Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
HomeAll The News2023 Departmental Report: Central Baptist College

2023 Departmental Report: Central Baptist College

         The Central Baptist College Mission Statement — “Central Baptist College is committed to transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment.”

      Thank you for your consistent support of the ministry of Central Baptist College! We praise God for your prayers and generosity each year because they are the foundation for what God does in the lives of our students, faculty and staff. You are making a difference — you are contributing to the “transformation of lives” through the Gospel of Christ to all who encounter Central Baptist College. We believe all truth comes from God, and we share this Christ-centered worldview unashamedly. This worldview sees God as the source of truth for all disciplines, be it mathematics, science, history or any other subject. Therefore, the student receives a deeper, more thorough education when the professor is not limited by mandates prohibiting discussions of faith.

         Big News at CBC — In the June 3, 2023 Board meeting, the Central Baptist College Board of Trustees approved a “tuition free” scholarship program for all members of the Baptist Missionary Association of America churches. The BMA Promiseis both a recruiting and retention incentive. I’ll admit, this is a huge leap of faith for us. However, over the years, the loyalty to the institution, founded by our churches right here in Arkansas, has waned. Dr. D.N. Jackson, who was instrumental in the founding of CBC and was later elected the first president, said in the Dec. 5, 1951 issue of the Temple Trumpet (now the Baptist Trumpet), “We all know we need this college. We must provide an institution of higher learning for our young men and women. After all, it is upon their shoulders the responsibility of proclaiming the gospel will fall.” That was over 70 years ago, and I’m convinced that we need CBC more now than we did then. We have always been committed to the transformation of lives by integrating Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment. As long as I am president, that will not change.

      I frequently tell prospective students and parents when they visit my office on a tour, “We are a distinctively Christian college, in name and in practice. We don’t hide that; in fact, we highlight that.” Yet, the facts are quite sobering: Only 9% of CBC students checked the BMAA box on their application when asked the church with which they are affiliated. That may be misleading, because some of them may not even know they are members of a BMA church. That is going to change!

      The BMA Promise scholarship will benefit any student of any age who has been a member of a BMA church for at least one year. The prospective student’s pastor will sign a simple statement, sent to him by the college, to confirm that the student has been a member for the required time. Students currently enrolled, and meet the criteria, are eligible to apply for the BMA Promise. The BMA Promise will make up the gap between federal and state grants, as well as scholarships, and billed tuition. (The scholarship does not cover fees or room and board). I don’t know of any other church-related college in Arkansas that offers anything even close to this level of tuition break relative to church membership.

      The mindset of some students and parents is that they cannot afford CBC. As a result, they don’t give us the chance to package their financial aid. The new scholarship will initially be limited to the first 50 students to complete the admissions process (fall 2023 and spring 2024). The goal is to progressively grow the scholarship program, and to make it open to an unlimited number of BMA students. Even though we didn’t announce it until the recruiting season was well past, we had 25 students qualify and receive the BMA Promisefor fall 2023.

      The BMA Promiseapplies only to students in the traditional program that have been members of a BMA church for at least a year. To be eligible, students must complete the entire admissions process online (or contact the Department of Admissions at (501) 329-6873 or, submit the 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and register for classes. Learn more by visiting For additional questions, you can reach our admissions team at (501) 329-6873.

         Chapel — A Biblical Worldview — To me, chapel is more than a time to gather students in a weekly setting and let them hear a message. Chapel should be a time of spiritual renewal. No, it’s not church, but it is as close to church as some of our students have ever experienced. Therefore, I never want it to be an afterthought. Donny Parrish, who serves as our Director of Spiritual Life, and I work together to “program” chapel each year. We focus on a theme, and we prayerfully choose those who will be scheduled to speak in each chapel. Donny oversees our student-led Chapel Band. It all comes together each week as students fill the Burgess Auditorium.

      This year’s theme is “A Biblical Worldview.” I’m privileged to be the first speaker of the academic year, and this year I introduced the series with the topic, “The Foundation of Central Baptist College.” I briefly addressed the 12 articles of the “Doctrinal Statement of the Baptist Missionary Association of America.” I assured the students that while the wording of the “Doctrinal Statement” has changed over the years — the basis for the beliefs cannot change, because it is based on the inerrant, unchanging, living Word of God. It was a joy to present each student with a new Worldview Study Bible. This Bible is published by Holman and written in the Christian Standard Version and contains more than 130 essays by notable Christian scholars, center-column references and extensive worldview study notes. The retail price of the Bibles is $79.99. I was able to get a great deal on 400 of the Worldview Study Bibles. Keep in mind that this was likely the first Bible some of our students had ever owned — and a nice study Bible at that. God blessed as I was able to find a couple who loves CBC and wanted to put these Bibles in the hands of every CBC student. They underwrote the entire $14,000 cost. I promised the students that they possessed a book of truth that would change their lives, if they let it.

         Legacy Leaders — Scholarships are an incredible source of financial assistance for our students. They make education accessible and affordable and lessen the burden after graduation. There are many institutional scholarships available to students who meet the qualifications. We call them “institutional” or “unfunded” scholarships because the College forgoes all or a portion of the tuition for these awards. Legacy Leaders is a monthly giving program designed to help sustain the scholarship program at CBC. It allows all alumni and friends of Central Baptist College to be a part of the transformation. It is for the people of the BMAA who believe in the mission and ministry of Central Baptist College.

