Seven Welch College ministerial students travelled six hours to Columbus, Georgia, to preach in local churches belonging to Georgia/Alabama’s Chattahoochee and Twin Cities Associations.
The group left campus at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 29. John Murray, Welch College’s Christian service director, said, “There was excitement in the air as we left Saturday. The men kept the van buzzing about preaching, the Bible, theology, and of course, plenty of good-natured humor. They have been asking me for weeks about going on this trip.”
The Preaching Team arrived in Columbus at 2:30 p.m. and then gathered for a 6:00 p.m. rally at Calvary Free Will Baptist Church. Sophomore ministerial student Stephen Bozeman led the singing, and freshman preacher Mike Hollis preached.
Sunday morning, the team split up to preach at their respective churches, ministering to more than 350 people and receiving over $1,800 for the college. The group reported one rededication as a result of their labors.
Several students commented on their experience preaching in Georgia.
Aaron Pierce (Senior): “White Rock Free Will Baptist Church (Phenix City, AL) was a very friendly congregation and receptive to the Word. It was one of my favorite preaching trips so far.
Derreck Lute (Sophomore): “I loved preaching at Turner’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church (Butler, GA). The people were willing to grow together through the preaching of the Word. Pastor Phil Bozeman was a great host. Not many things can beat good southern cooking!”
Mike Hollis (Freshman): “First Free Will Baptist in Columbus was such an encouraging church. The people were welcoming and made me feel right at home. Pastor Martin was a blessing, and I enjoyed preaching God’s Word to God’s people. We had one rededication. This was my first preaching trip with Welch College, and it was a great opportunity to grow and learn with some brothers in the faith.”
Tim Hutchinson (Junior): “Preaching trips are one of my favorite things that Welch College does. It was a phenomenal trip to Georgia. I’m thankful to spend this time with some of my closest friends. I can’t wait for more trips the rest of the year.”
Stephen Bozeman (Sophomore): “Calvary Free Will Baptist Church (Columbus, GA) was a great church. The people were receptive, encouraging, and supportive of what we did.”
Cody Balfour (Junior): “I usually learn a lot about preaching when I go on these trips. This time was different though: I learned about loving the people in the congregation.”
Phill Easley (Junior): “I loved this trip. I enjoyed getting to know some of the pastoral majors better and gain experience driving a 15-passenger van. I felt like God moved in the service mightily.”
The men returned to campus at 8:00 p.m. Sunday night bringing their trip to a close after a 700-mile round-trip. “Sunday when we gathered to return, every pastor commented on what a blessing their student-preacher had been,” said John Murray.
The group plans to make six trips this year. The next preaching trip is scheduled for November 3-4 to Kansas.