Kwame Selver ’03

Kwame Selver

He grew up in The Bahamas; she was raised in Florida. Now, years later, Kwame (B.A. Evangelism ’02, M.A. Bible Exposition ’03) and Jennifer Selver regularly board international flights from one country to another. They aren’t just visiting family, though; rather, their travels are part of Exalt and Exhort Ministries International, an evangelistic organization designed to honor Christ through preaching God’s Word.

“This is what I love to do—I love to exalt Jesus and encourage Christians,” Kwame said. “Whatever God calls you to do, that’s what you love to do.” For several years, this calling included working as an assistant pastor at New Testament Baptist Church in the Bahamas; yet last year, the Selvers knew that God was transitioning them from ministry at the church into evangelism. “It was God’s timing,” Kwame explained.

This past fall, Kwame began a new ministry, traveling internationally as an evangelist. At first, the Selvers didn’t have a name for the organization, but it soon came to them—Exalt and Exhort, based on the two things Kwame loves to do most. Already, God has used Exalt and Exhort to open several preaching opportunities for Kwame in both the Bahamas and the United States. In January and February alone, Kwame and Jennifer ministered in Florida, Texas, Iowa, and The Bahamas; and in March, Kwame preached at Haven Tabernacle Baptist Church in Pensacola for three weeks while the pastor was out of town. Later this year, Kwame is scheduled to minister in St. Martin, The Bahamas, and Papua New Guinea.

Although the Selvers serve at various ministries including schools, colleges, and camps, they thrive on helping small churches. “That’s my niche,” Kwame explained. “I don’t mind being at a church for three weeks and helping them organize a youth program, helping them with soul-winning seminars and actually going with them, and helping them with discipleship afterward. My mindset might be a little bit different—although we enjoy ministering at week-long revivals and conferences, we also love working with a church for three or four weeks.”


Because of their experience working at New Testament Baptist Church for ten years, Kwame and Jennifer know the struggles that pastors often experience as well as the typical needs of a small church. “We get it. We’ve been in their world,” Jennifer said.

So when they go to a church, Kwame and Jennifer try to find ways to really support the pastor and the work there. “We want to see what we can do to help a pastor,” Jennifer explained. Sometimes helping involves assisting with music, setting up for an event, or visiting people in the community; other times, it means taking over for a pastor who may have health issues. While they are at a church, Jennifer also focuses on getting to know the pastor’s family. Since she grew up in a pastor’s home, Jennifer explained that she has a special burden for pastors’ kids, especially their daughters.

Often, the Selvers find themselves being an encouragement simply through fellowshipping with the pastor and his family. Sometimes they will just stay up late after a service, letting the pastor and his wife talk and share burdens. Even when the nights get late and the Selvers have to travel the next day, they are ready to listen and encourage. “That’s where we get so much joy,” Kwame said.

Jennifer added, “What he [Kwame] really loves to do is encouraging people—it really is what he will do twenty-four-seven. Someone struggling, down and out, the underdogs, the ones people really aren’t paying attention to—[he] takes them under his wings.”

Looking back, Kwame is thankful for the education he received at PCC, which helped prepare him for his current work. Through his practical training classes, Kwame “knew what to anticipate when going somewhere to preach.” The key, though, was the focus on the Bible. “PCC taught [me] a passion to study God’s Word,” Kwame said. “To me that is vital!”

Another highlight for Kwame was the connection PCC gave him to the Bill Rice Ranch, where he was able to serve for one summer. During his time at the Ranch, Kwame began feeling God leading him to start a camp in his home country. A few years later, in 2006, Kwame started the youth camp, Camp Elienai. “God really laid this burden on my heart,” Kwame said, “because I said I would like something like this for my Bahamian people.”

Although the camp has been put on hold for the past two years because of hurricane damage, Kwame and Jennifer were able to see several teens dedicate their lives to Christ during the many years the camp was open. Some of those teenagers are current students at PCC. The Selvers hope that the camp will be able to open again one day—they are waiting for God’s direction and timing. If God allows, they would also like to see Camp Elienai used for more than just teen camp. “God has laid it on my heart to do more things throughout the year: family retreats, pastors retreats, pastors wives retreats. It’s endless what you can do with a camp,” Kwame said.


With their mindset of exalting Christ and exhorting Christians, the Selvers are constantly looking for ways to encourage others. Once, during a visit to PCC, Kwame and Jennifer asked the students they knew from back home to gather the rest of the Bahamian students. In all, approximately thirty students came together. One of these students, Shay Whyms (Jr., Bahamas), explained that the Selvers “took all of our names and said they would pray for us individually. They briefly told us about their ministry and encouraged us. Then, they treated us all to ice cream and coffee.”


Joya Sturrup (So., Bahamas), who has known the Selvers since she was a child, explained how the Selvers have influenced her life. “I went on my first missions trip with them to one of our out islands and was able to minister to a few girls there,” she said. “When I came back from that trip, I felt God leading me to teach music on our out islands. Both of them would remind me of my desires, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here at PCC right now.” Then, Joya added, “There’s never a dull moment with Bro. K., [as] we call him. Whenever I’m casually around him, I expect to laugh; when he presents the Word of God, I expect to be challenged and enlightened.”

As they travel to churches, the Selvers try to encourage teenagers to consider going to a Christian college. Because, for Kwame, seeing even non-ministerial students serve was one of the things that made a difference in his life when he was a student at PCC. “The one thing that stood out to me were the different people I met who weren’t Bible majors. I knew guys who were pre-law and went on Christian service with me. I think that was the most impactful thing to me—those relationships,” Kwame said. “Several of those people I keep in touch with; several of them I preach for or have come to visit The Bahamas.”

Whether traveling from country to country, state to state, or island to island, Kwame and Jennifer plan to continue traveling as God opens doors “to exalt the name of Christ and encourage the saints to do the same.” They also hope that they will be able to see Camp Elienai start back up again soon. As Kwame waits to see what doors God will open, he plans to keep serving where he can through studying Scripture and preaching God’s Word because as Kwame said, “I have a burden to see people grow.”

Dave Sexton ’08

Dave Sexton

  • Student Pastor, Calvary Bible Baptist Church in Westerville, OH

“Take every opportunity God gives you to actually serve. Don’t wait to be used. Be faithful now! Don’t ever think you know or have learned enough, and God can use ANYONE to teach you.

“The best thing about the ministry program at PCC was my internship at a local church. It was awesome to be serving in a church while still being around a multitude of people to ask questions of and learn from. A favorite memory was my PCC teacher coming to the Bible Conference we interns put on at our little church in Mobile, AL. He preached Sunday morning to a crowd of about 50 people. Even though he was one of the most well read and intelligent teachers I have ever had, he was on the point of tears for the honor of opening the Bible and being able to preach the truths in a practical way. The humility and reverence shown there has been forever burned into my memory, and I can never prepare to preach without thinking of the lesson I learned that day.”

Craig Caldwell ’89 MA; ’97 PhD

Craig Caldwell

  • Pastor, Cross & Crown Baptist Church (Clarksville, TN)

In 2002, Craig Caldwell (’89 MA Biblical Studies, ’97 PhD Biblical Studies) felt called to start a church in Clarksville, TN. Cross & Crown Baptist Church first met in the Caldwell’s living room with seven people. Now, the church family has about 190 members, but with the constant rotation of people due to the military base at Fort Campbell, their church is ministering to hundreds from around the world. “People from all walks of life are receiving Christ and following Him,” Craig said. “God used PCC to refine me as a person and prepare me for my current ministry. Challenging academics, on-campus work, floor-leading, drama, music, athletics, and collegian opportunities—all contributed to helping me ‘become all things to all men’ in order to reach them.”

Steven Curry ’91
  • Pastor, Oakside Baptist Church (LaGrange, GA)

“PCC’s management program equipped me with strong business ethics and creative thinking, and provided an excellent education. After graduating, I had several employers ask me where I learned so much about business at such a young age. After completing PCC’s program, the master’s program at UNH seemed easy, and the professors commented on the excellence of my former education.

“PCC gave me exactly what I needed to succeed in business. My advice for someone considering PCC’s management/marketing program is—Go for it!”

Brandon Hicks ’02; ’05 M.Div.

Brandon Hicks

  • US Army Chaplain

Missions graduate Brandon Hicks (’02, ’05 M.Div.) served as Hospital/Resiliency Chaplain in Baghdad and Basrahwhile on deployment in Iraq. “In the Army chaplaincy we have a motto: Bringing Soldiers to God and God to Soldiers,” he said. “I engaged soldiers on a spiritual level and attempted to boost their morale so they could complete their mission.”

With a friend’s encouragement, Brandon began pursuing the chaplaincy program while a senior at PCC. He went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree at Pensacola Theological Seminary, then gained ministry experience in a local church in New Mexico before receiving his commission into the Army Reserves as a Chaplain.

