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AS THE OFFICIAL COLLEGE of the Free Will Baptist denomination, Free Will Baptist Bible College has been helping students find their place in God's world since 1942.

division 1 college referee to coach at fwbbc

NASHVILLE, TN Mr. Russell D. (Rusty) Campbell, Jr., a five-year Division I basketball referee, has been named men’s basketball coach at Free Will Baptist Bible College, according to Athletic Director Mike Phillips.  Campbell averaged refereeing 60-70 games per year (2001-2006), with a large portion of those games in three major conferences—Ohio Valley Conference, Sunbelt Conference, and Atlantic-Sun Conference.

“I’m delighted for the opportunity to coach at FWBBC,” Campbell said.  “I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting out among our churches and recruiting students for our basketball program.”

Rusty previously coached seven years (1993-2000) while teaching at Pleasant View Christian School in Middle Tennessee.  He completed a master’s degree in education at Austin Peay State University (APSU), and did graduate work at APSU, Tennessee State University, and the University of Nebraska.

The 34-year-old explained his recruiting philosophy: “The first quality I’ll look for in a player is character.  Then I want to know if he’s a good student.  Basketball skill is the third element, but obviously an important third. 

“My job is to sell the school, its mission, and its programs of study.  Then I’ll want to sell the student on the personal spiritual growth he can expect in the four years he is with us.”

Mr. Campbell, who has refereed since he was 18, also serves as director of lifetime learning at FWBBC.  He has been a faculty member since 2000 in areas of instructional technology, and is a member of Bethel FWB Church near Ashland City, Tennessee.

Campbell succeeds Mike Phillips who served four years as men’s basketball coach.  Mr. Phillips resigned this spring in order to complete his Ph.D. dissertation and spend more time with his family.  Mike will continue as athletic director and chair of the college’s Exercise Science Department.



NASHVILLE, TN Dr. Milton Fields, academic dean at Free Will Baptist Bible College, was elected to a four-year term on the Association for Biblical Higher Education’s Commission on Accreditation during its February 2006 annual convention, according to Randall Bell, associate director for ABHE.

Dr. Bell said, “Individuals are eligible to serve only one four-year term. We are certainly pleased with Dr. Fields’ election to the Commission on Accreditation.  He has served the association very effectively in recent years as both an evaluation team member and as a team chair.  We have no doubt that he will serve with distinction in this new capacity.”

The Commission is composed of 12 members—10 are elected from the accredited membership of the association while two are public members.

Dr. Fields will also serve on one of the Commission’s four subcommittees: Progress Reports and Substantive Change, Applicant and Candidate Status, Financial Exigency, and Criteria Review.

“I will probably be asked to make six or eight accreditation visits along with other Commission members in the next four years,” Fields said.  “ABHE exercises its accrediting authority through the Commission on Accreditation.  The responsibilities are heavy, and I consider it an honor to be elected to this post.”

Dr. Fields has served as academic dean at FWBBC since 1998, and has been a member of the faculty since 1994.  He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1983, pastored Free Will Baptist churches 28 years (1966-’94), and served 18 years as a teacher and principal in various schools.



NASHVILLE, TN The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) published a 22-page article in its September 2005 issue on the meaning of the Greek tenses by Dr. Robert E. Picirilli, professor emeritus at Free Will Baptist Bible College.  The 11,947-word article is titled, “The Meaning of the Tenses in New Testament Greek: Where Are We?”

Dr. Picirilli said, “The article is an introduction to the new theory about the meaning of the Greek tenses called ‘verbal aspect theory.’  It explains the theory (in its different permutations), discusses unresolved issues that need further attention, and offers evaluative suggestions.”

JETS is the quarterly journal published by the Evangelical Theological Society.  All articles are voluntarily submitted by the authors to be considered for publication by an editor and a panel of Biblical-theological scholars.

Dr. Picirilli, who retired after 44 years at Free Will Baptist Bible college as a teacher, registrar and academic dean, also served as moderator of the National Association of Free Will Baptists (1965-’71).  He is general editor of The Randall House Bible Commentary Series



NASHVILLE, TN Free Will Baptist Bible College recently received a second gift of common stock for the general fund from Mrs. Sarah K. Newberry of Tallahassee, Florida, according to FWBBC treasurer Tom Sass.  At the time of Mrs. Newberry’s gift, the stock was valued at $20,000.

