A Difference Maker

I was just thinking — the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas is quite diverse. More than 300 churches comprise the association. Those churches, as I have previously mentioned, combine their support of four particular entities — ministries if you please. This past Saturday I paid close attention to one of those — Central Baptist College.

Friends, we are blessed to have such an institution that is biblically based and has as its core a Christ-centered approach to every class, whether it is Bible, missions, education, nursing, music or sports.

Saturday, Karen and I were attendees of two very special events at CBC. The first was the 2021 graduation exercises. Still dealing with COVID restrictions, members of the administration and faculty laboriously prepared for the day so that each graduate had the experience of walking across the stage to receive his or her diploma — the fruit of time spent in studies to meet the criteria for graduation.

The Burgess Auditorium was not filled as on a “normal” graduation day. Instead, faculty was scattered around the auditorium observing, applauding and supporting the grads who had been in their classes.

Each graduate could have no more than 24 guests in the auditorium as he or she received that long-awaited diploma. Most had much fewer than the allotted 24.

Despite the COVID effect, I was impressed with the lengths the school had gone to in order to make graduation special for each young man and woman.

Thank you, Central Baptist College, for making such an impact on the graduates and their families!

The second event also impressed me greatly. It was a retirement party for a man who served the college in various roles for 39 years. Bobby Wilkey touched the lives of five CBC presidents, numerous administrators and faculty and countless students in his time at the college.

Bobby was not a retiring administrator, instructor or coach. He was a lawn keeper, maintenance worker, security guard, clock keeper and, above all, a friend to everyone who set foot on the CBC campus.

What was impressive was how the college he loves so much treated him Saturday as various ones spoke about a man with a servant spirit. He was showered with gifts — treasures that will keep CBC in his heart for years to come.

As I interviewed Bobby at the close of the program, I was touched by his openness. He said that, as a teenager in Jonesboro, people made fun of him; but at CBC none did that. Bobby received love and I can tell you — Bobby gave love!

As I close, I want to emphasize that many may never step foot on the campus, but be assured, CBC deserves the continued support — prayerfully and financially — from the churches and individuals of the BMA of Arkansas. Central Baptist College is a difference maker!

Well, that is what I was just thinking.

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