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THE FLAME VOL. 2 NO. 5, Nov-December 2015


From Welch to the World

A former student recalls how Welch College gave him a heart for the nations. Photo: The Smiths

TreeTop Photography (by Mary Kaye Girst)

When I arrived at Welch College in Fall 1997, little did I know how my life would change during the next five years. Academically speaking, I learned to study, to manage my time wisely, and the importance of prioritizing my tasks. Outside the classroom, I learned invaluable life lessons from godly professors and amazing friends. The faculty and staff challenged me to look deeper into the Word of God to know Him better each day. And, through travel groups and my Christian service assignment (teaching two-year-olds at The Donelson Fellowship), I had many opportunities to grow and share my faith. During my junior year, I had the unforgettable opportunity to live with Jeff and Susan Turnbough in Spain and study Spanish at University of Madrid. While observing these missionaries firsthand, my heart began to beat for global evangelism. When I returned to Welch I began to work towards some type of cross-cultural ministry. After graduating in 2002, my wife and I were approved for a two-year, short-term assignment in Madrid. We spent two years learning all we could from the team in Madrid. The Lord gave us many opportunities to continue learning from other godly men and women, and more importantly, from His Word. After returning to the States, we settled in Detroit, Michigan, and the Lord blessed me with a great job at Comerica Bank, where I am a banking center manager and business development officer. I utilize many of the skills I learned at Welch to work with integrity. It is my goal to lead my team as more than just their manager; I consider my office my mission field. My wife Christi and I work in my home church, Kirby Church, by leading missions trips. Over the past ten years, we have seen our church become more and more globally minded as students and adults have traveled to Spain, France, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Uganda, Kenya, and Costa Rica. I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend Welch College. God used my time there to prepare me for a lifetime of ministry. The college and its godly leaders gave me the leadership skills necessary to lead a team of people in a secular job. More importantly, my time at Welch instilled in me a heart for ministry and for furthering the Kingdom of Christ to the ends of earth.

About the writer: Josh Smith (‘02) and his wife Christi (Wilson, ‘02) live in Woodhaven, Michigan, and attend Kirby Free Will Baptist Church. Learn more about the Missions program at Welch College:

Perfect for Christmas! Order the latest CD from the College Choir and Rejoice! under direction of Dr. James M Stevens. Produced by John G. Elliott and recorded in Ricky Skaggs studio. Available at, iTunes, or Amazon.

From the Alumni President Let me say thanks! Part one of the current alumni project Sound Forth His Praise was completed at this year’s annual convention with the introduction of How Great Thou Art, latest CD project from the College Choir. Be sure to purchase your own copy from the college or download it from Amazon or iTunes. Again, thank you for helping to make this possible. The second part of the project was to provide sound equipment for the traveling ministry teams and new audiovisual equipment for Memorial Auditorium. With the sale of the West End campus and construction of the new campus underway, however, the Alumni Association received a new challenge at the annual convention—to raise $100,000 over the next five years to provide funds for the sound and audiovisual budget on the new campus. The association adopted the challenge with enthusiasm. This newsletter is being sent to nearly 6,000 alumni. If every alumnus receiving this publication would send a onetime gift of $16.67, we would meet this project goal. The chart below shows how the goal can be met over the next five years with only 17 people giving $100 per month or 100 people giving $16.67 a month over the next five years. Participants



Total raised

17 22 34 42 56 67 85 100 15 25 30

$100 $75 $50 $40 $30 $25 $20 $16.67 $30 $25 $20

5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years

$102,000 $99,000 $102,000 $100,800 $100,800 $100,500 $102,000 $100,020 $100,500 $100,500 $100,500

Quick Notes: + Forum16 will explore the theme Biblical Marriage: Personal Faithfulness, Public Witness, May 6-8. Visit Forum16 to register. + Register your students now for Senior Days, February 1112, 2016, or Spring Welcome Days, April 21-23, 2016. + The college welcomes new interim men’s head basketball coach Donnie Stevanus (‘93) to the college. + Derek Altom (‘07) joined the advancement team at Welch College in October as office manager. + Dr. Jeff Cockrell has been appointed to Welch’s faculty beginning January 2016. He will teach biblical studies with a specialization in New Testament and serve as program coordinator for the new M.A. in Theology program. + Welch College formally submitted an application for a level change to the accrediting bodies in order to offer a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Theology and Ministry to start early in 2016. + The College enrolled 327 students from 22 states, a U.S. territory, and one international location for the Fall 2015 semester, according to Registrar Matt Bracey.

Don’t get pelted by low rates...

I challenge the Alumni Association to get behind this worthy project to provide students with quality sound and audiovisual equipment for our new Gallatin campus. Join me with a monthly gift to the project. By the way, we need a name for the new project. Send me a recommendation:

Take shelter in our great rates starting at 2.75%!

Mike Edwards (‘95):|615-522-8791 » 877-336-7575 »

College Enters Phase Two of Capital Campaign Construction on the new campus for Welch College in Gallatin, Tennessee, is well underway, with foundations soon to be laid for the buildings. With this in mind, the college has entered the second phase of the capital campaign—Gifts-in-Kind. It is the goal of the college to raise $2 million in materials and volunteer labor toward construction. (Some gifts already have been promised.) We need your help to identify friends and acquaintances who are involved in businesses that could donate or provide substantial discounts on building materials, equipment, and furnishings for the new campus. Also, please help us identify individuals or groups who could provide volunteer labor on a short- or long-term basis. Please take a few minutes and look over the list below. If you know anyone who might be interested in donating or discounting materials, equipment, or furnishings—or volunteering labor—please email project manager Bob Bass at, or call him at 615-347-5942. Please understand that such gifts-in-kind sometimes offer tax write-offs to individuals and businesses. I trust you know many people who have a heart for Welch College, for Free Will Baptist ministries, or for evangelical Christian ministries in general who will be glad to assist in this project. Please send them our way. Thank you for your support and prayers in this once-in-a-lifetime endeavor to build a new campus for the glory of God and the extension of His kingdom. A Letter From J. Matthew Pinson, President. Learn more at

Construction and Finishing + Concrete + Concrete blocks + Asphalt + Lumber + Steel + Rebar + Roof shingles + Plumbing equipment/fixtures + Brick + Elevators + Sheetrock/drywall + Ceiling tiles

Furnishings + Cabinetry + Electrical equipment/fixtures + Paint + Windows and doors + Flooring/wood/carpet/tile + Lighting/LED and non-LED indoor/outdoor + IT/security systems + Labor + Outdoor equipment: tractor, bobcat, backhoe, zero-turn mower, lift + Commercial and non-commercial kitchen equipment/fixtures

+ Phone system/equipment + Science lab equipment + Classroom AV/technology + Sound/lighting/AV equipment + Lockers/locker room equipment + Fitness equipment + Window treatments/blinds + Laundry equipment for dormitories +G  ymnasium bleachers/goals/athletic equipment +F  urniture for dormitories, offices, lounge, dining hall, and conference rooms

Welch College 3606 West End Avenue Nashville, TN 37205


I ask you to pray intently and particularly for two things: first, that the Building on the Legacy campaign will raise necessary funds for campus relocation, and second, the timely completion of construction. —President Matt Pinson on Relocation

Make your gift today:

Gifts from alumni and friends make Welch College’s world-class education possible for more than 350 students who call Welch College home.

Educating leaders to serve Christ, His Church, and His world. STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP DRIVE Sunday, February 28, 2016


The Flame | Vol.2 No.5  

The Flame is the official publication of the Welch College Alumni Association