculty/staff and student hospitality (4.94/5 and 4.83/5, respectively). Several seniors commented, “It was a fun and informative experience,” and, “This was a great visit. I’m looking forward to attending Welch College this fall.”

Mrs. Mouser said, “It was exciting to have so many quality seniors on campus with us. We are looking forward to having many of them return in August as Welch students. I especially enjoyed getting to interact with parents as they help with the decision-making process. It’s a privilege to share the unique qualities of Welch College with these students and parents.”

Welch College hosted its Spring Welcome Days April 18-20. Contact enrollment management at for more information regarding upcoming on-campus days.


Jeff Bennett, Welch College Comptroller, Resigns

Jeff Bennett, Welch College business office associate since August 2011, and comptroller since January 2012, resigned effective Friday, April 19, according to Craig Mahler, vice president for financial affairs. He has accepted a position working in the Finance and Operations department of the Cheatham County Board of Education.

Mr. Bennett is an active member of Ashland City Free Will Baptist Church where he serves as youth minister. He also works as design editor and publisher for The Messenger, quarterly publication of the West Virginia State Association of Free Will Baptists, and administrator for the state association website.

Mr. Bennett said, “I consider it a great honor to have served Welch College as comptroller. My time here has given me many positive experiences and great memories that I will cherish for years to come. I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for the college’s mission, vision, and unwavering service to the Lord.”

Mr. Craig Mahler, Welch College vice president for financial affairs, said, “Jeff Bennett has been a valuable asset during his tenure with Welch College. His positive attitude and professionalism have made him a vital member of the Welch College family and a joy to work with. Jeff will be sorely missed; however, our prayers go with him as he undergoes this transition, and we are confident that he will excel as he continues to follow the Lord’s leading.”




©2013 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists