The Flame | Vol. 1

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The Official Publication of the Welch College Alumni Association

Text of The Flame | Vol. 1

  • THE FLAMEWhen young L. C. Johnson, newly selected president of

    Free Will Baptist Bible College (now Welch College), drove up to 3609 Richland Avenue for the first time in September 1942, Paul Ketteman was sitting on the doorstep waiting. He was the first student to enroll in 1942, and later worked at the college for more than 25 years.

    Mr. Ketteman was beloved across the denomination and even more by the students on campus. Many former students remember him walking up to them while they waited in line at the snack shop, handing them a dollar bill, and saying, Let me buy your soda today.

    Paul Ketteman invested his life in the students of the college. He knew they were the future of the denomination,

    and he committed himself to making the school the very best it could be to serve students during his lifetime and beyond.

    According to Dr. Robert Picirilli, Paul wanted, more than anything else, for the school to be strong, growing, and faithful to its foundingtraining young men and women for ministry to the church and to Free Will Baptists.

    Ketteman began the annual Christmas fund drive, which was renamed The Ketteman Student Scholarship Drive (KSSD) after his death. He understood better than most how costly it is to provide quality Christian education, and how important it is for churches and individuals to provide regular, generous support. More than anyone else, his work made us conscious of the need to provide a legacy for future generations.

    Today, Welch College continues to provide men and women with tools to make not only a living but also a life. From the original majors of Pastoral Ministry and Missions, the college has introduced new degrees ranging from Education, Business, Music, Christian Education, and Youth Ministry to Psychology, Exercise Science, and Childrens Ministry. Welch College continues to change the world one student at a time.

    The KSSD has also changed. Beginning in 2013, the drive moved to February to avoid the year-end appeals from other ministries. Learn more at


    Joy (Ketteman) Corn (81), daughter of Paul and Helen (Smith) Ketteman, teaches math at Pleasant View Christian School, in Pleasant View, Tennessee. She works alongside her husband Randy (78) at Bethlehem Free Will Baptist Church in Ashland City, Tennessee, where he has

    pastored since 1995. Joy is president of Cumberland Wom-en Active for Christ and takes an active role as an Alumni of Welch College. She and Randy have two grown sons, Ben and Paul, and one granddaughter, Melody (pictured).


    Legacy for the FutureKetteman Student Scholarship DriveFebruar y 22, 2015

  • As I begin my new role as Alumni Association president, I have three simple goals for the coming year:

    Better communication through new mediums: The Flame newsletter is now available by either postal service or email. (We need current email addresses and updated physical addresses, so let us know how you would prefer to receive the newsletter.) The Flame, published bi-monthly, will feature alumni news, college news, and alumni and current student profiles. The official Facebook page of Welch Alumni is (Several years ago, some alumni started a group page for Free Will Baptist Bible College. This is not the official site for the Alumni Association, but due to setup, the two cannot be merged.) Encourage all former students to like the official page and keep an eye out for the alumni Twitter feed in the near future.

    Updated database: Our greatest challenge is outdated information. We dont know where you are, what you are doing, or how to serve you best. The alumni database has many incomplete and outdated entries. Help us keep in touch. Update your contact and personal information at

    Establishment of alumni chapters: Establishing region-al and local alumni chapters will provide a better line of communication, involvement, promotion of both the alumni association and the college, and provide encour-agement to potential and current students.

    The Executive Committee is working hard to keep the association informed and involved with what is happening at Welch College and in the lives of our fellow alumni. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. If I can assist you, or if you have any questions, dont hesitate to contact me.

    Traveling to promote the college and raise funds gives me a wonderful opportunity to highlight the Alumni Association. If you would like to schedule a visit to your organization or church to promote the college or alumni association, please let me know. I am here for you.

    Mike Edwards:|615-522-8791

    From the Alumni President

    STUDENT SPOTLIGHTAmy McDonald, sophomore

    Music Education major from Hokkaido, Japan, grew up in a missionary family. Her parents, alumni Donnie (78) and Ruth (81) McDonald are missionaries to the island nation. Amy attends Cross Timbers FWB Church in Nashville, where she helps lead worship. Her favorite moment at Welch College so far? Choir tour, spring 2014. I genuinely had the time of my life getting to know all of the choir members and connecting with the people at the churches where we sang.

    When Gateway Christian College closed in 2013, David Dell transferred to Welch College to finish his degree. It was a good move, as the senior Youth Ministry major found a new college home. I can point out so many people as being special in my life, he said. It is a privilege to attend a college that lays aside everything to lay our

    petitions at the feet of Jesus. David was elected student body chaplain this year, and he serves as student pastor at New Hope Free Will Baptist Church in nearby Joelton.

    Paul Ketteman invested his life in the students of the college. Today, the Ketteman Student Scholarship Drive continues to help students, a lasting legacy of his faithfulness.

    Leave your own Legacy through an endowment with Free Will Baptist Foundation.

    Find out more today:


    Legacy of Faithfulness

  • Thank you, Frank!Frank Owens (79) served as Alumni Association president for 10 years, with 16 years of service on

    the Alumni Association Executive Committee. Under his leadership, the association successfully com-pleted several projects: Restoring the Glory (renovation of Ennis Hall), startup for online learning, and Relieving the Burden, Releasing the Dream (funding the Bert and Dianne Tippett Alumni Scholarship). He led the association to adopt the new project Sound Forth His Praise, highlighted above.

    Under the leadership of Frank Owens, the Alumni Associa-tion adopted the following project that will support the music ministry of the college. The project will be carried out in three stages:

    Stage One: The College Choir has not produced a recording project since 2007, due to ongoing budget constraints. Free Will Baptists have missed the quality music produced by the Music Department of our alma mater. Former students are urged to underwrite the cost of recording and producing a new release by The College Choir.

    Stage Two: Traveling ministry teams have been on the road with antiquated sound equipment in poor working condition. At times, they have had to borrow equipment from local churches for concerts and youth functions. Updated sound equipment is well overdue.

    Stage Three: The audio-visual equipment in Memorial Auditorium is old and slow. It has not been updated in many

    years, and pieces have been added and taken away, causing conflicts and problems in smooth transition and quality sound. The third stage of this project will underwrite the cost of a quality A/V system, with equipment that will move to the new campus after relocation.

    Sound Forth His Praise!2014-2015 Alumni Project Set to Raise $60,000

    Three Stages for the Project

    New CD project featuring The College Choir ($15,000 Spring 2015)

    New sound systems for traveling ministr y teams ($20,000)

    New audio-visual equipment for Memorial Auditorium ($25,000)

    Thanks to the Free Will Baptist Foundation for the gift enabling the publication of The Flame newsletter.Thanks to Eric Thomsen (95) for serving as editor and designer of The Flame.

    Thanks to Lewis Letterworks, Kevin Lauthern (81), Larry Bryan (83), and their team for printing and mailing services.

  • Welch College alumni and friends came together and raised $105,000 for the Bert and Dianne Tippett Alumni Scholarship. This year we awarded six scholarships because of your giving. Congratulations to the 2014 recipients: Emily Parrish (NC), Joslin Ferguson (TN), Zuri Zuniga (AR), Layton Smith (MO), Claire Ryan (IL), and Michael Parrish (NC).

    Three new members were elected to the Executive Committee during the annual banquet at the NAFWB: Doug Carey, Todd Parrish, and Marianne Malone Waddell. Your new Alumni Association officers are:

    Mike Edwards, PresidentDoug Carey, Vice PresidentMarianne Malone Waddell, Secretary-Treasurer

    Last year, students received almost $1.1 million from institutional scholarships. Many of the scholarships were unfunded, which means they were underwritten by the general fund, leaving fewer funds available for operations. The Ketteman Student Scholarship Drive (KSSD) helps provide funds for institutional scholarships.

    By giving to the KSSD, you provide students with a quality, accredited Christian education in 40 programs. This year, the KSSD will be observed February 22, 2015. Read more about the history of the KSSD in, A Legacy for the Future. For ongoing updates, visit: