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December 2016 -January 2017


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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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Welch College to Purchase Land Adjacent to New Campus

Nashville, TN—Welch College recently entered a partnership with three other Free Will Baptist ministries to purchase 64 acres of land on Big Station Camp Boulevard in Gallatin, Tennessee, according to President Matt Pinson. The partnership will consist of the FWB Foundation and North American Ministries, both of Antioch, Tennessee, and FWB Family Ministries of Greenville, Tennessee.

“We are so grateful to these entities for helping us obtain this valuable property next door to our current 66-acre campus in Gallatin,” Pinson said. “We’ve entered into an agreement to purchase all but ten acres back from these ministries after we have sold a portion of the land to a real estate developer. At the time this transaction occurs, the National Association will receive four acres of land, and FWB Family Ministries will receive six acres of land. I’m excited about the possibilities this gives Free Will Baptists for the future.”


The sale price for the parcel, which is owned by Fifth-Third Bank, is $2.7 million. Welch’s current 66-acre-campus recently appraised at $5.8 million. “This is an excellent investment,” Pinson continued. “Our property, which has a good bit of flood plain intended for athletic fields and parking, appraises at twice-per-acre what we’re paying for this new parcel, which has no flood-plain acreage and commercial zoning and prime road frontage. We owe so much to Bob Bass, our relocation project consultant, who was the visionary behind this transaction.”

“This is a win, win, win situation,” said Foundation Director David Brown. “The partnership for acquisition of land is a good investment for the Foundation, will allow the college to expand their footprint all the way to Big Station Camp Boulevard, and will provide a potential site for a new Free Will Baptist National Offices Building in the future.”

Dr. H. David Crowe, executive director of North American Ministries said, “What an exciting time it is for Free Will Baptists. I am thrilled to partner with Welch, Family Ministries, and the Foundation to see this purchase come to fruition. It’s a win for everyone.”

Tim York, Chairman of the Board of Family Ministries said, “We are thrilled to expand our ministry to Middle Tennessee and to work with Welch College and other Free Will Baptist ministries. This exciting partnership will provide much needed resources to accomplish the objectives and mission statements of our different ministries.”


College Makes Strategic Personnel Changes

A number of important personnel changes recently have occurred at Welch College, according to President Matt Pinson. “These are exciting times of change at Welch, and it is especially exciting to welcome new employees during this time of expansion, growth, and relocation,” President Pinson remarked.

Changes in Academics

Several academic personnel changes have occurred to facilitate strategic growth and leadership development at the college, Pinson told faculty in a recent gathering. “We are sensing a pressing need to free Dr. Greg Ketteman’s time to work on strategic growth initiatives,” Pinson said. These new initiatives planned for the new campus include an evening adult studies program; more online degrees; a master’s degrees in Christian leadership, teaching, and educational administration; and agreements with area colleges and universities for baccalaureate degrees in nursing, ease of transfer to Welch, and outreach to Christian high schools and the homeschool community.

Dr. Matthew McAffee, faculty member in Theological Studies and former campus pastor, has been named vice provost to assist current provost, Dr. Greg Ketteman. McAffee will continue to coordinate the undergraduate theological studies program. A graduate of Welch College (B.A.), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and the University of Chicago (M.A., Ph.D.), McAffee has written a number of scholarly and popular articles in journals such as the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament and recently co-authored Sexuality, Gender, and the Church. He will transition from his campus pastoral role into the new administrative position. He lives on campus with his wife Anna, who serves as women’s resident director, and their four children: Abigail, Lydia, Samuel, and Marianne.

Dr. Kevin Hester has been named associate vice president for institutional effectiveness while continuing his role as dean of the School of Theology. A graduate of Welch, Dr. Hester holds a M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University. He authored Eschatology and Pain in the Theology of Gregory the Great along with many articles and journal entries. Kevin and his wife Leslie have four sons. The two oldest, Spencer and Seth, are students at Welch. Younger brothers, Justin and Jackson, are in high school and middle school respectively.

Matthew Bracey has transitioned to associate vice provost for academic administration. Bracey graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University (J.D.) and holds a B.A. in history from Welch and a master’s degree in theology from Beeson Divinity School at Samford. He has written widely and is co-author of Sexuality, Gender, and the Church and co-editor of The Promise of Arminian Theology. He will also continue teaching and serving as registrar. His wife Sarah is currently pursuing a doctorate in counseling and serves as an adjunct instructor in psychology at Welch.

Chris Talbot has been named campus pastor. Talbot will continue to oversee and teach in the Youth and Family Ministry degree program at Welch. A graduate of Welch College, Talbot holds an M.A. in ministry from Grace Theological Seminary and plans to pursue a doctoral degree. He also serves bi-vocationally as youth and family pastor at Sylvan Park FWB Church in Nashville, and has written numerous articles for online and print media. He lives in Gallatin with his wife Rebekah and their son William.