He believes the training he received at PCC and PTS to be instrumental in preparing him for the chaplaincy. “What I learned from PCC’s Bible program both on the graduate and undergraduate levels set me up for success in military ministry,” he said. “PCC best prepared me by allowing me to serve under godly faculty and staff members who cared about me and took time to invest in me to help mold me into the person I am today.

“PCC saturated me with God’s Word every day and highly regarded God’s holy, inspired, and perfect Word. I value God’s Word the same and teach it with passion to all I minister to. The soldiers, family members, and civilians I minister to appreciate that honest and forthright approach to God’s Word, especially in a day when there is much watered down, unbiblical teaching. PCC’s sound biblical teaching helped mold me into a sound preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

While in Iraq, Brandon commissioned a local shop owner to weave a decorative rug to present to Dr. and Mrs. Arlin Horton, PCC founders. “God has blessed me above measure through PCC. The rug was a gift to the Hortons as appreciation for making an excellent education affordable for all who work hard and trust God. The education and training I received at PCC were a solid foundation to my success. I am proud to be a PCC grad and look forward to God’s continued blessing on PCC.”

PCC Bible majors receive Bible-intensive training to become pastors, youth directors, missionaries, music ministers, and Christian leaders. See Bible academic programs for more information.

Matt Teis ’00

Matt Teis

  • Executive Pastor, Liberty Baptist Church, Las Vegas, NV

While a teenager in high school, Matt Teis (’00) wanted to see people come to Christ. Pursuing that goal would change the course of his life forever.

“As a seventeen-year-old attending summer camp, I was impressed with the need for people to make eternal decisions for Christ,” Matt said. He thought he could make that difference through politics, choosing PCC so he could earn a pre-law degree.

“But God impressed on my life that ministry was a better avenue for me to invest my energy,” he said. Changing his major to pastoral ministries, Matt gained a deeper understanding of Scripture and an appreciation for ministry.

“Not only did I receive a great academic education, but working in Campus Church gave me amazing opportunities to learn practical ministry. My instructors taught me to live a genuine life as a believer,” he said.

That mentorship and instruction brought many opportunities Matt’s way, leading him to become the executive pastor at Liberty Baptist Church, his home church in Las Vegas.

Serving in Liberty Baptist Church for over fifteen years now, Pastor Teis looks forward each day to speaking with new people about Christ. He said, “I love seeing people make life-changing choices to follow Christ, then enjoy the blessing of those choices.”

In addition to ministering and keeping the church operating, Pastor Teis was appointed as chaplain for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the eighth largest police bureau in the country. He also co-chairs the Heroes United Initiative, an organization dedicated to eliminating violent crime in the most violent area of Las Vegas. Since the initiative began, violent crime has been reduced by 75%, and that part of the city has not had a homicide in over a year. Pastor Teis is thankful for the opportunities the Lord has given him to speak publicly and make a difference in his community.

Pastor Teis looks forward to returning to PCC this fall to preach the Opening Meetings, which start the academic year. While on campus ministering at his alma mater, he hopes “to share with the students the reality of living for Christ and the privilege of representing God to our generation.”

Matt Ticzkus ’11

Matt Ticzkus

Becoming a youth pastor after college was a natural step for Matt Ticzkus (’04, M.A. ’11), who earned a B.A. in Pastoral Ministries from PCC, followed by an M.A. in Bible Exposition from PTS. After he had served the church youth for three years, though, his life changed course when the church decided to start a Christian school.

Matt approached his pastor about helping, and soon he took on the role of the second administrator of Victory Baptist Academy in Weatherford, Texas. He led the growing school for nine years while pursuing a second master’s degree in Christian school education (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary). Recently, the Lord has opened yet another door for him to become Regional Director for the Mid-South Region of the American Association of Christian Schools (AACS).

As Regional Director over Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi, Matt now spends his time helping other educators succeed. “I want to see Christian schools thrive,” he says. “There are so many challenges that Christian school leaders face, and I’m blessed to be able to use my experience to coach and to serve them as they seek to grow their schools and expand their influence for the cause of Christ.”

His job also involves planning and running events such as teacher professional development days and student fine arts competitions, and he represents AACS on a number of boards and committees like the Texas Private Schools Association.

Not only does Matt have the fulfillment of serving the Lord through his job, but he also gets to genuinely have fun doing his work. “I love generating ideas!” he says. “I enjoy meeting new people, especially school leaders, and learning about the amazing things they are doing at their school. I also enjoy traveling for work, especially on our international study abroad programs.”

In addition to being the AACS Regional Director, Matt serves his community in multiple other ways. “I was recently named the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year, and last year, I had the pleasure of serving as chair of that same group. I am currently serving my third year on the board of the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce. Three years ago, a business partner and I started a company, Lloyd and Lucy’s Pet Supplies. Our best seller is a hip and joint supplement for dogs struggling with hip dysplasia and/or arthritis. I’ve also enjoyed being a life coach for team trainers at my local Chick-fil-A. The coaching program helps prepare them to serve as team leaders at the restaurant. Currently, I work with 10 trainers.”

Matt is thankful for his time at PCC—through classes, extracurricular activities, and his on-campus job—for preparing him for the variety of responsibilities he has had. “One of the most helpful things I learned at PCC was being able to keep up with a busy schedule, and being able to do a lot of different things is also helpful in the ministry because I wear a lot of hats: I’ve led music/choir in our church, taught PE in our school, taught/preached in countless services, and participated in several dramas—and I was exposed to all of these things (and many others) at PCC both inside and outside the classroom. At PCC, I learned how to balance a busy life because a life of ministry is a busy life. Working at the information desk in college also taught me so much about customer service and working with people. The skills I learned at the Info Desk are ones that I use every day!”

In the fourteen years since college, Matt—along with his wife, Kelly (Burke, ’05) and their three children—has seen God’s faithfulness in many areas, and he knows God’s hand has been in it all. “God has opened doors for me at just the right time.”

Rich Tozour ’89

Rich Tozour

For the last 25 years, Evangelist Rich Tozour (’89) has worked with two eternal entities—the Word of God and the souls of men. In Kansas City, Missouri, he has led Tozour Evangelistic Ministries, traveling as a local church evangelist out of Eagle Heights Baptist Church.

Tozour Family

Rich, who had accepted Christ as Savior at 10, surrendered to full-time ministry at 15, about a year after his parents had fully surrendered to the Lord. “It occurred to me that night that my life’s calling should be up to the Lord and not to me,” he said. “Though scared to death to do public speaking, I had an idea that I would end up being a preacher.”

Eventually, he made his way to Florida to see what PCC had to offer. “I wanted a distinctly Christian education. It needed to be in a school that was dispensational in its theological perspective and practical in its application of God’s Word. It needed to practice biblical separation and exhibit a gracious spirit. And since I would be a Bible major, I definitely wanted a college that would teach Greek out of the Received Text (Textus Receptus) and that held to the King James Version in preaching and teaching,” he explained. “Pensacola Christian College fit those criteria.”

Tozour preaching

During that time, his father Richard “Dick” Tozour, Sr. (’91) joined him at PCC to earn a master’s in Bible Exposition from Pensacola Theological Seminary. “My dad, who was a general contractor, felt that the Lord might want him to pastor someday. We were both in the ministerial class together in ’88–’89 when I was president of that year’s ministerial class,” Rich said. “My dad never did end up in ministry, though he was fully yielded to doing so, but he was a faithful member at Campus Church for 20 years. He worked at Home Depot in Pensacola for most of those years [where] he was such a faithful witness. I called him a ‘missionary to Home Depot.’ ”

While at PCC, Rich learned much from his classes, from solidifying his own biblical convictions and beliefs in Bible Doctrines to knowing how to communicate clearly and correctly in speech and English classes. However, some of his most-used teaching methods found their roots in unexpected classes, and others weren’t received in class at all. “I didn’t appreciate History of Civilization at the time, but now I consistently use history as source for illustrating Bible truth,” Tozour said. “One of the greatest benefits to me was having excellent guest preachers in chapel, church, and ministerial class during my college years.”

Rich Tozour with camper

After graduating in 1989, Rich gave some thought into pursuing a master’s degree, but his life was shaped by another opportunity—working as a College representative. At that point, he found himself traveling the country, preaching once or twice a day for two years. Loving the adventure of it, traveling often became regular for Rich, now doing so with his family for evangelism work. “Our whole family loves to travel. We’ve been to every state and to some other countries,” Tozour said. “We love the quote from Augustine, ‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.’ ”

On his life’s path, Rich credits longtime PCC staff member Reggie Sellers (retired 2018) for helping steer him in the right direction. After delivering what Rich described as “a particularly heavy-handed sermon,” Rich received advice from Mr. Sellers that he’d never forget. “He explained, ‘Rich, people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care. Your preaching is fine, but your tone conveys condescension. My concern is not just for you as a preacher representing this institution; I’m concerned for your life-long ministry. You won’t last long in evangelism if people don’t sense that you care about them,’ ” Tozour recalled. “That day proved to be the breaking point in my life. I’m grateful for many things Mr. Sellers taught me; that one was the most important.”

Tozour Family

Attending PCC proved to be more than just college experience for Evangelist Tozour; it led him down the road the Lord intended for him and gave him the privilege of seeing his daughter Briana (’18) graduate from his alma mater. “I settled in my heart the doctrines that made me an independent Baptist by conviction. I was broken so the Lord could use me. I met the girl I would marry, Angela Wessberg (’93), whose influence would make a greater impact on me than anyone else but the Lord Himself,” he said. “I’m very grateful that I received a solid foundation for ministry during my college years at PCC and in the experiences I received working as a rep after graduation.”

Joel ’05, ’06 MA, ’08 MDV
and Deanna Porcher
’03, ’06 MS

Joel and Deanna Porcher

  • Missionaries to Ghana, West Africa

A normal day for missionaries Joel (’05, MA ’06, MDV ’08) and Deanna Porcher (’03, MS ’06) could bring anything, such as dealing with power outages known as “lights off” or the need to constantly use ingenuity to provide for life’s basic needs. But for Joel and Deanna, this is the life that keeps them excited and filled with purpose because they know God has called them to this place and ministry.

Joel and Deanna serve with their two boys in Cape Coast, Ghana, West Africa, where people are familiar with religion but often misunderstand salvation. “In a recent survey conducted in our area, over 90% of people claim to have made Christ their personal Lord and Savior,” Joel said. “Unfortunately, most all of these people using religious terminology do not understand the gospel, and instead of trusting in the righteousness of Christ alone are rather depending on their works to make them right with God.”

To share the gospel more easily, Joel and Deanna have found unique ways to meet people. For example, Deanna teaches piano lessons and tutors children, and Joel assists at a community library and resource center that they helped establish. According to Joel, “People come here to read, study, ask questions, and even take music lessons.”

Their first library attendant at the resource center was a man who had gotten saved and been baptized after the Porchers’ arrival. Being a library attendant exposed the man to resources which were valuable in his early discipleship. Joel said, “Today, he is one of our most faithful members and is growing in the Lord.”

Since Joel and Deanna arrived in Ghana in 2012 with Open Door Baptist Missions, they have been helping a new church whose pastor returned to the United States for health reasons. “Much of our time is spent discipling very new believers, grounding them in the doctrines of the Bible, and helping them to establish a biblical worldview,“ Joel explained. When the opportunity arises, Joel meets with couples or individuals outside of regular church services to counsel them using Scripture.

One couple in particular has been a blessing to the church through this discipleship. After accepting Christ and being baptized, the couple felt challenged by the Bible about their lifestyle and decided to get married. Joel said, “It has been a joy seeing them learn how to walk with God and grow together in a biblically grounded marriage.”

Through church services and discipleship, Joel and Deanna hope to see this church able to thrive without the presence of a missionary and begin its own ministry in another part of Ghana.

Other areas of the Porchers’ ministry include a radio broadcast on Sunday evenings, a Bible institute, and Bible clubs for children. One day, the Porchers would like to start a Christian day school and expand the current Bible institute ministry.

Although their work is not without struggles, God is still moving in the hearts of many Ghanaian people, bringing them to Himself. “Our desire is not to boast of great numbers. But to be faithful and diligent in the accurate proclamation of the gospel message,” Joel said. “We recognize that it is God who yields the increase, and we are confident that He will do that as we are faithful with His Word.”

Jonathan Stormer ’05

Jonathan Stormer

Although he graduated from PCC with two Bible degrees, Jonathan Stormer (B.S.’03, B.A.’05), is now a U.S. Army Captain at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he serves as a resident physician for wounded servicemen. “Being a physician is inherently physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. It can be difficult to balance time with God, family, church, work, study, and exercise, but the rewards are worth it,” he said.

In 1999, Jonathan left the cold Upper Peninsula of Michigan for PCC in sunny Florida—a welcome change of weather conditions. While there, Jonathan found support in the malleable years of his life during college. “I experienced some significant physical problems that left me very discouraged during my time at PCC,” he recalled. “[Evangelist] Dave Young was a very popular speaker and teacher among my peers and me, and really reached out and invested himself into my life, allowing me to travel with him and his family. His mentoring was very encouraging and helped me get through a difficult time in my life.”

During a message at PCC, Jonathan surrendered to follow God’s will and transitioned out of the Biology program. It was then that he began to find God’s direction for his life. “Initially, I thought that meant I had to go into some kind of full-time Christian service, so I changed majors and completed two Bible degrees,” he said. “I further developed a biblical worldview while teaching high school Bible for three years up in Houlton, Maine, and realized Christian service encompasses all aspects of life, so I returned to pursuing a ministry through medicine. As an image bearer I wanted to glorify God by maximizing my potential to serve others and utilize my gifts to relieve their suffering.”

Stormer Family

Since then, Jonathan married Meredith (Jago, ’06), a nursing graduate who is finishing her family nurse practitioner degree, and together they’re raising three young sons. Jonathan also received a bachelor’s in biology in 2013, graduating summa cum laude, and then earned a Doctor of Osteopathy in 2017, graduating with honors.

Jonathan is currently serving his third year as a resident physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation, a small specialty that focuses on maximizing function, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. Because the center treats many musculoskeletal complaints, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and pain management, the study is a hybrid of orthopedics, neurology, and anesthesia. Jonathan uses electrodiagnostic studies, ultrasound-guided injections, regenerative medicine, amputee care, manual manipulation, acupuncture, prosthetics, bracing, and more to enhance function for patients. “By the dangerous nature of their job, special operations forces members are frequently seriously injured and eventually require rehabilitation,” he said. “We are intimately involved in the Wounded Warrior care, and it is incredibly rewarding to meet and treat these elite members of the armed forces.”

Looking back, Jonathan sees how God orchestrated different points in his life leading up to PCC and onward. “I definitely developed personal discipline and study skills there that have been pivotal in propelling me forward in my career. It is also at PCC where I began taking responsibility to develop and maintain a personal relationship with God and learned to trust in Him to enable me to perform the tasks that He calls me to do,” he said. “My journey since has been very difficult with significant challenges, but my relationship with Christ has carried me through.”

Although his course didn’t go where he thought it would, Jonathan has continued to serve God. “While my role as a physician isn’t directly related to church ministry, the foundation in biblical knowledge and training in communicating God’s Word has enabled me to continue to teach and preach in various settings as well as share the gospel with my patients and coworkers. Being immersed in God’s Word through devotions, Bible classes, chapel, church services, and conferences is invaluable since it pertains to relationships, finances, occupation, health, and every other facet of life.”

Grant Zevenbergen ’08 MA

Grant Zevenbergen

  • Pastor, Sonrise Valley Baptist Church (Church Plant)

Growing up in Phoenix, AZ, Grant Zevenbergen (’08 MA Bible Exposition) knew that the area needed churches. After hearing a seminary chapel message about church planting, Grant and three of his friends spent two semesters praying specifically about church planting. In 2011, he planted Sonrise Valley Baptist Church and two years later, they have 21 members, run a children’s ministry and van ministry, and support 5 missionaries. “God has planted an independent Baptist church in less than two years,” Grant said. “I praise the Lord for allowing me to be a part of it.”

Philip Green ’99

Philip Green

  • M.A. in Bible Exposition: Pensacola Theological Seminary
  • Pastor, First Baptist Church (Pavilion, NY)

Since 2004, Pastor Philip Green has served his community as a volunteer Chaplain for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. He assists with death notifications; provides marital, family, and individual counseling; offers stress management classes; visits deputies, dispatchers, and hospital administration; and ministers in many other activities.

In response to Pastor Green’s many years of selfless service, the National Sheriff’s Association will honor him with the 2011 Chaplain of the Year award at the association’s Summer Training Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, this summer.

“As a pastor, I love to see people grow spiritually, to increase their faith and confidence in the Lord,” he said. “My favorite part of working with the law enforcement community is having the opportunity to be a witness and testimony of God’s grace to a community.

“PCC’s academics taught me diligence, time management, and good communication through correct grammar,” he said, “but I believe the most important things I learned at PCC were an attitude of excellence, the ability to sort my thoughts in a systematic and cohesive format, how to deal with leaders and authority figures, and how to minister.”

Kurt Kramer ’96; ’98 MA

Kurt Kramer

  • Pastor, Open Door Baptist Church (Tucson, AZ)

Because of the strong foundation in ministry that Kurt Kramer (’96 Youth Ministries, ’98 MA Bible Exposition) received at PCC, he felt prepared to lead Open Door Baptist Church when it began in Tucson, AZ, in February 2010. “The care and concern of the faculty for my spiritual development and maturity as a Christian helped me as a pastor not only to teach the truth, but also to genuinely minister to the needs of people.” Kurt has helped guide his church in the same spirit of ministry. Now they support twelve missionaries, three evangelists, four national pastors, and the Bearing Precious Seed Juarez Project. “As we have remained faithful to the Bible, God has been faithful to build His Church.”

Cliff Jones ’99

Cliff Jones

When Cliff Jones (’99) began his college career in Wisconsin, he wanted to work toward becoming a firefighter. As his time in college progressed, that desire changed. He felt the Lord calling him to missions. “Growing up, I always wanted to be a firefighter and, particularly, wanted to serve in the U.S. Air Force as a firefighter,” said Cliff. “I got saved when I was a senior in high school. My parents really wanted me to go to a Christian school for a year to get some grounding before I joined the military.”

Although he had started his college career with an idea of where the Lord would lead him, Cliff found himself being nudged toward a narrowed-down path through his circumstances. “I couldn’t afford to stay where I started. Once I arrived at PCC, I was blown away by the facilities, professors, and friendships that were made,” Cliff said. He was especially thankful for meeting Wendi Barth (Early Childhood Ed. ’00) while at PCC, who he married in 2000. “I have no regrets on my transfer.”

Cliff Jones

While Cliff chose to pursue a pastoral ministries degree at PCC, it wasn’t until a chapel service that he discovered where his calling and circumstances were leading him. Guest speaker Steve Siefkes, a U.S. Air Force Chaplain, presented a message to the student body while in uniform. “I immediately felt God leading me to the Chaplaincy. I rushed up to the stage to talk to him. Little did I know, a lifelong friend and mentorship was born,” he said. “After contacting the recruiters and learning about the Chaplaincy, I learned I needed to complete the Master of Divinity.”

In 1999, Cliff was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force. Once he completed his M.Div. degree in 2003, Cliff went on active duty. He served in the United States Air Force until 2011 before crossing over to the Army to a Field Artillery Unit. His time in the service provided several opportunities for ministry. “[Some highlights included] riding in the back of an F-15, deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, door-to-door outreach during the days following Hurricane Katrina while working with FEMA teams in Louisiana and Mississippi. On a day-to-day basis, simply getting to work with young troops and their families,” he said. “It was refreshing and rewarding getting to be around them all day, every day and to get to help build and invest in their lives and that of their family.”

As a chaplain, he worked intentionally with those in his unit. “We did everything together, from PT (physical training) to staff meetings to field training for weeks on end and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “On Sundays, I was always privileged to lead or share leadership responsibilities in worship services on post and in off-post housing. These provided great opportunities to connect with more troops and their families, away from the workplace, in a sacred environment.”

In 2014, Cliff transferred to the Army Reserves, and began serving as a Federal Prison Chaplain in the largest federal prison in the Bureau of Prisons. “I loved the military and the prison chaplaincy because I was able to work with individuals and families of all walks of life,” he said.

Cliff Jones

Over his time in the service, Cliff had his share of highs and lows while sharing God’s truths to others before he retired from the Army in 2017. He earned several awards for his service, including the Combat Action Badge while he was deployed to Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division. In 2020, Cliff was medically retired from the Bureau of Prisons due to complications related to PTSD. “I’ve experienced some pretty tremendous blessings in my work and ministry,” he said. “I’ve also experienced some heavy hardships. I’ve learned more from the hard times than I ever could have learned from the good times.”

Wendi and I have experienced a lot as a couple as well,” Cliff continued. “Through those difficulties, God has opened many doors for us to minister to others. He has blessed us with two children via the miracle of adoption. We’ve even started a non-profit called MIA2Hope Ministry in order to help those who feel ‘Missing-in-Action’ because of miscarriage, infertility, and/or those in the adoption/foster care process.”

Cliff is taking the next step forward toward God’s calling to minister to others. Currently, he’s finishing a degree in interdisciplinary studies with plans to begin a Master of Social Work in the fall to become a social worker in adoption and foster care, an area he has a great burden for. “Our non-profit, MIA2Hope Ministry is something I feel is a great accomplishment, particularly as we turn our heartache into helpful ministry in serving others who are experiencing some of what we have,” he said. He and Wendi extend that welcomed hand of support and encouragement at their church in New Jersey. “We’re both engaged in several ministries there, including a small group for adoptive and foster families that kicked-off last fall.”

Although Cliff didn’t begin at PCC, he’s thankful for how God has used those years to point, guide, and teach him. “The most valuable were the practical sessions in chapel or Ministerial Seminar paired with the self-discipline that is required to be a college student in an academically challenging school. I was encouraged often by interaction with my professors and the friendships that were built—many that still remain. All that, paired with working a lot of hours on the Grounds crew, really helped me learn a healthy balance of work, study, and fun,” he said. “This is something I still need to utilize today.”

From firefighter to social worker, Cliff’s vocations and dreams may have changed, developed, and shifted over the years, but he continues to further the same work he was called to do—sharing God’s peace with those who need it the most.

Matt and Dallita Goins ’00

Matt and Dallita Goins

As missionaries in Honduras, Matt (’00) and Dallita (’00) Goins have enjoyed a fruitful ministry at Iglesia Bautista El Faro, or Beacon Baptist Church, where they have been a pastoring family for 15 years. God used their time at PCC to bring them where He needed them to be, although they didn’t realize it at the time.

While Dallita had chosen PCC for its Christian values and to be with her older sister, Matt enrolled for less spiritual reasons as the oldest of six—the affordable cost. Matt met Dallita through her older sister, who happened to be his first chapel buddy, during his first week, although they didn’t begin dating until two years later.

Toward the end of his freshman year, Matt trusted in Christ as his Savior, reconsidered his purpose in life, and changed his major, switching from accounting to pastoral ministries. “I wasn’t sure where God would lead for ministry—whether missions, pastorate, youth ministry, or evangelism—so I chose to study pastoral ministries because it had more Bible classes and less of a direct focus,” he said. “I trusted it would be better to get more specific training in an area after I felt God’s leading in a specific direction.”

Matt and Dallita Goins

Matt found his direction two years later, after surrendering to go to the mission field. As he sat in a Mission Prayer Band presentation showing the spiritual needs of Latin America, Matt became burdened for the people there. “Both Dallita and I surrendered to go to the mission field for ministry at separate Missions Conferences while attending Campus Church during our time as students,” he said. “Through prayer and circumstances the Lord directed us to Honduras after graduation.”

By 2004, he and Dallita married, attended language school for a year in Costa Rica, were accepted with Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI), and began living outside the United States. Soon after, their ministry in the city of El Progreso of Yoro, Honduras began.

As the main preaching pastor at Iglesia Bautista El Faro, Matt cares for a congregation of over 300, while also teaching in the Bible institute and supervising the overall ministry of Team Honduras—outreach partnerships with Hope Children’s Home for socially at-risk children and Medical Missions Outreach ( MMO). Dallita takes time working with the ladies discipleship and ministry, while also teaching piano lessons and serving as the principal pianist for church services.

Matt and Dallita Goins

“I interned at West Florida Baptist Church in Milton, Florida,” Matt recalled. “The opportunity that I had to intern in a local church as a ministerial student was life changing. The practical training that I received as an active participant in the local church was invaluable for future ministry. After graduation and marriage, I continued to work at West Florida Baptist Church, and they became our sending church.”

As a student, Dallita had initially started her journey in pre-med, but decided that a nursing degree would open doors toward the mission field more quickly. Currently, her attention is needed at home with her three sons, who are all taking high school video courses with Abeka, but she maintains her licensing in the U.S. by taking nursing continuing education units (CEUs).

Matt and Dallita Goins

“It has been a tremendous blessing to lean on her medical knowledge because of the deficiency of medical care in this developing country,” Matt said. “This year, we are inaugurating a surgical center on our ministry campus in partnership with Medical Missions Outreach. Our boys will all be finishing their high school education within the next 3 years, so it will be very likely that Dallita will transition into a role where she will use nursing skills on a weekly basis.”

Matt and Dallita both believe their experiences and training at PCC prepared them for their current lives as a pastoring family in Honduras. “We were influenced by the excellence in everything at Campus Church and PCC. The spiritual emphasis, the high expectations, the disciplined environment, the quality of the campus, the spirit that was encouraged—all were factors in our preparation. We have tried to emulate that excellence in serving the Lord on the mission field,” Matt said.

Matt and Dallita Goins

“The most valuable takeaway from my time at PCC was the well-rounded educational experience which provided a foundation for future growth and development,” Matt said. “We were exposed to the arts, literature, history. We made life-long relationships. Our closest friends are the people we met as students at PCC. We were able to develop socially by living in the dorms, participating in student organizations and sports teams, managing our schedules, working on campus.”

Over their 15 years in Honduras, the Goins have been thrilled to see God work through their ministry outreach and are excited to see how they will continue to reach the community for Christ. “Our favorite part of working in ministry is seeing God transform lives and perform absolute miracles in the process. The longer we are here, the more evident God’s influence through our family as His instrument has been,” Matt said.

Corey Knopf  ’10

Corey Knopf

Each week, Corey Knopf (Bible, ’10) opens his Bible and looks out at a crowd of teenagers sitting in chairs or walking over from the beloved carpet ball table. On the wall to his right hang four posters that say “Step Up,” “Submit,” “Commit,” “Move.” As youth pastor of the First Baptist Church in Milford, Ohio, Corey has strived to do just that—stepping up to serve in the same ministry he grew up in, now helping train teenagers to love Christ just as he was taught.

With approximately seventy to eighty teens coming to Sunday morning Bible study and the midweek youth service, Corey has the privilege to share God’s Word with the next generation of Christian leaders.

Bible Study Teens

But Corey’s vision extends past the walls of the youth room; through overseeing a class called The POINT for teen bus riders, visiting bus teens and their families at home, and mentoring in two local public schools, Corey has seen his youth group grow in amazing ways. “We have teens who come on our bus because they don’t have family who come to church,” Corey said. “It is awesome to see young people come to church all on their own.”

Corey wants his teens to have a vision to reach their community as well. Through free events such as an Easter egg hunt and a youth car wash, teenagers have had the opportunity to serve the community and invite visitors to church. “While we were washing cars, we gave the people we met water bottles, cookies, wristbands, and an invitation to our church,” Corey said. “The people in the community were shocked when we told them we were not taking any money and that we just wanted them to know that there was a church in the community that cared about them. It was awesome!”

Throughout the year, the youth group also hosts mini-carnivals at apartment complexes where the teens give out snow cones, set up a bounce house, and organize games for kids. “This is always well received, and it is a great way to build relationships in our area,” Corey said.

Even youth activities such as the recent Color War or the annual Christmas party give the teenagers a chance to grow in their faith. Not only do the activities provide important fellowship for the teens and the youth group leaders, but they also open doors for the teens to meet or bring visitors, who can then hear the gospel.

Bible Stud yTeens

During the summers, Corey takes teens either on a missions trip, to a youth conference, or to a youth camp, depending on the year. Recently, Corey and other youth leaders took a group of thirty-five teens to Bearing Precious Seed in El Paso, Texas, to help assemble John/Romans that would be distributed in Juarez, Mexico.

“God is doing some incredible work in our youth group right now,” Corey said, thinking back to this past year at youth camp, where a few of his teens accepted Christ as Savior or gained assurance of their salvation. “I just had the privilege last week of baptizing one of the young men who got saved at camp,” Corey added. “[I] never get over seeing people get saved. That is one of my absolute favorite things about ministry.”

But ministry wasn’t always what Corey wanted to do. When he graduated from high school and applied at PCC, Corey listed chemistry as his major. He planned to return to Cincinnati, Ohio, to work as a research chemist for Proctor and Gamble. It wasn’t until his sophomore year that he began sensing God’s work in his heart about full-time ministry. “This call spanned many weeks,” Corey said. “I eventually surrendered to God that I would serve in ministry with my life. I changed my major from chemistry to Bible going into my junior year of college, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that leading of God in my life.”

Bible Study Teens

Corey explained that during these in-between weeks, he remembers telling some teachers about the switch. “I can remember specific conversations with them that greatly encouraged me at the time to follow God’s leading. I’m still grateful for these men who took time to invest in me as an individual person.”

Once in the Bible program, he began taking Greek and more in-depth Bible courses. “I am very thankful for my exposure to Biblical languages through the two years of Greek I took in my undergraduate program,” he said. “It has helped me so many times in studying for lessons and sermons.”

Corey also has a vision to help others working with teens. Each November, First Baptist Church hosts the Loving and Leading Conference, designed to encourage and assist those serving in ministry. The past few years, Corey has taught various classes for this conference that included topics from dealing with leadership insecurity to tips on working with a church intern. “It’s an awesome opportunity because I get to share what I’ve experienced in ministry and try to help someone else as they navigate similar situations in ministry.”

“Ministry has its unique challenges,” Corey admitted. “But it’s refreshing and encouraging to know that the time and energy put into the ministry are all for the ultimate cause of bringing glory to Jesus.”

Eric Humble ’02

Eric Humble

  • M.A. in Bible Exposition: Pensacola Theological Seminary
  • Children’s Pastor, Mansfield Baptist Temple

“I have served at Mansfield Baptist Temple for six years. I love the opportunity to be a part of so many people’s lives and an influence on young people and adults. The most rewarding part of my job is to see children accept Christ as their Savior.

“When I decided to go to PCC, I looked at what kind of men PCC was producing in the ministry and liked what I saw. Ultimately, this is why I attended. PCC gave me a good foundation for my ministry because of the many ways to get involved. Being involved and serving in the ministries of PCC helped me gain insight into the practical aspects of the ministry. I also appreciate the classes and internship that gave me hands-on experience in music and Bible. During my years of interning, I began to see God’s calling me to children's ministry.

“PCC was and has been such a blessing to me. My advice to students is that you shouldn’t just search for a school that has your major, but a school that can prepare you for life—a school with good standards that can help you live your life according to God’s Word.”

Jon Gorman ’03

Jon Gorman

  • Assistant Pastor, Faith Baptist Church of Margate, FL
  • M.A. in Bible Exposition and M.Div.: Pensacola Theological Seminary

“It is great to see God use me in His service. I love preaching His Word! I love seeing souls saved! What better reward could there be than when a new name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and God used you to have a part in it?

“I have served as assistant pastor of Faith Baptist Church of Margate, Florida, for 3 years (since graduating from seminary) under my father who pastors the church here. God has called me to plant a church for His glory, and He led me to ‘learn the ropes’ under my father until then. We are preparing to plant a church to reach the military at Ft. Dix/McGuire joint base in NJ.

“PCC not only instilled strong Bible doctrine through superior teaching and great Bible preaching, but living and working in the residence halls also helped me to learn how to be willing and flexible and to think of others. Being involved in the extracurricular activities helped me develop friendships that still last today. As a Bible student, I think that being saturated in the Word of God at PCC was the most helpful thing for me even now. I was called to preach while I was a student at PCC, and I might not have heeded that call if I had not been so focused on God through the tremendous Bible preaching and teaching there.

“I loved hearing practical helps from the many guest pastors that came to teach in Ministerial Seminar. These great pastors from all over America were able to offer Bible wisdom for things I am currently dealing with in the ministry, and their notes are still helpful to me even now. I also loved being very active in Bible clubs, door-to-door soul winning, nursing home ministries, and juvenile justice ministries. It was my involvement in these many different Christian service ministries of PCC that helped me to grow by letting God use me to see souls saved and Christians encouraged and learning God’s Word.

“The best things you can do to prepare for future ministry are to saturate yourself in the Bible and to get involved in the work now. PCC will help you tremendously in both areas. At PCC you will be surrounded with men and women of God who are dedicated to the Lord and strive to help you to follow Him. You will be instilled with sound doctrine through the great preaching and teaching. The chapel and prayer group times constantly encourage you to focus on the Lord. There are also many opportunities to get involved in sharing the Gospel with those in the surrounding community so that you can be serving while you are learning.”

John Rush ’90

John Rush

  • Pastor, Liberty Church (Cosby, Tennessee)

Eleven years ago Pastor Rush began writing short skits when he saw a need in his Christian school. “The goal was to write parts that fit the individual students at the time,” he said. This sparked his interest in writing plays, and he soon found himself reading Louis E. Catron’s book Playwriting, a gift from PCC adjunct faculty Rhonda Autrey. “Seeing an audience respond to ideas [I] forged alone at the computer hooked me. I wanted to try my hand at full three-act stories.”

Seeing a performance of his play Home Again encouraged Pastor Rush. “It’s fun to think of others producing Home Again with their own dramatic interpretation. We Christians need to keep writing to try to capture the imagination of our culture, trying for beauty and thematic subtlety.”

Christian drama, Rush believes, allows the audience to “interact with the story without blatant exposition of theme.” As a pastor, Rush is used to expounding scriptural truth directly, but as a growing playwright, he enjoys “scratching ideas from rock.” He wants his audience to ponder the truth illustrated in his dramas long after they have left the building. “I think the art of story can help us do that.”

Bill Fennell ’92

Bill Fennell

  • Pastor, Mount Vernon Baptist Temple (Mount Vernon, OH)
  • Vice President of Christian Schools of Ohio

“I am the senior pastor at Mount Vernon Baptist Temple. God called me to this ministry after being a children’s pastor for six years. I love the wonderful opportunity to study, teach, and preach the Word of God and to minister with the greatest group of people in the world!

“In addition to practical training and Biblical knowledge, PCC taught me the importance of doing all for the glory of the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:31).”

Craig Mansfield ’92

Craig Mansfield

  • Pastor, First Baptist Church (Kenton, OH)

I was led to this position in 2000 after serving as a youth pastor for eight years. The first three years were very turbulent. The church was suffering from decades of no biblical teaching, building on unbiblical principles and adopting worldly philosophies. Several of the people began to grow stronger in their faith in God’s Word; and as they did, God was able to carry out His transformational power in them. I rejoice as people change more into the image of Jesus Christ.

“PCC gave me the solid foundation on which to build a ministry. There is no way possible an institution can prepare you for all you will face, but it can hinder you if it is missing the solid foundation of biblical teaching and principles. In difficult ministry moments, I have seen God’s faithfulness as I trust in His Word. The education I received from PCC has prepared me with the correct worldview, a discerning mind, and a steadfast faith in God’s Word as my guide.”

John Lafreniere ’01

John Lafreniere

Youth ministries grad John Lafreniere (’01) found himself pleading with God for answers after raising 40% support to start a church in his hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut. Eight months earlier and just weeks after his son’s birth, his wife Abby had been diagnosed with ALS, a debilitating disease that will take a person’s life in 2–5 years. “The only thing that kept me going forward was the grace of God,” said John.

Although they had the option of discontinuing their church plant, John said, “I looked at my wife and asked, ‘Abby, do you want to keep going?’ She looked at me and said, ‘This is what God has called us to do; this is what we’re going to do. There are people in Fairfield that need us. There’s a church that needs to be started. We need to keep going.’”

So they kept going, raising the remaining 60% support they needed and starting Fairfield Baptist Church in the local elementary school. During that time, John said that “Abby’s resolve was such an example to me,” his wife’s desire to be an active part in their church ministry inspiring him. “Through the course of this disease, Abby remained faithful to church and helped disciple the ladies of our church. She was a faithful witness and led several of her caregivers to Christ.”

With his wife’s encouragement and his training at PCC, John believed the Lord had prepared him for both the pastorate and the trials ahead. “Some of my greatest training came outside the classroom at PCC as I was able to lead a neighborhood Bible club as well as help at a local church,” he said. “The atmosphere and practical messages were crucial to keeping my focus on God while pursuing my academics.”

That God-ward focus was mirrored every time he looked at Abby. Six months into her disease, she lost the ability to walk, and after eight months, she lost significant ability to move her arms. Yet through all of her trials, she kept a heavenly perspective. In a video recounting her battle with ALS, she said, “We don’t understand everything that goes into our lives and things that happen, but God knows. And we’re just told that we need to trust in Him.”

As John continued to trust in God, he watched his wife slip further away. “One night, I was begging God for some perspective in what I was going through, and He gave me this thought,” said John. “Abby is my modern-day parable of how dependent I should be on God. Without my help, Abby could not do basic tasks, and so am I without my God.”

This realization began a journey that would influence not just John and his family but his entire ministry. Dependence on God became his focus as his wife’s condition worsened, as he acted as caregiver to his wife, father to their son Elijah, and pastor to their fledgling ministry.

Yet through it all, he could see God’s divine hand guiding, encouraging, and promising that the best was yet to come. On February 24, 2017, John said goodbye to his wife on this earth, knowing that her first steps out of that wheelchair were as she walked with the Lord.

“The grace of God continues to overwhelm us as we continue to press forward by faith,” said John. “We know there’s a bigger plan, and we just want God to get the glory.”

In the months that followed, John watched as the Lord continued to glorify His name, developing their little church body into a strong core of forty people—people on fire for the Lord. They joined in tract blitzes, door-to-door evangelism, and community events. They came alongside John and Elijah, encouraging them as a second family.

“Losing a spouse is obviously difficult; but in this trial, I have seen God’s grace give us healing, understanding, and a deeper perspective,” said John. “I have learned to more deeply trust the Lord. Most people trust God to provide more for them, but I have been taught that true trust is allowing the Lord to take away something that you think you need. Pressing forward by faith is one step of trust and another step of obedience. I don’t know all that God has planned for my future, but I know I have a Heavenly Father that will give me exactly what I need.”

Rodney Moye ’02 M.Div.
  • Pastor, Independent Baptist Church of Georgetown (Washington, D.C.)

“While attending Pensacola Theological Seminary (PTS), I took a church-planting class. As I approached graduation, God began to reveal that He would have me to become a church planter, and through a succession of events, He used one of my seminary teachers to lead my wife and me to start Independent Baptist Church of Georgetown.

“My two favorite parts about serving God in full-time ministry are knowing that I am in the center of God’s will and knowing that my life is making a difference in eternity. I want my life to count for something for eternity, and full-time ministry gives me that opportunity.

PTS prepared me for the ministry in a variety of ways from the practical, biblical preaching and teaching that the school offers to the school’s emphasis on professionalism—doing all to the glory of God. As a church planter, I believe the most practical, helpful, and valuable area of my training was the time I spent serving as a seminary intern in local Pensacola churches. I am very thankful that PCC requires this very important aspect of preparing men and women to serve in full-time ministry.

“One of my favorite classes was Revelation taught by Dr. Mullenix. As I sat through class, I was amazed at how effortlessly he unfolded the truths of Revelation in an almost storybook fashion. His knowledge and approach allowed me to retain much of what I learned, and I can still remember him standing before the class, describing the fall of Babylon, excitedly sharing how our Savior will one day have victory over the nations and wickedness of this world.

“I would wholeheartedly advise any young person considering PCC’s Bible program or preparing for the ministry to seriously pray about attending PCC. The teaching is first-rate; the classes are challenging; the facilities are second to none; and, most importantly, God and His Word are revered at PCC.”

Charlie Barnes ’95

Charlie Barnes

  • Associate Pastor, Engleside Baptist Church (Alexandria, VA)

“My responsibilities include counseling, teaching Sunday school, overseeing church fellowships, organizing church outreaches, caring for our building, and preaching when our pastor is out.

“My favorite part of ministry is that I have many opportunities on a daily basis to impact eternity. There is no greater joy than to see an individual grow in Christ.

“The most valuable aspect of my training at PCC is the preparation I received in preaching and teaching the Word of God. PCC’s program gave me a great foundation in Biblical knowledge and Scriptural application.”

Eric Gustafson ’98 grad

Eric Gustafson

  • M.S. in Educational Administration: Pensacola Christian College
  • Pastor, Paradise Valley Baptist Church (Cresco, PA)

“I have many blessings in serving the Lord full-time, but one of the most rewarding is that my family is able to be such an integral part of serving with me. My wife and children are able to see the Lord’s hand of blessing upon our church, new converts growing in Christ, faithful examples by other believers, and the excitement that comes with being in the center of God's will.

“PCC reinforced the biblical foundation my parents had instilled in my life. Through the various classes, special speakers, and conferences, I received a wide variety of Bible-based preaching. The ministerial seminar program was very helpful in preparing me for the day-to-day areas of church ministry such as baptisms, administering the Lord’s Supper, weddings, funerals, and directing congregational music. Learning to use the Bible as the sole authority and basis for all counseling has been exceedingly valuable in ministry.

“PCC offers an excellent Bible program that will equip you with the study of God, but it will be your daily private walk with the Lord that will determine your effectiveness in your ministry. I appreciate PCC’s desire for excellence in academics and purpose to remain true to the Bible despite so many who have forsaken the precepts and lines of Scripture.”

James Walsh ’04

James Walsh

Alumnus James Walsh (’04) wears many hats as senior vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in North Carolina. Each day, he manages a team in charge of the Treasury Management and Credit facilities as he advises the CEOs and CFOs of the bank’s mid-tier businesses. “One day my job may be to entertain our clients at a sporting event in an effort to build trust and teamwork. The next day, my job may be rolling up my sleeves in the offices along with the management team and breaking down company financials and providing advice and strategy for an ongoing plan,” he said.

Walsh saw God open many doors, leading him to his current position at Bank of America. “I was led along a very winding road to where I am today, but all by the guidance of the Lord,” he said.

As a student at PCC, Walsh surrendered to serve wherever God might lead. “I knew that I had one life to live and wanted to live it fully for the Lord,” he said. “My life was forever changed because of the strong emphasis that PCC placed on the Word of God. God used the faculty, staff, and student body to mold me more into His image.”

During his college years, Walsh made the most of each opportunity to serve—as collegian chaplain, vice president of Ministerial Seminar, as well as a residence hall assistant. Some of his favorite memories though are the Saturday mornings he spent with youth at the Juvenile Justice Center. “All of this helped prepare me for what I am doing today,” he said.

After graduation, Walsh packed his bags and headed to Mexico where he spent two years studying Spanish and assisting long-term missionaries with their ministries. More than once, Walsh had the opportunity to pastor churches for missionaries when they came back to the states for furlough.

After those two years, Walsh moved back to the states to serve out of a local church. “I had no idea what God had for me next, but I knew that I needed a job,” Walsh said. “Bank of America hired me as a bilingual business specialist to work with Hispanic start-up businesses. I came to realize that my giftedness was in walking alongside people and helping them both in business and in life.”

Ten years and a few promotions later, Walsh is still thrilled to look back and see how God has led him to where he is today. “I love having the opportunity to love and serve people through Bank of America,” he said. “I love that I am able to help business owners on a daily basis and, at the same time, share the love of Christ with them.”

Joshua Teis ’02

Joshua Teis

  • M.A. in Bible Exposition: Pensacola Theological Seminary
  • Senior Pastor, Southern Hills Baptist Church of Las Vegas (Church Plant)

I was led to this position in 2000 after serving as a youth pastor for eight years. The first three years were very turbulent. The church was suffering from decades of no biblical teaching, building on unbiblical principles and adopting worldly philosophies. Several of the people began to grow stronger in their faith in God’s Word; and as they did, God was able to carry out His transformational power in them. I rejoice as people change more into the image of Jesus Christ.

“PCC gave me the solid foundation on which to build a ministry. There is no way possible an institution can prepare you for all you will face, but it can hinder you if it is missing the solid foundation of biblical teaching and principles. In difficult ministry moments, I have seen God’s faithfulness as I trust in His Word. The education I received from PCC has prepared me with the correct worldview, a discerning mind, and a steadfast faith in God’s Word as my guide.”

Keith Kelley ’94

Eric Gustafson

  • Pastor, First Baptist Church (Clearwater, KS)
  • Teacher, Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, KS)

“In addition to pastoring, I also teach senior Bible classes and lead the drama department at Sunrise Christian school. After being at the school for just over a year, the church opened up and God led me to this wonderful fellowship.

“At PCC, I loved the Bible-centered emphasis in all the classes and the focus on being servant-hearted ministers. God has gifted me with a love for preaching the Word of God; therefore, studying at PCC was the best because I got to hear the greatest preachers from all over the country and had opportunities to preach and minister in Christian service.

“For any student that desires higher education, I would tell them to consider PCC because of the faculty. They are incredible. The faculty gave me the mentorship and the teachings that have affected the rest of my ministry.

“I loved my experiences at PCC, and I’m very thankful to the school and those who have invested in me and impacted my life for eternity.”

David Corn ’07

David and Joy Corn

  • M.A. in Bible Exposition and M.Div.: Pensacola Theological Seminary
  • M.S. in Educational Leadership: Pensacola Christian College
  • Evangelist

A velvet curtain hangs in the background. Gray and black boxes line the stage. The lights dim, and from a side entrance comes a man wearing a tuxedo and a bright red bow tie. Within minutes, David Corn (’07) has the audience mesmerized by tricks and illusions with the help of his wife, Joy. David uses numerous props—metal rings, an egg, a black bag inside of a wooden box, and umbrellas—to capture the crowd’s attention as he smoothly transitions from one trick to another.

Shows such as this one are normal for Evangelist David Corn, who has been performing large illusion shows since 2010. During the school year, he and Joy perform at schools and churches; during the summer, they help with Vacation Bible Schools, youth rallies, and camps.

David gained a burden for youth evangelism through traveling with an evangelistic ministry connected to PCC during his college years. Although David already knew he was called to preach, he quickly understood the widespread ministry he could have through youth evangelism.

Realizing the importance of a strong, biblical foundation for his ministry, David finished a degree in Pastoral Ministries and went on to complete three master’s degrees at PCC: Bible Exposition, Master of Divinity, and Educational Leadership. He is thankful for this preparation, which he has used in many ways. David said, “Bible classes at PCC helped me get a greater knowledge of Scripture. The Master of Divinity program helped me take that training to deeper levels.”

David’s education has also helped him as he actively contacts public schools about doing free Magic and Morality shows for the students. “The public schools are a special heartbeat of mine because so many young people do not know about Christ,” David said.

To effectively reach public school students with the gospel, David works with local churches. After doing an illusion show at a local school to talk to teenagers about relevant youth issues, David invites students to a rally hosted by a church, where he is then able to share the gospel. After the service, David, Joy, and members of the church talk with people individually about their questions concerning salvation. Over the past few years, almost 3,000 people have accepted Christ as their Savior.

Although it can be difficult to reach out to public schools, David and Joy have seen God open the door for the Magic and Morality show 140 times in 20 states. Each time, they have noticed a great response from the students and their families. Many churches have grown as a result of hosting a rally in connection with the show; some churches have even seen people get baptized and join the church after accepting Christ.

Jermaine Watkins ’05

Jermaine Watkins

The journey of life is like a map made up of winding roads, few routes labeled and detours unmarked. As for Jermaine Watkins (’05), his journey has been dotted with storms, joys, and provisions along the way. “I’ve been molded through storms—personal storms, relational storms,” he said. “I thought I would have been doing one thing for the rest of my life: I graduate, I pastor a church, I live there 35 or 40 years, I die. That’s what you think, but I think God has gotta shake you through the process.”

Jermaine, a pastoral ministries graduate, has worn many hats during his time ministering to others. Currently, he’s an executive pastor in Charleston, SC, and an interim executive pastor in Charlotte, NC, but he also advises and does consultation work for other churches. His training at PCC, especially his ministerial classes, helped him to be what any group or individual he worked with needed. “I used to see myself as just a pastor, or that’s all I wanted to do,” he said. “But I’ve realized that I’m a little bit more than that because different people need something different. I’ve been equipped over the years with not only my education, but my experience to not only be a pastor, but to be a mentor, to be an advisor, to be a consultant, and to be a better friend,” he said. “It’s meeting people where they are.”

Inspired by his evangelist father, Pastor Watkins felt led to go into the ministry himself, but as a pastor who cultivates and grows his congregation. As others heard of his calling, Jermaine’s journey soon shifted away from his Bahamian home and toward a Christian college in Northwest Florida. “One of my mentors, Cranston Knowles (’93, ’95, ’04, ’06), went [to PCC]. He actually put me in a corner and was like, this is where you need to go. If I was going to be trained to be in ministry, I needed to be in one of the best places for ministry,” he explained.

While in college, Jermaine found several sources of encouragement and learning from friends, peers, and college faculty, including participating in Christian Service with Kwame Selver (’02, ’03) and brothers Daniel (’01, ’03) and David (’01, ’03) Pigott. “I remember Kwame giving me my first opportunity to preach in front of people. Someone saw my giftedness and believed in me,” he recalled. “My roommate for three years, GJ Role (’05), kept me focused on the purpose, what we were going to do, and how we were going to impact our home country.”

After graduating from PCC, Jermaine went on to earn a master’s degree in counseling from Luther Rice College & Seminary (GA) and began investing in churches, first in the Bahamas and later in the States. Through his consultation work, he counseled churches by learning their vision and helping them to strategize and attain their goals. “That’s probably the most difficult part—understanding the context and understanding the specific calling, so that we can help them walk in focus of that. And also being sensitive to what the Lord is doing in the moment and not assuming [that] what God did over there, He wants to do over here,” he said.

After disaster struck in the Bahamas, many of Jermaine’s established relationships, before and since college, were tested and strengthened. On September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, beginning its several-days-long crawl across the island nation. The category 5 storm leveled communities that hadn’t experienced such intensity in years. In the aftermath, Jermaine saw support pour in from college friends and mentors across the U.S. and elsewhere. He also reconnected with high school friends and distant relatives, all doing what they could to support each other and their hurting community.

“We saw God work in retrospect. Twenty years ago, he brought me to PCC, and the hand of God connected us so that we’re in the right place at the right time. I wish I could say that there was a great revival that took place [after the storm]. I can’t necessarily say that; I think God is still working. There’s still brokenness,” Jermaine said. “I often say that God lives in the Bahamas; it’s so beautiful. I think He’s using the storms to make His home better in the Bahamas.”

Six months later, Jermaine found himself counseling and advising churches through a separate disaster—a pandemic. Jermaine assisted pastors as they learned how to excel in reaching people online and with strategizing reopening plans for their communities. “Some churches didn’t have an online presence and didn’t have a platform for the people to give and be connected and plugged in. They’re already reaching people that would’ve never walked through their doors,” he said. “There’s a church that I’ve been helping that has a membership of about 70. They’ve been reaching almost 1,000 people a week. Instead of them meeting us where we are in our buildings, we’re meeting people where they are on their phones, on their tablets and computers. It’s going to them.”

Throughout his journey, Jermaine has been able to use his talents to help people move through difficult storms in their lives. He rejoices with each victory others experience, whether as part of the church or in their personal walk with God. “It’s trusting the Lord that this too shall pass. This is a season. If I just continue moving forward, the joy comes in the morning,” he said. “So just keep moving forward. The only way you don’t win is if you stop.”

Paul Smith ’87

Paul Smith

When George Washington was sworn into office, he added the words “So help me God,” to the end of his oath, then bent forward and kissed the Bible in his hands. Today, that antique Bible rests under glass on display at Federal Hall in New York City, a constant reminder of America’s foundation upon God.

Alumnus Paul Smith (’87) wanted to remind people of that foundation. While he was still a youth pastor and pastor, he began advocating for Christian education and taking a stand on moral and religious liberty issues in Georgia, his home state.

He was just one man, one voice, until a friend came to him with a challenge. “A friend challenged me to pray about starting Citizen Impact,” he said. “I did pray, and the Lord began to direct. I sought counsel from numerous pastors as well as Christians I knew in the public policy arena. Almost all of them encouraged me to do it.”

In 2009, he started Citizen Impact to motivate Christians to be active politically. At Citizen Impact, “there is a strong emphasis on educating the community about how to register to vote, when to vote, offering voter guides, and so on,” he said. “We hold an annual seminar with the express purpose of educating people of faith on how to defend their religious liberties in the public policy arena.”

Within five years, he had spoken to thousands not only in Georgia but also in Alabama, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Virginia. He has organized state-wide conferences, regional pastors’ meetings, Pastors’ Days, and Student Legislative Days. And he was one of the speakers at the Religious Freedom Rally at the Georgia State Capitol this past March.

Currently, he is working to pass a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. If successful, this act will ensure the protection of religious freedom for Georgia. 

Every step of the way, he has seen the Lord’s hand guiding him. “When we put ourselves in a position to be used of God, we will see Him do ‘exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,’” said Smith. “I believe the preaching in chapel at PCC and Campus Church motivated me to want to impact my community and my country.”

When Smith started Citizen Impact, he was just one man with a desire to make a difference; now, he has helped thousands of Christians realize they too can have a voice in public policy.

Jacob Langdon ’03

Jacob Langdon

  • M.A. in Bible Exposition: Pensacola Theological Seminary
  • Pastor, Fellowship Baptist Church in Emlenton, PA

“I began as the assistant pastor of youth/music at Fellowship Baptist Church in 2005 and became the pastor in 2010. While in seminary at PTS, I learned of the church from PCC’s Placement Office. The pastor at the time e-mailed me, and when I expressed interest, he offered to fly me up for a visit. After visiting, I decided to serve the Lord here.

“My favorite part of full-time ministry is preaching and teaching. It is especially rewarding when people come to me afterward and say that they learned something or that the message helped them with something they’ve always wondered about or struggled with. I like to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His Word.

“I teach teen Sunday school and our Wednesday adult Bible study, and I preach both services on Sunday, so I make sure studying my Bible is a top priority. I also spend time each week visiting shut-ins, those in the hospital, or those who have been away from church for a while. In addition, I plan and organize many church events and activities.

“I think PCC’s greatest strength in its Bible training is its focus on classes in Bible knowledge. I took many classes that focused on a particular book or section of the Bible. I believe many other Bible colleges and institutes overly focus on the practical side, which is important, but not to the exclusion of Bible knowledge. Having a solid grasp on the Scriptures will solve many issues in the ministry. On the other hand, one of the most helpful parts of my learning was my internship in a local church. I was able to learn many practical things by experience before entering full-time ministry. I would encourage all ministerial students to participate in the local church internship program.

“My favorite classes in the Bible program included Romans because of its rich doctrine, Greek because of the feeling of accomplishment it brought, and Ministerial Seminar because of its practical training. I have fond memories of singing the ministerial song with hundreds of other college men.

“As I mentioned above, I would encourage each PCC ministerial student to participate in the local church internship program. Those who don’t really miss out. The exposure to a seasoned pastor and the experience in real ministry are invaluable. I’m thankful for the growth and instruction I received from Pastor Rubin Ruffin. He gave me the opportunity to lead the congregational singing and the choir ministry, and when I came to Fellowship Baptist, I served in those areas with confidence because of my experience as an intern. I was also able to hone my preaching/teaching ability in the internship program.

“I appreciate the well-rounded education PCC offers. I think the young person considering full-time ministry should seek a college that requires more than just Bible classes, but also English, history, and math classes. I know many pastors who love the Lord, but their basic knowledge in these practical areas is lacking. I especially appreciate the high standard of English grammar at PCC because that is a lost art in many places. In addition, PCC has high academic standards in each of these classes, and that is something that should be important to all prospective students.”

Samuel Hodges ’93
  • Pastor/Missionary, New Life Baptist Church, Honduras

“We have been in Honduras for 13 years. I have been pastoring this church for 12 years. We drove to different places to find a need for a good Bible church. We found an area called Sabanagrande, 45 minutes from the capital city of Tegucigalpa. The population was about 11,000 people, but there was no independent, fundamental Baptist church in this area.

“My favorite part in full-time ministry is PREACHING. I love to preach, and the most rewarding part is when I see folks coming to repentance and wanting the Lord as their personal Savior and training young people to serve the Lord. Our altar call is always full of people. This is so encouraging for a pastor to see his flock at the altar.

“PCC’s Bible classes helped with the doctrinal foundation. As a missions major, however, the preparation by the missions department under the great direction of Dr. Brian Bucy helped instill the confidence needed to get to the mission field and start a work. Probably one of the most beneficial things as well was a strong preacher boys’ class, Ministerial Seminar.

“Develop a strong local church and pastoral philosophy while you are in Bible college. This will help you to steer clear of many of the modern movements that are developing today.”

Glenn Jago ’81

Glenn Jago

  • Pastor, Church of the Open Door (Fort Washington, PA)

“My responsibilities include preaching, leading a small group Bible study and weekly Bible studies, teaching Theology courses, and serving as president of the elder board. I also serve as president of the Christian school that runs from preschool to eighth grade.

“PCC taught me the discipline of studying and that continues to be the emphasis of my life to this day. I love studying God’s Word and unfolding its rich truths each week to those seeking deeper understanding. PCC taught me the value of diligence, consistency, and accuracy in studying and proclaiming God's Word.”

Valentino Ciccarelli ’12

Valentino Ciccarelli

“I think the reason you sat here was just to tell me about Jesus.” Five years after leading a Southwest Airlines flight attendant to the Lord, evangelist Valentino Ciccarelli still keeps in contact with him. For this 2012 pastoral ministries grad, seeing a life transformed is something he never gets over.

From the age of 11, Valentino knew he was to surrender to do whatever God had for him, not knowing what that meant for his future. “I didn’t know what I’d be called to do, but I was finally able to grab hold of the fact that there would always be more joy and fulfillment doing what God wants me to do instead of seeking out my own plans,” he said.

For three summers as a college student, Valentino served as a counselor at the Bill Rice Ranch alongside seasoned evangelists. “Aside from counseling and leading children to Christ, I learned that all the work that went into making camp happen was, in fact, ministry,” Valentino said. “So cleaning the campgrounds, being a lifeguard, cooking dozens of steaks at a time for the cookouts, officiating a game, picking up trash, and doing yard work was all, indeed, ministry. Not just the preaching and counseling part.” These experiences cemented his commitment to the Lord.

In the pastoral ministries program at PCC, Valentino learned to be a lifelong student. Coming in, he didn’t realize how much his public education had been influenced by secular philosophy. “Going to PCC and hearing the Bible spoken and taught from every day transformed my life, corrected my thinking, and helped me be led by biblical principle,” he said. Studying Greek shaped how he studied the Bible and understood it. But his most treasured aspect of being an undergrad was Ministerial Seminar. Listening to guest preachers each week made him aware that there will constantly be areas to improve and learn from other preachers and ministries. Developing messages to practice among his peers gave him practical experience to apply to his own ministry.

Upon graduating, Valentino served as a PCC rep. He learned early on that ministry is focusing as a team on the purpose beyond each meeting or project—a vision he has brought into his own ministry, Pronouncing Christ.

As an evangelist, he travels across the country to aid churches spiritually and practically. Depending on the day, Valentino can be found preaching, praying with pastors, or making phone calls and visiting door-to-door. He also assists with graphic design and organizing events and outreaches at churches or schools. Working closely with church or school leaders gives Valentino insight into what challenges they face without having all their resources; this teaches him to fill in how and when he is needed.

Valentino remembers fondly his first revival meeting six years ago. Two struggling churches, which had been merged, met together every night for a week, literally and figuratively divided in the middle by the center aisle. All week he preached from the Word and stayed each night for a fellowship organized by the women. Little did he know that the people that lingered to visit had not fellowshipped with each other for years. God used him to unite these people.

Throughout this year, Pronouncing Christ has been working hand in hand with a church to reorganize their outreach. Valentino helped plan their second large event which doubled in size from the one they had last year. “Getting the community involved has really exploded the potential for this event,” Valentino said about Freedom Sunday, a day celebrating freedom from addictions. A bank, utility company, and other businesses participated by advertising for it and local restaurants set up 500 table tents on the big day. The sheriff, state representative, and first responders were present as well. From a weekly average of 300 people, 623 individuals attended, making it the largest service the church ever had. The pastor preached a message of hope to those with current addictions and proclaimed Jesus as the ultimate deliverer from sin. “We zeroed in on those who have overcome addictions and those who took part in and were impacted by the recovery process,” Valentino said.

“Without thinking twice, I’d say my greatest fulfillment comes from what I do as an evangelist,” he said. “It is seeing the change and transformation in people’s lives.

However he can meet a need, whether preaching at a meeting, working on a project, or witnessing to a flight attendant during his travels, Valentino knows that what he does has a greater impact than what he can see.

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