      The best news is that anyone can be a Legacy Leader! Whether you decide to give a monthly gift of $10 or $100, your contribution will have a significant impact on the future of the College and in the lives of our students. Because of you, our scholarship program will remain strong! I truly believe Legacy Leaders can someday sustain the entire scholarship program at CBC. I know it can happen, but we need you as a Legacy Leader! Our immediate goal is 300 Legacy Leaders. If you know me, you know that I believe, “He is able…” Eph. 3:20. Give online at

         Scholarship Gala — The 5th Annual Scholarship Gala will take place on Friday, March 1, at 6 p.m. at Antioch Baptist Church in Conway. The event is black tie optional and will be a celebration of Enduring Faith. The proceeds from the evening will go to the Central Baptist College Scholarship Fund, which supports all institutionally funded scholarships. 

      This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Jack Graham, senior pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas. He is known for being the leader of one of the nation’s largest, most dynamic congregations. Dr. Graham began preaching at Prestonwood in 1989 with a congregation of around 8,000 people. In the years since, the congregation has grown to 57,000 and continues to flourish in the North Texas region. Dr. Graham also served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention for two terms. He is married to Deb Graham and has three children and eight grandchildren.

      Dr. Graham has written many books including A Man of God: Essential Priorities for Every Man’s Life; Unseen: Angels, Satan, Heaven, Hell, and Winning the Battle for Eternity; Angels: Who They Are, What They Do and Why It Matters; Powering Up: The Fulfillment and Fruit of a God-Fueled Life; and Courageous Parenting, written with his wife, Deb. His most recent book is Reignite: Fresh Focus for an Enduring Faith in which he talks about how to keep Christ in focus during dark days.

      The teaching of Dr. Graham is available to people across the country through his PowerPoint Ministries, his radio, TV and internet ministry. On this platform, Dr. Graham teaches culturally relevant lessons meant to make an impact on the lives of his audience. Dr. Graham is known for straightforward messages and powerful preaching styles. Make plans to join us for an incredible evening of Enduring Faith. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or contact Peggy Pillow at or (501) 205-8834.

         Mustang Athletics — Central Baptist College competes in 16 different sports in the NAIA and American Midwest Conference (AMC). It’s been my privilege to serve as the president of the Council of Presidents (COP) for the AMC for the past three years. I have seen, first-hand, other athletic programs in the AMC. Our coaches are doing a fantastic job of teaching their players to win on the court, course, mat, but also in their spiritual lives. The Athletic Department exposes many non-Christian student-athletes with many who are from other countries to the gospel every year and fosters a sense of Mustang pride.

         CBC Day in the Churches — The College’s Special Emphasis “CBC Day” began on Sept. 10, 2023. CBC Day contributions go directly into the CBC Annual Fund that supports, among many other things, the ministry grant, academic and performance scholarships, spiritual life programs and the development of new academic programs. If your church has participated or is scheduled to participate, we thank you! We are humbly asking you to set aside a Sunday this fall or in the spring, to devote a specific part of the morning worship service to a special time of prayer. We are available to share on a Sunday night or during a mid-week service, as well. We gladly welcome invitations to participate in ministerial events and BMA of Ark. events such as WMA and Brotherhood meetings. For more information, contact Director of Church Relations Duffy Guyton at or (501) 269-6784 or go to

         Mustang in the Making Legacy Program — We have a strong desire to collaborate with alumni and friends of the college to help celebrate their children or grandchildren’s milestone birthdays until they graduate high school. This is a great way to introduce them to CBC and show them a little extra attention as they grow up. To learn more or to sign up visit or contact Jessica Faulkner, or (501) 205-8800.

         Fall Stampede Day — This is our series of preview days where it may be the first opportunity for prospective students to experience Central Baptist College. The first fall Stampede Preview Day was held on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Prospective students still have time to register for the next one on Wednesday, Nov. 15 or Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Central Baptist College Stampede Preview Days give prospective students an opportunity to personally experience campus life. On Preview Days, students can participate in the following: guided campus tours, lunch in the dining hall, observe one of our classes, attend a chapel service, visit with current students, meet professors and other faculty members, audition for our music department (by appointment), meet with an athletic department representative (by appointment), and have a chance to win CBC door prizes. Visit to register or contact the CBC Admissions Office at or call (501) 329-6873 if you have questions or need additional information.

      Make your Personal Campus Visit Experience at Your Convenience — In addition to the “Stampede” preview days for prospective students, individual tours are also available through the Office of Admissions. There is no better way for a student to get a good feel of CBC than to physically come on to the campus, take a tour, sit in on a class, visit the residence halls, eat in the dining hall, and interact with administration, faculty, staff and current students. Parents, pastors, youth ministers, please encourage your students to visit Central Baptist College before making a college choice. I tell young men and women frequently, “God will use a campus visit to speak to you relative to your college decision. I really believe that! I have witnessed it many times.” To register online, visit You then have a choice to click either the “Stampede Preview Days” or “Schedule your visit.” For questions, additional information or to schedule by phone, contact the CBC Admissions Office at (501) 329-6873.

         Be a Mustang Ambassador — You can also be a volunteer recruiter as a “Mustang Ambassador.” Mustang Ambassadorsare helping the college create a network of alumni and friends to help tell CBC’s story. Sign up at or contact Lisa Padgett at or call (501) 205-8889. In addition to the Mustang Ambassador Program, you can request that a CBC Admissions Department representative visit your church or youth event by emailing or calling us at (501) 329-6873. You can also refer a student to our admissions team online at and we will contact the referred student.

      In conclusion, thank you again for your prayers and financial support for Central Baptist College. We love our churches of the BMA of Arkansas. We cannot carry out our mission without you.