Dr. Charles Lea has been hired in a part-time role as special assistant to the president for adult education and professor of educational leadership. Lea served 16 years as academic vice president at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee. For the past eight years, he worked as founding director of Union University’s Hendersonville campus. Dr. Lea holds a doctorate in higher education leadership from Vanderbilt University. He will spearhead the initiative to launch an evening adult program in Sumner County and consult with campus leadership regarding community relations in Gallatin and Sumner County.

Phillip Morgan will begin duties as a full-time faculty member in January after John Carter, long-time history professor at Welch, announced his planned retirement recently. In December, Carter will end a 35-year tenure at Welch. He has agreed to continue teaching in an adjunct capacity after retirement. Morgan currently serves as associate pastor for youth and music at Heads FWB Church in Cedar Hill, Tennessee, where he intends to continue serving bi-vocationally. A 2008 Welch graduate with a B.A. in music, Morgan will complete an M.A. in history from Middle Tennessee State University in December. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. at MTSU in the field of public history. Morgan and his wife Megan have two children: Isaiah and Julia.


Staff Changes

Katie Bryan, assistant women’s basketball coach, has been named head coach of the Welch Lady Flames basketball team. Bryan graduated from Welch in 2012 with an A.S. in Biology before transitioning into Welch’s nursing program with Belmont University. Katie graduated in 2014 as a registered nurse with a B.S.N. degree from Belmont and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She is currently employed in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville.

Mrs. Emily Vickery recently accepted the position of receptionist. Emily graduated summa cum laude from Welch College in May, receiving a B.S. in Psychology. One week later she married Zach Vickery, also a 2016 Welch graduate. Zach was recently hired as the college’s first graduate assistant while completing the M.A. degree in Theology and Ministry. He plans to pursue doctoral work in biblical studies. He is providing research and academic assistance to Kevin Hester and Matthew McAffee and providing administrative assistance to Dr. Jeff Cockrell, program coordinator for the M.A. program. Zach and Emily reside in Ashland City, Tennessee, where he serves as youth pastor at Friendship FWB Church.

Mrs. Terri Cockrell is the new academic office manager at Welch College. She is the wife of Welch graduate program coordinator and faculty member Dr. Jeff Cockrell. The Cockrells have two adult sons, Drew and Joel. Cockrell most recently was employed in the Admissions Office at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin. She brings over six years’ of collegiate office experience and 20 years in administrative offices, including ten years accounting experience. She holds the A.A.S. degree in Business Data Processing from Johnston Community College in North Carolina.

Debbie Mouser, former director of enrollment services, has shifted to a new role as director of recruitment. “This new, more specialized role will enable Mrs. Mouser to do more of what she has done so well at Welch—engage in direct recruiting and communication with applicants and their parents,” said David Williford, vice president for advancement. Mouser has served Welch full time for the past six years. She is a Welch graduate and has been the pianist for the College Choir since 2008. She and her husband Marvin have three adult children: Matthew, Megan, and Amanda.

Derek Altom, manager of the Office of Institutional Advancement, will step in as acting director of Enrollment Services. A Welch graduate, Altom began his role in the Advancement Office last year after a successful pastorate in Ada, Oklahoma. Derek and his wife Jennifer have four sons: Stephen, Larry, Josiah, and Silas.

AnnaGee Harris recently became office manager for Enrollment Services, according to Derek Altom. A 2005 graduate of Welch College, AnnaGee received the M.A.T. with an emphasis in Theater from Trevecca Nazarene University. She has served in a part-time capacity as director of the Evangels Drama Team since 2009, and for the last three years, worked as site administrator for Trevecca Nazarene University at Volunteer State Community College. David Williford, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, stated, “We are thrilled to welcome AnnaGee Harris to the enrollment services team. During her years as a student and following, she has enjoyed traveling, representing Welch College, and encouraging students to consider Welch. I’m delighted she has chosen to become part of the team in a full-time capacity.”

Daniel Webster has been appointed director of marketing and recruitment for Welch Online. The part-time position will allow him to remain in North Carolina where he pastors Glad Tidings FWB Church in Asheboro. Webster graduated from Gateway Christian College and served ten years as an associate pastor at Gateway FWB Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he managed music, media, worship, and single young adult ministry. He holds an M.A. from Maranatha Baptist University, an M.B.S. from Virginia Beach Theological Seminary, and is concurrently seeking an M.Div. and M.A. in Church Music at Maranatha Baptist University. Daniel and his wife Kimberly have three children: Aaron, Julianna, and Noah.

“These are exciting times of transition at Welch College,” President Pinson said. “The college is poised for tremendous growth as we move to the new campus, and these strategic changes will make that growth possible. Please join me in praying for these servants of Christ as they embrace their new roles in this Christian community of faith and learning.”



©2017 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists