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Cover 41


January 2012

Dare to Disciple


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Free Will Baptist



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bible college



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 at



Jeff BennettWest Virginia Native, Jeff Bennett, Named FWBBC Business Associate

Mr. Jeff Bennett, a fourth generation West Virginia Free Will Baptist, has accepted a full-time business associate position at Free Will Baptist Bible College, according to Tom Sass, vice president for financial affairs.

“Jeff Bennett is a great fit for the college,” Mr. Sass said. “Not only is he skilled in the specific office and accounting procedures we need, but he has been active in local and state Free Will Baptist activities in West Virginia, and has a strong reputation in his home church.”

Mr. Bennett brings a broad range of experience from the business community where he served 10 years with the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority—five years as procurement officer and accountant (2006-2011) and five years as master control operator (2001-2006). He previously served three years in data processing with Appalachian Laboratories, Inc. His FWBBC responsibilities will include general ledger account reconciliation, preparation and distribution of monthly financial reports, accounting data entry, assisting with monthly payroll processing, preparing reports to external agencies, student-related projects, and other duties as necessary.

Mr. Sass said, “This is an important hire for the college at this time. Jeff Bennett is coming on board with multiple skill levels, which means that we can now move forward with reorganizing the Business Office after a number of staffing adjustments the past two years due to retirements and a down economy.”

The son of a Free Will Baptist minister, Jeff was converted at age 11. He served as youth director, outreach coordinator, and Teen Sunday School teacher at Kilsyth Free Will Baptist Church (Mount Hope). Well known for his leadership in state youth work and journalism, he also serves as interim design editor and publisher for The Messenger, quarterly publication of the West Virginia State Association, and administrator for the state association website.

He graduated cum laude from Concord University in 2007 with the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree.

“Growing up, I remember being awestruck when missionaries visited our church,” Jeff said, “thinking how amazing it would be to serve the Lord around the world and lead others to Christ. I look forward to ministering with the FWBBC college family and helping to send laborers into the harvest.”


Gary FryFWBBC Appoints Gary Fry to Church Relations Post

Reverend Gary Fry, executive director for the Missouri State Association of Free Will Baptists since 2004, has been named vice president for church relations at Free Will Baptist Bible College, according to President Matt Pinson. Reverend Fry will complete his Missouri duties in January 2012 and begin his FWBBC responsibilities in February.

President Pinson said, “We are delighted that Gary Fry has agreed to join the FWBBC leadership team. He brings a sterling reputation as a denominational leader and Christian gentleman. For 12 productive years, he served on the Board of Trustees, 10 years as chairman. He is exactly what we need as we reach out to churches, parents, and pastors with the urgent message of biblical higher education for Free Will Baptist young people.”

A Missouri native, Reverend Fry has coordinated the work of the Missouri State Association as editor of the GEM Magazine and executive director since 2004. He also served on the General Board and Executive Committee for the National Association of Free Will Baptists.

Converted at age nine, Reverend Fry was ordained at 17. He graduated from FWBBC in 1972 and pursued graduate studies at Assembly of God Seminary (Springfield) after returning to Missouri as a youth pastor. He later pastored five years in Florida (1976-1981). His 23-year signature pastorate at First Free Will Baptist Church in Mountain Grove (1981-2004) marked him as rising leader.

During those fertile decades, he led his church to found Mountain Grove Christian Academy and KFFW, a Christian radio station.

“I’m looking forward to this new challenge,” Fry said. “I believe in the mission of Free Will Baptist Bible College. I believe that FWBBC is the answer to the educational needs of our denomination. I’m eager to meet with pastors regarding what FWBBC can do for their congregations, and how they can help the college build a stronger financial base and increase enrollment.”

Gary and Cynthia (Allen) Fry met while enrolled at FWBBC. They married and had three children; their youngest daughter (Katy) is a sophomore at FWBBC. Their oldest daughter (Jessica) lives in Nashville and son (Thad) lives in Mountain Grove. Cynthia died in 2008.


Garnett Reid Writes Book for Men, Launches Blog

A new book by Dr. Garnett Reid, Old Testament specialist in the Theological Studies Department at Free Will Baptist Bible College, came off the press at Randall House Publications in September.

Intentional Integrity: Ten Life Strategies for Wholeness from the Book of Job, a 128-page soft cover volume priced at $11.99, is geared toward men, but can be helpful for all who want to live lives of integrity.

Dr. Reid fills the pages with examples from the life of Job and demonstrates what it means to live out a life of integrity. The book explains how a life of faith can flourish in times of crises as Job’s integrity survives the ash heap. Reid writes with deep biblical insight about the value a life of integrity brings to the individual.

“The book reminds us that when we bond our lives to truth, to the person of God in a living relationship, the result is integrity,” Reid said. “Job’s fierce trial of fire refined, rather than consumed, his crown of integrity, and permits us to understand that we too can make faith personal and keep it practical today. While this is a book written for men, it has something for every child of God.”

In preparation for the book’s release, Dr. Reid launched a blog titled “Letters of Intent,” in which he writes about integrity as well as other subjects. Follow the blog at The site will be updated regularly and permits reader interaction with the author.

Garnett Reid joined the Bible faculty at FWBBC in 1982. He writes the widely respected “Intersect” column for ONE Magazine and publishes regularly in professional theological journals. A 1977 FWBBC graduate, Dr. Reid holds the Ph.D. degree in Old Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones University. His wife Carol is librarian at FWBBC.


FWBBC Students Awarded $50,000 in Scholarships

Twenty-nine Free Will Baptist Bible College students received almost $50,000 in endowed scholarship funds during a special chapel presentation August 26, according to Provost Greg Ketteman. Individual awards ranged from $500 to $3,000. Scholarship recipients were selected from among applicants by the college administration on the basis of need, academic achievement, and character.

“These funds will make a significant difference for about 30 students this year,” Dr. Ketteman said. “At last count, some 64 endowed scholarships continue to provide funds for FWBBC students. We’re thankful for those who have established this means of perpetually providing funds so that students can study at FWBBC and prepare for ministries of service. We hope others will come alongside them and create their own endowed funding.”


Scholarship Recipients

At present, the college reports $1 million in endowed scholarships. The 64 endowments were created by local churches, by family members in memory of loved ones, by individuals or organizations, or for other reasons. All provide funding that enables Free Will Baptist students to pursue a Christian education. The college also awards $800,000 annually in institutional scholarships.
FWBBC encourages individuals and organizations to consider establishing scholarship endowments. Those interested in additional information on how to set up endowments may contact:

David Williford
Vice President for Institutional Advancement


Recipients of Fall 2011 Endowment Funds:

Deana Barwick (GA)
Kristina Clem (IL)
Jacob Culwell (TN)
Christopher Davenport (TN)
Nicholas Dennis (AR)
Elizabeth Hill (VA)
Carol Holland (TN)
Georgia Jeffreys (AL)
David Landers (AR)
Derreck Lute (OH)
Jacob Manning (NC)
Jade Monroe (OK)
Keegan Murfin (TN)
Stephen Nelson (NC)
Margaret Paxton (IN)
Judson Phenicie (AL)
Aaron Pierce (MS)
Andrew Pierce (MS)
Christen Pointer (AR)
Lacey Price (OH)
Leigha Ramos (TN)
Kaylee Ray (AR)
Amanda Reeder (MO)
Kayla Sample (IL)
Brittani Sims (MI)
Phillip Tolbert (MI)
Jared Wall (NC)
Dustin Walters (AL)
Jason Willaford (NC)


College Receives National Recognition for Community Service

Free Will Baptist Bible College has been admitted to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, according to Patrick A. Covington, chief executive officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The organization honors institutions of higher education for their support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

Mr. Covington said, “Congratulations to Free Will Baptist Bible College and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving the local community. We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”

FWBBC students experience weekly Christian service assignments resulting in more than 7,000 hours of community service each year. They minister in a variety of areas, including jails, nursing homes, rescue missions, local church outreach, and also serve as tutors and conversation partners with foreign students from area colleges. In addition, FWBBC students, faculty, and staff are among the first responders to local crises such as fires, floods, or tornadoes.

President Matt Pinson said, “This commitment to applying what students learn in the classroom to the local community on a practical level is in keeping with the college’s Christ-centered mission ‘to educate leaders to serve Christ, His Church, and His world through biblical thought and life.’ We are delighted that FWBBC’s impact beyond our campus has been recognized on the broader national stage. For almost 70 years, FWBBC students and faculty have cared about and invested in this neighborhood and this city, and what they do makes a difference far beyond the campus.”


Larry Bryan and John Brummitt to Coach at FWBBC

Two Free Will Baptist Bible College graduates, Larry Bryan and John Brummitt, have been named to the college’s coaching staff, according to Athletic Director Gary Turner. Mr. Bryan coaches the Lady Flames basketball team, while Mr. Brummitt came aboard as FWBBC’s first intercollegiate cross country coach.

“This is a great move for the college’s athletic program,” Mr. Turner said. “These men are respected leaders in their local church and in the business community. They have strong ties with FWBBC, understand the college’s mission, and share its Christian worldview.”


Lady Flames Basketball

Mr. Bryan, a Nashville business owner and North Carolina native, is a 1983 FWBBC graduate. Following a brief tenure at Randall House Publications, he relocated to Greenville (NC) for 17 years where he worked in Christian and public schools and in real estate, and served six years assistant coach at Trinity Christian School. He returned to Tennessee in 2001 to join Lewis Letterworks, a graphic design, print and mail company.

Bryan said, “My goal is to build a basketball program that will represent the college and our Lord in a positive way. I hope to create an atmosphere in which young women understand the importance of hard work in order to compete on the collegiate level. If we can do that, the team will attract other students to FWBBC and to Christ.”


Cross Country

As the college’s first varsity cross-country coach, John Brummitt will set the standard at FWBBC. The Tennessee native has run competitively since high school and is the founder of Temple Builders Running Club. He is a 2004 FWBBC graduate, has an MBA in Finance from Tennessee Technological University, and has served as chief financial officer for the Board of Retirement since 2006.

“I am excited to be the first cross-country coach for FWBBC,” Brummitt said. “The addition of this sport does not require building more facilities. Plus, it will attract more student athletes from our local churches. I look forward to working with runners as they transition from high school and participate in a developing collegiate program. These first cross country athletes will be making history for us at FWBBC.”



©2009 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists