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September 2017

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news at welch college


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

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Fifty-Eight Graduates Honored During Commencement Exercises

Welch College conferred degrees on 58 students during its first commencement exercises since moving to Gallatin, Tennessee, according to President Matt Pinson. Just a few days shy of the new Celorio Hall being available on the new campus, the college was blessed to use nearby NorthField Church for a baccalaureate service on Thursday evening, May 18, followed by a commencement service Friday, May 19. Students completed degrees in multiple programs ranging from two-year associate’s degrees to the new Master of Arts degree in Theology and Ministry. Forty-eight percent of the class graduated with honors.


Clint Morgan, general director of Free Will Baptist International Missions, delivered the commencement address, while Todd Parrish, pastor of First FWB Church, Washington, North Carolina, presented Thursday evening’s baccalaureate sermon.

A hooding was held on Thursday afternoon, May 18, for Welch’s first graduates of the M.A. program in Theology and Ministry. This event took place in the new library of Coffman Hall. A reception followed for graduates and their families.

President Matt Pinson recognized Dr. Greg Ketteman for 11 years of outstanding service as provost. Dr. Ketteman began a new position June 1, as vice president for strategic initiatives. School of Theology Dean Dr. Kevin Hester was named Academic Advisor of the Year. Dr. Ian Hawkins, chairman of the Arts and Sciences department, was recognized for ten years of faithful service to Welch College.

Immediately following the commencement service, the college family hosted a luncheon on the new campus grounds for all graduates and guests. The college commends to you and to the work of the Lord the members of the 2017 graduating class.


Fawbush Named to Sports Post

Greg Fawbush, accomplished coach, athletic director, and Free Will Baptist pastor, has been named athletic director and men’s basketball coach at Welch College, according to President Matt Pinson. Fawbush fills the vacancies left by interim Men’s Basketball Coach Donnie Stevanus, who resigned in March, and outgoing Athletic Director Gary Turner, who, in transition to retirement, will continue to teach in and administer the Exercise Science degree and associated academic programs.

Since graduating from Welch College in 1995, Fawbush served as a youth pastor, coach, and teacher. Most recently, he has served as director of athletic and coaching services at the 700-student-strong Seffner Christian Academy in Seffner, Florida, and as pastor of New Hope Free Will Baptist Church in Dover, Florida.

During his 21-year tenure at Seffner, Fawbush served in the athletic department and taught senior Bible. He is well known in South Florida for his successful high school basketball-coaching career, with a record of 379-135. Fawbush led his program to four state tournament appearances, including two state runner-up finishes. He has been named Coach of the Year multiple times, both in Hillsborough County and the state of Florida.

As director of coaching and athletic services, he played an instrumental role in developing Seffner Christian’s athletic program as a noted force in the state of Florida. In that role, he administered 29 teams and managed 47 coaches.

“Mr. Fawbush’s exceptional service at Seffner Christian Academy and ministry in the churches display his commitment to seeing God’s work successfully done, a heart for serving others, and a love for the Free Will Baptist church,” Pinson said. “We’ve watched him, from an academic standpoint, receive the highest marks from his professors in Welch’s new M.A. program in theology and ministry. His record as an outstanding preacher and minister who combines Christian worldview scholarship, a 21-year athletic career, and a winning coaching record in Christian education is a great combination for our mission here at Welch.”


Slater Named Dean of Enriched Adult Studies

After 21 years as headmaster of Hendersonville Christian Academy, William Slater transitioned to a role as dean of enriched adult studies at Welch College, according to President Matt Pinson. Slater began his new post at Welch, June 1.

“We are excited to have an educational leader of Mr. Slater’s caliber join our Welch team,” Pinson said. “With 30 years of educational leadership in Christian K-12 education—more than 20 here in Sumner County—his record of community leadership in Sumner County, and his academic credentials, he will bring just what we need to the leadership of the newly launched Enriched Adult Studies program.”

Slater holds an M.Ed. in educational leadership from the University of South Florida and a law degree (Juris Doctor) from Nashville School of Law.

The Enriched Adult Studies Program is a newly-launched program for Christian adults who desire to complete their college degree.

“Working with Dr. Charles Lea, Dr. Greg Ketteman, vice president for strategic initiatives and dean of graduate and adult education, and Sarah Bracey, adult studies liaison, Mr. Slater will give day-to-day leadership to the Enriched Adult Studies program and also serve in an advisory capacity on international students and dual enrollment relationships with private and Christian schools and the homeschool community,” Pinson said.

Pinson added: “Great days are ahead for Welch as we move forward with degree programs that stretch beyond our traditional focus on residential undergraduate education. We believe many students who have received an associate’s degree from Vol State, or who’ve attended another college and never completed their degree, will find Welch’s mission attractive. Mr. Slater understands our commitment to combine our strong Christian mission with academic excellence, and his addition to our team will posture us for growth.”





©2017 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists