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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 their website at www.fwbbc.edu.
Former FWBBC President Receives Educational Leadership Award
Dr. Charles Thigpen, former president of Free Will Baptist Bible College, received the prestigious Biblical Higher Education Award on February 19 during the 63rd annual meeting of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in Orlando, Florida. Thigpen is one of only eight recipients in ABHE history to receive the award that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing and assuring quality biblical higher education.
Dr. Randy Bell, director of the Commission on Accreditation, presented the award on behalf of the Board of Directors and said of Dr. Thigpen: “He was a true pioneer of the Commission on Accreditation, one of the people whose shoulders we stand on tonight.”
Thigpen was a charter member of the commission when it was launched in 1974 by the American Association of Bible Colleges (now ABHE). He served as commission chair (1977-1978), member of the Board of Directors (1980-1985), and served on more than 30 accreditation teams, far exceeding the award requirements as one of the “long-time contributors to the association that are stellar and substantial.” In addition to his extensive work with the Commission on Accreditation, Thigpen was elected president of the American Association of Bible Colleges (1984-1986).
When accepting the award, Dr. Thigpen said, “My heart has always been in the Bible College movement.” He was accompanied by his wife Laura and daughter-in-law Yvonne, president of the Evangelical Training Association (ETA). His son, the late Dr. Jonathan Thigpen, was president of ETA nine years before his death in 2001 at age 49.
Thigpen served 12 years (1979-1991) as the third president of Free Will Baptist Bible College. He and his wife joined the college faculty in 1948 and served in numerous roles until 1991, except for a brief Michigan pastorate in the mid-1950s. Prior to his presidential years, the South Carolina native held four major positions with the college: dean of men (1948-1953), registrar (1949-1953), dean of students (1957-1967), and academic dean (1957-1979). He also served as chancellor (1990-1991).
His broader responsibilities included six years as moderator of the National Association of Free Will Baptists (1954-1960), 15 years as promotional director for the Tennessee State Association of Free Will Baptists (1991-2006), seven years as a member of what is now the Randall House Board (1961-1968), and president of the Tennessee College Association (1990-1991).
President Matt Pinson and a delegation from FWBBC attended the ceremony honoring Dr. Thigpen. Pinson said: “Dr. Thigpen gave 40 years of his life as a champion of biblical higher education. No one is more deserving of this honor. He served FWBBC and the Free Will Baptist people with a professionalism and zeal shared by few others. I salute him today as a leader in Christian education.”
Student Nominated for Grammy
Matthew Munsey, 25-year-old junior Missions major, was nominated for an award at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards held January 31 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. The vocalist and instrumentalist plays mandolin in a five-man bluegrass gospel band called Barry Scott & Second Wind. The group was nominated for a Grammy in Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album category.
The son of James Munsey, late Free Will Baptist missionary to Mexico, Matthew auditioned for the group three years ago and now travels weekends with the group performing in concerts and local churches.
“We were honored but surprised to receive the nomination,” Munsey said, “since this was our first album, and we give God all the praise for the unexpected national recognition.”
Munsey is a second-generation FWBBC student. His father graduated in 1981. Younger sister Rachel is a freshman Education major. Another sister, Laura, graduated in 2005.
Matthew received his first guitar at age seven, his first mandolin at age 11. He also plays the banjo and the bass. He grew up on the Texas/Mexico border playing and singing with the Munsey family, and traveled extensively to promote Mexico missions. He graduated from Tusculum College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in organizational management, before relocating to Nashville and enrolling at FWBBC to pursue a degree in Missions.
“My wife Juliana and I are excited about preparing to serve the Lord on the mission field,” Munsey said. “We don’t know where we will serve yet, but we will step through whatever door God opens.”
Matthew was elected 2009-2010 student body worship leader at FWBBC. He currently does 90 percent of the booking for Barry Scott & Second Wind, and maintains the group’s website www.barryscottonline.com.
Carol Reid Writes for Christian Librarian Journal
Carol Reid, librarian at Free Will Baptist Bible College, wrote a 500-word article titled “Reflections on Mentoring” for The Christian Librarian, journal of the Association of Christian Librarians. The journal is published three times annually, and Mrs. Reid’s article was included in the first of three 2010 issues (Volume 53).
The article describes the influence of mentors in Mrs. Reid’s life as she transitioned from library clerk at FWBBC to Vanderbilt University graduate student to her current role as FWBBC librarian and mentor to those following in her footsteps.
“She let me see behind the scenes,” Carol writes about Judy Shrewsbury, her first library mentor at FWBBC. “She let me wade in the water to determine if this was a career I could survive. Her insights and openness about her work provided me a model and a mentor that were pointers to the Lord’s will for me.”
A member of the FWBBC faculty since 1988, Mrs. Reid was elected to consecutive three-year terms as president and vice president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Christian Libraries. She serves the broader professional community of Christian educators as secretary of the Association for Biblical Higher Education’s Commission on Accreditation.
A 1977 graduate of FWBBC, Carol holds the Master of Library Science degree from Vanderbilt University. She is married to Dr. Garnett Reid, chairman of FWBBC’s Biblical and Ministry Studies Department.
Students Enjoy Senior Days
Fourteen high school seniors arrived on campus February 11-13, for the final Senior Days of the 2010 spring semester. They came from seven states—Tennessee (5), Michigan (3), Florida (2), and one each from Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, and Arkansas. Eight have already applied to FWBBC, and three others are expected to apply.
“Coming from a state school, I’m not used to all this accommodation,” said transfer applicant Brittani Sims (Allendale, MI). “I don’t want to leave Nashville, and I can’t wait to be here in the fall!”
Friday’s schedule for the students included classes and chapel, a financial aid seminar to answer questions, a luncheon with President Matt Pinson, and sessions with academic advisors. Evening activities began with a Flames basketball game and closed out with Mosaic, a student-led activity group.
The three-day Senior Days schedule began Thursday and ended Saturday morning.
Stevens’ Music Published
Dr. James Stevens, chair of the Music Department at Free Will Baptist Bible College, received word that two of his pieces have been included in a new choral book/CD titled One-Rehearsal Wonders, Volume 3, by GlorySound (a division of Shawnee Press, distributed by Hal Leonard).
The choral items, scored for SAB and two-part choirs, are ideal for smaller choirs or ensembles. The first of Stevens’ pieces, “We come Together Here,” was composed with lyricist J. Paul Williams. The second, “In Your House, O Lord,” is a piece by Jay Turner that Stevens arranged under the pen name, David Wingate.
“These materials were composed for churches with limited rehearsal time,” Stevens said. “I am delighted that some of my work continues to be picked up by major music publishers. One of my goals is to create music that makes a difference in local churches. That’s where my heart is.”
Dr. Stevens is a frequent presenter at local, regional, national, and international music events. He recently participated in a one-day event hosted by Cookeville (Tennessee) area Free Will Baptist churches, featuring music workshops where he introduced new choral pieces and provided performance tips and practical advice for musicians. Churches or conferences may contact Dr. Stevens for workshops or other events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The well-known musician and composer has won numerous ASCAP Standard Awards for composition and has written more than 300 songs. He has been a member of the FWBBC faculty since 2004 and serves on the Free Will Baptist Music Commission.
JETS Publishes Garnett Reid Review
The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) published a two-page book review by Dr. Garnett Reid in the December 2009 issue. Reid is chairman of the Biblical and Ministry Studies Department at Free Will Baptist Bible College.
Dr. Reid reviewed Robin Routledge’s 384-page Old Testament Theology: A Thematic Approach, a 10-chapter project that locates the book within the spectrum of works on Old Testament theology and offers a middle ground between efforts that lose accessibility by trying to do too much and those that are overly selective to the point of omitting essential data. Published in 2008 by Inter-Varsity, the volume is priced at $32.
“Routledge accomplishes his purpose,” Reid said, “by providing a reader-friendly, manageable Old Testament theology suited for practical application in the life of the church. The book’s assets include insightful word studies, literary sensitivity to the features of the biblical text, thorough bibliographic references in the footnotes, acceptance of historical accounts in the Old Testament as accurate, and an efficient style that explains but does not belabor.”
What sets Routledge’s work apart from others in the field, according to Reid, is its less intimating, more manageable style and organization. The book has a distinctive evangelical tone and is well suited for an upper-level college or entry-level seminary course in Old Testament theology, particularly one determined to take the biblical text seriously.
Garnett Reid has been a member of the FWBBC faculty since 1982. He writes the “Intersect” column in ONE Magazine, publishes regularly in professional journals, and is a frequent conference speaker.
Loyce McVay Now FWBBC ‘Business Office Associate’
Long-time data processing coordinator Loyce McVay recently reduced her work hours from full-time to 20 hours per week effective January 2010. With the reduction in hours, her job title and responsibilities shift as well. She is now identified as a business office associate and will assist Comptroller Craig Mahler.
“I was barely out of my teens when the college employed me back in 1965,” McVay said. “I started in the basement, printing on mimeograph machines and offset presses, then moved from typewriters to computers, changing roles and equipment as the need arose. I’ve done something few others have—I served with four FWBBC presidents, met hundreds of students, and worked alongside the best people on God’s earth. But it’s time for me to take a step back and slow the pace.”
Miss McVay underwent an extensive surgical procedure in late October 2009, and just returned from a lengthy recovery period. She says she will enjoy not making the 65-mile round-trip drive from the Pleasant View area five days a week.
Tom Sass, FWBBC’s vice president for financial affairs, said, “Loyce was my first boss when I began working here in 1972. She had already been on staff seven years and was a seasoned professional when I reported for duty my rookie year. What a great colleague she has been, what a humble servant of God. She always stepped up when something extra had to be done. I hope she enjoys this time of less work stress and the freedom to follow her dreams. She deserves it.”