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June-July 2021

Everyday Heroes


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Welch College in Gallatin, Tennessee, 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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Callaway to Retire

Dr. Ronald Callaway, longstanding program coordinator of Intercultural Studies at Welch College, will retire at the end of the spring semester, according to Provost Dr. Matthew McAffee. Callaway has served in the position for 18 years, starting in the fall of 2003.

Before coming to Welch, Callaway and his wife Linda served as missionaries in Spain, Panama, and Cuba with IM, Inc. During their time in Spain (1977-1995), Callaway filled the role of pastor of a church plant in Alcalá de Henares (1979-1981), worked in a church plant in Móstoles (1982-1995), and taught in the Spanish FWB Institute (1985-1995). Since 1989, he has been involved with missionary activity in Cuba, especially in the training of church leaders in the Free Will Baptist seminary Los Cedros del Líbano. He also served as a member of the FWB Bible Institute of Panama from 1997-2003, becoming its director in 2000, and has continued to teach as a visiting faculty member at the Seminario Bautista Libre de Panamá since 2005.

“Dr. Callaway came to Welch College with an impressive résumé of missionary service in Spanish-speaking contexts among Free Will Baptists,” McAffee said. “But his efforts in global evangelization did not end when he became professor of missions. He has mentored almost two decades of Free Will Baptist missionaries, both in the classroom and on the field. We are grateful for the legacy Professor Callaway established for missions at Welch College.”


Dr. Callaway, a native of Texas, served in the U.S. Navy from 1965-1972 before coming to Welch as a student, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Missions in 1975. He went on to complete the Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1997. While a faculty member at Welch, Dr. Callaway also earned a Doctor of Ministry in Missiology from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, which he completed in 2014. The Welch Board of Trustees named him professor of Intercultural Studies when the college implemented faculty rank in 2019.

President Matt Pinson said, “Recently I overheard a Free Will Baptist national leader talking about how many young missionaries had emerged from Ronald Callaway’s mentorship. Indeed, what he has done in missions education and shaping the lives of young missionaries has been impressive. It arises from a keen mind, a humble heart, and a love for people, combined with a biblical worldview that places the Great Commission at the heart of the Church’s task. We will miss this dear friend and servant of God immensely, but his legacy among Welch graduates across the world will endure.”

The Callaways have one daughter, Rachel DeMerchant, who ministers in Canada with her husband Aaron and their three children.

©2021 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists