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December 2020- January 2021

Passing the Faith


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Why Support Welch College

By Mike Edwards


I have the honor of traveling across our denomination promoting the ministry of Welch College and raising support for the Welch Fund. I am often asked, “Why should I support Welch College?” I have a couple of responses. The first is, “When you give to the Welch Fund, you invest in the lives of students who will make and are making an eternal difference in the world for the cause of Christ.”

Another response I offer is, “Welch College is educating leaders to serve Christ, and He has a plan for every student. He calls some to be pastors, youth pastors, missionaries, and worship leaders. Others He calls to be educators, nurses, counselors, business professionals, or physical therapists who will also serve in the local church. You make an eternal difference when you invest in students attending Welch.”

I want to point out that supporting Welch College involves more than donating funds to the college. Supporting the college also includes praying for the college.

I challenge you to pray for our current students to earnestly seek the will of God and excel in their studies. Pray for faculty and staff as they serve the Lord at the college. Pray for President Pinson and the administration as they lead through these unprecedented days. Pray for prospective students making decisions about attending Welch in the future.

Recommending the college to potential students is another way individuals support the college. Welch is not for everyone. However, I am confident more students will consider it as their pastor, parents, and other people of influence recommended the college. Welch is both Christian and distinctively Free Will Baptist. Our professors present the content of their classes through a conservative Christian worldview. Your recommendation of Welch College may be used by God to change the direction of a student’s life.

Supporting Welch involves three vital components: recommending the college to potential students, praying for the college and college family, and giving financially to the Welch Fund. The Welch Fund helps provide student scholarships. The generous giving of Free Will Baptist churches and individuals last year lowered annual tuition costs by approximately $5,000 per student. This kind of support is just what students need to attend Welch College. Your financial support impacts the students at Welch.

According to the denominational calendar, February is the Welch College emphasis month. I challenge Free Will Baptist churches everywhere to receive a special love offering for the Welch Fund in February. I challenge Welch alumni and friends to give a special offering to the Welch Fund as well. Your generosity makes a difference for every student.

I also encourage you to consider becoming a member of the Torchbearer Club. Members support the Welch Fund through automated monthly gifts of at least $25. A $25 per month gift enables you to give $300 per year, and $50 per month provides a $600 annual contribution to Welch. A monthly donation of $83.34 makes a $1,000 contribution each year. Torchbearer Club members’ monthly contributions range from $25 to $450 per month. Join the club! Torchbearers receive a
t-shirt and other perks throughout the year. Learn more by visiting

Student needs are as great as they have ever been. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted many students, requiring greater assistance from the Welch Fund. Prayerfully consider becoming a Torchbearer Club member and encourage your pastor to lead the congregation in praying for the college and receiving a special offering for the college in February. You can make a difference in the lives of students and a difference in the ministry of Welch College.

Have you considered making a planned gift to Welch College? Free Will Baptist Foundation specializes in assisting people with estate planning and planned gifts. David Brown and his team will be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding estate planning and planned gifts. Leave a gift to Welch that will continue until the Lord returns. To find out more, visit


Consider these important facts about Welch College:

  • Established in 1942

  • Offers more than 40 programs of study

  • Student to teacher ratio of 10:1

  • Student body represents 23 states and five countries

  • Accredited regionally and nationally to offer associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees

  • Ranked 18th among best regional colleges in the South by U.S. News and World Report (2019)

  • Top programs: theological studies, pre-med/nursing, business, teacher education, psychology, and music.

  • Two-thirds of faculty members hold doctorates in their fields of study.

Welch College is a community of faith and learning— educating leaders to serve Christ.

About the Writer: Mike Edwards is director of the Welch Fund. Learn more:


©2021 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists