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December-January 2014

Roots: Growing
Deeper in Faith


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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 their website.


Former U.S. Attorney Featured Speaker on Constitution Day

NASHVILLE, TN—Alberto Gonzales, former Attorney General of the United States, addressed Welch College students, faculty, and guests for Constitution Day, Thursday, September 19.

The son of migrant workers, Judge Gonzales grew up in Houston, Texas. He joined the Air Force after high school where he served a brief time before attending the U.S. Air Force Academy. He later transferred to Rice University, completing a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1979. From there, Judge Gonzales was accepted into Harvard Law School where he earned a J.D. in 1982.

After practicing law in Houston as a partner at a major firm, Mr. Gonzales served in several key positions in state government including Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and Secretary of the State of Texas.


Photo courtesy Albierto Gonzalez


Judge Gonzales was appointed to the position of U.S. Attorney General by former President George W. Bush and was sworn into office on February 3, 2005, making him the first Hispanic to receive appointment as the head of the Department of Justice. He also served as the White House Counsel to the President prior to his appointment as Attorney General.

Judge Gonzales currently holds the Doyle Rogers Distinguished Chair of Law at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he teaches Constitutional Law.

In his address, Mr. Gonzales recounted some of the most memorable moments during his time as a member of President George W. Bush’s staff and gave listeners an inside look at what goes into the decisions and policies that come from the White House and affect the entire nation and the world. During the days and weeks immediately following the horrible events of September 11, 2001, it became undeniably evident to Gonzalez that, “in our darkest moments when we feel most vulnerable, most Americans still turn to God.”

He spoke of the importance of integrity and personal morality in the positions of leadership in our country. He asserted that despite the problems and challenges we face as a nation, “we will still stand for what is right, even if we stand alone. America is still a defender of liberty.”

After speaking, Judge Gonzales took time to meet with students and guests, shaking hands and taking photos.

President Pinson said, “We were so pleased to have Judge Alberto Gonzales with us for Constitution Day. He takes citizenship seriously, and so do we at Welch College. We were honored to have area pastors, churches, and high schools join Welch students, faculty, and staff members to hear the former Attorney General remind us all what it means to be a Christian citizen of the United States.”


Dorm Enrollment Increases by 24%

NASHVILLE, TN—Fall 2013 Welch College dorm enrollment rose 24% over fall 2012 stats, with full-time equivalency (FTE) enrollment also increasing from 235 last fall to 264 students, according to Provost Greg Ketteman. Total enrollment statistics indicate 333 students from 23 states and three other countries.

One of the most exciting developments is the number of dorm students enrolled this semester. College officials report 187 dorms students, a 24% increase over last year’s numbers.

President Matt Pinson said, “We’re thankful to God for this blessing of a large increase in dormitory and FTE enrollment. After a decrease in enrollment following the onset of the Great Recession, this is the first year we’ve seen a major increase. This is the largest dorm increase we’ve seen in decades, and we are grateful to the Lord for His providential blessing.”


“There’s a tremendous spirit of excitement on campus,” Dr. Pinson continued. “Our prayer is that not just the increase in numbers but the Holy Spirit, by the power of His Word, will create an unparalleled zeal in our students this year. I ask our Welch College supporters to pray that the student body will become more and more deeply committed to holy living, Christian worldview thinking and cultural engagement, and evangelism this year.”

President Pinson continued, “I commend Debbie Mouser, Nathan Willhite, Daniel Armstrong, and the entire enrollment management staff for their diligent work in bringing in this class of 87 new students, our largest incoming class since 2006.”

At press time, the college reported 91 freshmen, 85 sophomores, 54 juniors, 36 seniors, 26 non-degree/part-time students, and 41 special students. The student body includes 187 dormitory students, 49 commuter students, 11 Adult Degree Program students, 64 Lifetime Learning students, and 22 Online students. There are 172 male students and 161 female students.

Provost Dr. Greg Ketteman said, “It is our mission to educate leaders to serve Christ, His Church, and His world through biblical thought and life.  The mission is not limited to just a few students, but it is for as many students as God directs to Welch College.  Enrollment increases mean that God is blessing us with the opportunity and responsibility to pursue the mission of Welch College in more lives.  We are thankful that God has entrusted us with preparing these Christian leaders, and we are anxious to see how He will work this year.”  

Student numbers by state: Alabama (13), Arkansas (16), California (3), Florida (11), Georgia (10),
Illinois (8), Indiana (2), Kansas (1), Kentucky (5), Louisiana (1), Michigan (7), Missouri (8), Mississippi (5), North Carolina (24), Ohio (12), Oklahoma (3), South Carolina (11), Tennessee (151), Texas (1), Virgin Islands (1), Virginia (12), West Virginia (2), Wisconsin (1), International (25 - Canada, Cuba, and Panama).

Preaching Team Visits Eastern North Carolina Churches

NASHVILLE, TN—Seven Welch College ministerial students traveled to Eastern North Carolina September 7-8 to preach and represent the college in area churches, according to Christian Service Director John Murray.

The group left campus around 2:00 a.m. Saturday, September 7, to preach in churches belonging to North Carolina’s Coastal, Palmer, and Pamlico Associations. Mr. Murray said, “We were blessed with wonderful weather, welcoming pastors, and receptive churches.” In all, the preaching team traveled 1,538 miles and ministered in ten churches.

Several student-preachers commented on the experience:

  • Mike Hollis: “God really used the service this morning. The people at Ahoskie FWB Church welcomed me and made me feel at home.

  • Pastor Jeff Cockrell (Ahoskie FWB Church) was a godly example and encouragement. I praise the Lord for giving me the opportunity to preach the Word.

  • Dustin Walters: “Every time I am presented with an opportunity to share Welch College, I consider it a true honor. God has used preaching trips like this to challenge and encourage me in my calling to ministry.”

  • David Dell: “It was a great privilege to travel for Welch College. God moved mightily during the service. The people of Peace Chapel FWB Church (Washington) were such an encouragement to me. I was blessed to have a wonderful church for my first preaching trip.

  • Stephen Bozeman: “I had the privilege of being at Cove City FWB Church with Pastor Bobby Bragan. It is a great experience to see what is happening in different areas of our denomination.”

  • Cody Balfour: “I’m thankful to have gone on this preaching trip. Through the preaching of God’s Word, Christ is lifted up. The people at Cardinal Village FWB Church (Jacksonville) were gracious and attentive.”

Mr. Murray said, “These men are always excited about preaching God’s Word. I am encouraged about the future of the Free Will Baptist denomination when I experience the hearts of these young men and their ability to communicate God’s Word.”




©2014 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists