Dr. Mark Stripling and Dr. Bruce Ashford will address the Welch College class of 2019, according to President Matt Pinson. Stripling, Senior Pastor of North Little Rock Free Will Baptist Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas, will present the baccalaureate sermon Thursday evening, May 9, at 7:00. Ashford, Provost and Professor of Theology and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, will address the graduates at the 10:00 a.m. commencement ceremony on Friday, May 10.
Stripling, who has served Free Will Baptist churches in a number of capacities for 36 years, has served at the North Little Rock Church since 1990. A Georgia native, he has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Executive Board of Arkansas Free Will Baptists and the Executive Board of the Central Association of Arkansas Free Will Baptists. He recently ended his second term as a member of the Welch Board of Trustees, serving most of his twelve years on the Board as its secretary.
Ashford is well-known in Christian higher education circles, having taught at Southeastern Seminary since 2003 and provost since 2013. An ordained Southern Baptist minister, he is a well-known conference speaker and prolific author. His best known book is Every Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians (Lexham, 2015). He is co-author of One Nation under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics (B&H, 2015) and editor of Theology and Practice of Mission (B&H, 2011).
President Matt Pinson said, “Commencement activities are such important events in the life of our college community at Welch, and especially for the graduating seniors. Commencement always highlights our mission to educate leaders to serve Christ, His Church, and His world through biblical thought and life. We’re grateful for the opportunity to have two great speakers address the graduating class. We invite friends, family, and alumni to join us in this special time of celebration.”