President J. Matthew Pinson said, “We thank God for friends and supporters like Sarah Newberry who give generously and then give again and again.  She is a faithful steward of God’s blessings on her life.  We hope that her example will encourage others to consider new and innovative ways that they can support FWBBC.”

Mrs. Newberry and her late husband Frank were long-time members of New Salem Free Will Baptist Church in Colquitt, Georgia, where she was active in WNAC outreach on local, district, and state levels.


FWBBC President Selected for Leadership Development Council

NASHVILLE, TN Reverend J. Matthew Pinson, president of Free Will Baptist Bible College, was one of 15 executives (presidents, CEOs, COOs) from national Christian organizations invited to participate in the twice-annual Leadership Development Council sponsored by the Crowell Trust, a Colorado-based firm. 

The three-day Fall 2005 session met October 12-14 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, bringing together executives from such diverse organizations as AWANA, Greater Europe Mission, John Stott Ministries and others.  The majority of the participants traveled from all parts of the United States.

The Leadership Development Council (LDC) was formed over six years ago to assist key executives in becoming more effective in their ministry, by God’s grace.  The purpose of LDC is to provide a mentoring opportunity—where leaders build into the lives of other leaders by providing guidance, encouragement and accountability from their own successful careers and academic backgrounds.

The program founders—Paul E. Nelson and John T. Bass (Crowell Trust), Bill Anderson (Christian Booksellers Association), and Floyd Wilkerson (OC International)—are known leaders in the Christian community.  They were mentored early during their professional careers and want to share the gifts and experiences that God has given them.  They serve without compensation, and do so in response to the expressed desire of many people to be mentored by executives who have “walked in their footsteps” and understand the path of leadership.

Each member of the mentoring team is committed to the attainment of quality management and leadership in the Lord’s ministries.  Christian organizations, because they are small, often require an executive to have the skills which would be carried by several executives in larger organizations.  The mentoring team knows by personal experience how difficult it is for Christian leaders to have time to develop a well-rounded acumen in management skills.  They believe that mentoring is a proven biblical method of helping an individual acquire these abilities.

The LDC mentoring team desires to expand the program through other cell groups across the nation to benefit more executives and leaders.  The LDC team believes they can be more effective by keeping the group size to a maximum of 25 participants.  Participation is by invitation only.  A waiting list of future participants is reviewed regularly.


NASHVILLE, TN Dr. Thurman Pate, chairman of Free Will Baptist Bible College’s Teacher Education Department, was one of a select group of educators invited by the Tennessee State Department of Education to help launch a $111-million federally-funded program providing guidance to 57 schools across the state.  The Reading First program provides guidance and leadership to low-performing schools.

Pate and fellow FWBBC instructor Dr. Suzann Harris were among the first 25 participants to receive special training from the state Reading First Commission.  They both provided leadership to two low-performing schools in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools during the 2003-2004 school year.

Dr. Pate continued working with one of his schools, Shwab Elementary, during the 2004-2005 school year.  Shwab is an inner-city school with very low test scores—one of the district’s lowest-performing schools.  Pate worked with teachers, observing, conferencing, and providing professional growth training.  When test results were recently released, Shwab Elementary scored the highest in the state.

“We made valuable contacts within the educational community,” Pate said.  “Our FWBBC students should also benefit from the expertise gained and the doors opened because of our participation.”

Dr. Pate continues to work with the faculty of Shwab Elementary providing guidance and professional growth opportunities.



NASHVILLE, TN Seventeen high school seniors from eight states and 12 churches got an up-close-and-personal look at Free Will Baptist Bible College during February 9-11 Senior Days activities, according to Ryan Lewis, director of recruitment.

“Senior Days are designed exclusively for high school seniors,” Mr. Lewis said.  “Every visiting senior had a one-on-one personal guide assigned to them to answer questions, provide directions and manage details.”

The seniors met with academic advisors in their areas of interest, attended classes to get a sense of the teacher-student interaction at FWBBC, and secured financial information about scholarships and assistance available. 

The seniors also met with President Matthew Pinson in a private luncheon where he welcomed them to the campus, discussed the college’s philosophy of education and their place in God’s service, and answered questions.

A visiting high school senior from Tennessee said, “I enjoyed Senior Days.  It helped me make a permanent decision to attend FWBBC.”

A visiting senior from Alabama said, “I had a great time.  I know FWBBC is the place for me, and I’ll see you all in the fall!”

The next round of Senior Days at FWBBC is scheduled for fall 2006.


©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists