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January 2016


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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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Dr. Jeff Cockrell Named to New Testament Post

Jeffrey Cockrell, well-known Free Will Baptist pastor and online instructor at Welch College, has been appointed to the college’s full-time faculty beginning January 2016 according to Provost Greg Ketteman. Cockrell will teach biblical studies with a specialization in New Testament and serve as program coordinator of the new M.A. program in Theology and Ministry scheduled to begin January 2016.

Dr. Cockrell has served as a Free Will Baptist pastor for nearly 30 years in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Currently, he serves as senior pastor of Ahoskie FWB Church in Ahoskie, North Carolina, which also operates a Christian academy. He has served in a number of denominational posts at local and state levels and is as a member of the Historical Commission of the National Association of Free Will Baptists.

Dr. Cockrell holds a Ph.D. with a concentration in New Testament from the University of Wales, an M.A. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a B.S. and M.A.R. from Liberty University. In addition to pastoral work, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at a number of institutions, including Gordon-Conwell, Liberty, and North Carolina Wesleyan College. He is author of a number of scholarly and popular articles and papers.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Cockrell to the faculty of Welch College,” said Dr. Ketteman. “He brings long experience in Free Will Baptist ministry, outstanding academic credentials, and a passion for teaching. He clearly demonstrates Christian virtues such as humility, diligence, and wisdom, traits that have been prominent during his career. Dr. Cockrell has proven to be an effective teacher, gaining significant experience in the Welch online program as well as teaching online and in traditional formats for numerous other Christian and public colleges. These experiences will be particularly valuable in his role as program coordinator for the Master of Arts program in Theology and Ministry.”

President Matt Pinson said, “Dr. Cockrell brings just the right mix of pastoral effectiveness, evangelistic zeal, and academic credibility to his new position at Welch. We’re so excited to have a man of such proven ability, character, and spirituality to join our full-time faculty.”

Dr. Cockrell and his wife Terri have been married 30 years and have two adult sons, Drew and Joel.



Stevanus to Coach Welch Flames

Donnie Stevanus has been named interim Men’s Head Basketball Coach at Welch College. A Southern Illinois native, Stevanus graduated from Welch College in 1993 with a B.S. in teacher education. He was an outstanding member of the Flames basketball team while a student at Welch.

Stevanus has taught Physical Education and Health in Metro Nashville Public Schools since the fall of 1994, and coached basketball for age groups ranging from elementary to high school. He lives in Pleasant View, Tennessee, with Leah Plunkett, his wife of 20 years, and their four daughters, Elizabeth (a freshman at Welch), Mary Grace, Georgia, and Chloe.

Donnie serves as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Bethel FWB Church in Ashland City, Tennessee. “My faith in Jesus Christ is the most important part of who I am,” Stevanus said. “And my hope for the Flames is that they will be examples of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:31: ‘Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God’—Soli Deo Gloria!”

“We are blessed to have found such a strong coach,” said Flames’ Athletic Director, Gary Turner. “Donnie will be a perfect fit for us. His experience and background are a great asset to Welch College.”




©2015 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists