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Cover 49


April-May 2013

The Many Faces
of Outreach


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Miracle Walking

Miracle Walking

by Brenda Spruill


On May 10, 2013, a miracle named Carol Holland will walk across the stage and receive a diploma at Welch College during commencement exercises.

College graduation, for many young people, comes only after the struggles and hard work from both the student and often the entire family. Some overcome financial obstacles, some overcome family opposition, and still others, like Carol, must rise above their own physical limitations.

Carol Holland, a 34-year-old stroke victim, completed requirements for an Associate of Science in Business degree through the Welch College Adult Degree Program by taking one or two courses a semester. This was possible only through the encouragement of the administration and staff.


Welch College Encouragers

A single mom living only on her disability check, Carol had a desire to complete her college education. She began her journey with online courses offered by the college in 2007 and continued with on-campus classes as a traditional student.


Jena Simpson

As Carol’s online studies contact and encourager, Jena Simpson constantly emailed Carol and offered suggestions on courses to take so that Carol could be successful in reaching her goal. Carol relied on Jena greatly to provide the right road map to graduation.



Carol ventured to the college library in those early attempts to take exams. Librarians Carol Reid and Margaret Hampton were patient as they helped her sign on to the computer and submit tests. They offered a “pat on the back” and prayed as they watched her struggle through each assignment.


Healing Through Speech

Much praise goes to Welch College faculty member Tina Tolbert who encouraged Carol in her first classroom situation ten years after the 1999 stroke. The Speech classes were non-threatening, and her fellow classmates were supportive. Big steps in healing took place as Carol shared with the class her personal difficulties and triumphs through speeches she presented.


The Algebra Challenge

College Algebra proved to be a challenge—so much so that she almost gave up. But Dr. Nasab, adjunct faculty member at Welch College, would not let her quit. He knew she needed to exercise another part of her brain in order to bring about recovery. Since that class, her short-term memory has improved, her handwriting is improving, and her daily conversations are back to normal.


Rebecca Deel

Before the stroke, Carol, then a Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) bank teller, was pursuing a business degree. Dr. Rebecca Deel, her advisor and instructor at Welch College, nurtured that love of Bible-based business again. Dr. Deel chairs the Welch College Business Department. She has been not only a teacher but also a friend on campus.


Miracle Walking

Physical limitations may prevent her from pursuing a full-time job in the near future, but Carol enjoys her part-time volunteer service as Welch College receptionist in the mornings.

In 1999, doctors told Carol’s family to prepare for a bed-ridden and/or blind individual, but God in His faithfulness and mercy, allows a walking miracle to receive her diploma in the first graduating class of Welch College.


About the Writer: Mrs. Brenda Spruill, mother of Carol Holland, works in the Business office at Welch College. A preacher’s kid, Brenda grew up in Hawaii where her father, home missionary Luther Sanders, established a Free Will Baptist church. Learn more about Welch College.




©2013 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists