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FWBBC Receives $20,000 Scholarship Gift

NASHVILLE, TN The parents of Ashlee Powelka, a student who died unexpectedly in March 2002 during her sophomore year at Free Will Baptist Bible College, recently gave the college $20,000 toward a scholarship in Ashlee’s memory. Mr. and Mrs. John Powelka designated the gift for the Ashlee Powelka Missionary Scholarship, according to FWBBC treasurer Tom Sass.

President J. Matthew Pinson said, “We thank God for the generosity of the Powelkas. What an example they have set by responding with love at a time when they experienced almost unbearable pain through the loss of their daughter. Because of their warm and giving spirit, not only will the memory of Ashlee Powelka be perpetuated, but future generations of missions students at FWBBC will benefit as well.”

In memory of Ashlee, the Virginia Beach Free Will Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, VA, established a missionary scholarship in 2002 to provide financial aid for missions students at Free Will Baptist Bible College. Ashlee was a member of the Virginia Beach Free Will Baptist Church at the time of her death.

The Ashlee Powelka Missionary Scholarship is one of more than 60 scholarships available to FWBBC students.


NASHVILLE, TN Carol Reid, librarian at Free Will Baptist Bible College, was elected to a three-year term as president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Christian Libraries during the organization’s annual meeting June 13-16, 2005, at Columbia International University. She previously served three years as vice-president. The Foundation is the fundraising and good-will arm of the Association of Christian Librarians (ACL).

During the four-day ACL meeting, Carol gave a presentation explaining the nature of the Foundation and its role in acquiring new property for relocating the ACL offices in Cedarville, OH.

On Thursday of the ACL meeting, she gave a response as part of a three-person panel to a presentation by David Mash on the tension between print and electronic media in libraries. Her response concluded with spontaneous applause from the audience.

A 1977 FWBBC graduate who completed a master of library science degree at Vanderbilt University in 1987, Carol has served as FWBBC librarian since 1988.


NASHVILLE, TN—Dr. James M. Stevens, chairman of the Music Department at Free Will Baptist Bible College, has released his eighth book of piano arrangements. The new release titled Christmas Dreamscapes contains fresh arrangements of classic Christmas carols as well as three original tunes written by Dr. Stevens.

The 44-year-old Stevens said, “Christmas is a time of joy, reflection, worship and hope. It is a time of excitement captured in the face of a child awaiting Christmas Day, a time to dream anew. Most of all, it is a time to worship the newborn King.”

Copies of Christmas Dreamscapes may be purchased for $12.95 from Dr. Stevens through his website (, from local Christian bookstores, or from and Barnes & Noble.

James Stevens has published more than 200 compositions with national companies including Shawnee Press, Lorenz, Benson, Brentwood, LifeWay, Integra and others. He is a frequent winner of ASCAP Standard Awards for Composition and has performed in 16 countries.

Stevens completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition (DMA) degree at the University of Kentucky. He has chaired the FWBBC Music Department since June 2004.


NASHVILLE, TN—Free Will Baptist Bible College will launch a fresh, exciting way for high school seniors to get an up-close-and-personal look at the college this fall, according to Ryan Lewis, director of recruitment. Three weekends of FWBBC Senior Days are scheduled September 15-17, October 6-8 and November 10-12, providing several options for busy high school seniors.

Mr. Lewis said, “FWBBC Senior Days weekends are designed for high school seniors only and will accommodate a limited number of students. While Senior Days will, of course, include some of the same activities as Welcome Days, more is planned specifically to help seniors as they decide where to attend college.”

The new Senior Days format will provide high school seniors with a one-on-one personal guide for the weekend. A current FWBBC student will be assigned to each senior in order to answer questions, provide directions and manage details for the weekend.

The high school seniors will also have a private luncheon with FWBBC president, J. Matthew Pinson. Each senior will be guaranteed a pre-scheduled meeting with an advisor in their chosen field of study.

FWBBC Senior Days provide a unique opportunity for interested seniors to find out what the college has to offer. In addition to special events planned for them, the seniors will have opportunity to sit in classes, meet with academic and financial advisors, talk with current students, and see first-hand what God is doing at FWBBC.

The college will sponsor one weekend of Senior Days during the spring 2006 semester. That date is February 9-11. The regular spring Welcome Days will also meet March 30-April 1.

Ryan Lewis reminds pastors, youth ministers and parents, “Because we are hosting three Senior Days weekends this fall, the usual Welcome Days format scheduled November 10-12, 2005, has been pre-empted in favor of the more accessible Senior Days program.”

Although information will be mailed later, high school seniors interested in registering for Senior Days and securing one of the limited spaces may call FWBBC’s Enrollment Management at (800) 76-FWBBC or (615) 844-5222, or e-mail requests to

Senior Days

October 6-8, 2005

November 10-12, 2005

February 9-11, 2006

Welcome Days

September 15-17, 2005

March 30-April 1, 2006







NASHVILLE, TN—Free Will Baptist Bible College has established the L.C. Johnson Memorial Endowment Fund to honor the college’s founding president and to continue the work he began, according to David Williford, director of institutional advancement. “Our goal is to raise $1 million to honor Dr. Johnson and help support FWBBC,” Williford said.

The endowment funds will be invested with the Free Will Baptist Foundation. Reverend Williford has written an article introducing the L.C. Johnson Memorial Endowment Fund that will be published in the December/January issue of ONE Magazine.

“The best thing about endowment gifts,” Mr. Williford said, “is that the money will never be spent, but will continue providing interest income for the college until Jesus returns.”

Dr. L.C. Johnson served 36 years as president of FWBBC. He shaped and guided the institution from its first day of operation in 1942 until he retired in 1979.

Those who wish to participate in the endowment project to raise $1 million are asked to send gifts to Free Will Baptist Bible College, earmarked for the L.C. Johnson Memorial Endowment Fund.

ATTENTION: L.C. Johnson Endowment Fund
3606 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37205-2498


NASHVILLE, TN—Dr. Garnett Reid, Bible instructor at Free Will Baptist Bible College, was asked by the editors of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society to write a review of the 426-page book, A Biblical History of Israel. His review appears on pages 116-118 in the March 2005 issue of the journal.

A Biblical History of Israel was co-authored by Iain Provan, V. Phillips Long, and Tremper Longman III, and published as a $24.95 paperback in 2003 by Westminster John Knox.

Dr. Reid’s 12-paragraph review analyzes the book in a disarming style designed to both examine the authors’ arguments and conclusions, and present a reader-friendly summary for busy constituents. He addresses the authors’ philosophical rationale, explains why the book is a valuable research tool, and expresses two sets of concerns.

Garnett writes the bimonthly Bible study column, “Intersect,” in ONE Magazine. He has served on the FWBBC faculty since 1982.


NASHVILLE, TN Reverend Barry G. Raper, pastor of Red Bay Free Will Baptist Church in Red Bay, Alabama, has been named program coordinator for the Christian education and youth ministry programs at Free Will Baptist Bible College, according to Academic Dean Milton Fields.  The 30-year-old minister is an FWBBC graduate, completing a Bachelor of Science degree in pastoral ministry in 1999.

Raper earned a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Christian education from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY) in 2002.  He then returned to Alabama where he served as associate pastor at Red Bay FWB Church until Pastor Tom Scott retired.  The congregation called Barry as pastor in 2003, and he led the church through an $800,000 building program to construct an 8,000-square-foot sanctuary.

Reverend Raper will teach as an adjunct faculty member at FWBBC during the fall 2005 semester as he completes his duties at Red Bay FWB Church.  He will join the FWBBC faculty in a full-time capacity in January 2006.  He also plans to begin work on a doctorate.

President J. Matthew Pinson said, “I am delighted that Barry Raper has decided to join our FWBBC team.  He is unique in our denomination, combining excellent academic credentials in Christian education, hands-on experience in youth and pastoral ministry, and a passion for preparing cutting-edge youth, family and Christian education ministers for real-world, 21st century ministry in our churches.”

While a student at FWBBC, Raper was named “Best All-Around Student” and elected student body chaplain.  An All-State high school basketball player in Alabama, he played two years on the basketball team at FWBBC and was named captain of the Flames.  He served as an FWBBC recruiter during the summer of 1999.

Barry put his graduate education to work while earning a master’s degree.  He volunteered as youth pastor at Abundant Grace FWB Church (mission work) in Louisville, KY (2000-2001).  He served as youth pastor at Corinth FWB Church in Waynesboro, MS, during the summers of 2000 and 2001.   He also ministered at homeless shelters in Nashville and Louisville, went on an evangelistic mission trip to Uganda (2001), and helped coordinate mission trips to Mexico.

Raper serves on the Credentials Committee of the Jasper Association of Free Will Baptists in Alabama.  His special interests include expository preaching, family ministry, youth, reading, and numerous indoor and outdoor sports.

Barry was converted at age 14 in the pastor’s office at Red Bay FWB Church when Pastor Tom Scott led him to Christ.  He answered the call to preach in 1996 and was ordained in 2003.

He was an outstanding high school student and athlete, a member of the Beta Club, and was named to the Red Bay High School Hall of Fame.  He played four years of varsity football and basketball, and earned a basketball scholarship to Northwest Shoals Community College.

Barry and Amanda Raper have two children, Hannah (4) and Tré (1).

©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists