Brewton-Parker College has received news that it is one of this year’s Strengthening Institutions Program grant recipients from the U.S. Department of Education.
The grant totals over $2.2 million awarded over the next five years and will provide the funding needed for the college to begin what it calls its Enrichment, Persistence and Innovation in Collegiate Community Initiative.
As part of the initiative, Brewton-Parker will hire seven additional full-time employees to provide essential services to aid student success and retention.
The existing student success center will be restructured to become the Student Enrichment Center. Within that center, students will receive academic advising, career counseling, tutoring services, mental health counseling, and other support needs. New software will be implemented to help monitor student performance and identify at-risk students to facilitate timely interventions.
Additionally, new technologies will be purchased, such as loanable laptops, e-readers for online textbooks, webcams for proctored exams, and expanded computer labs for student use on campus.
“Students are often facing enormous challenges in adapting to the rigors of college. In addition, they face the added pressure of balancing participation in sports, work, family and other responsibilities,” said Brewton-Parker Provost Robert Brian, “This grant will enable BPC to offer student assistance at a very high level to help them cope with the intense pressure many of them feel.”
Receiving these funds marks a significant milestone for Brewton-Parker and underscores its commitment to its students’ academic and personal growth.
The grant’s successful acquisition was the culmination of over 18 months of dedicated work by a team comprised of faculty, administrators, student representatives, trustees and community members.
“This grant is a game changer in providing our students with the best possible resources to ensure their success and signifies a significant step forward,” said Brewton-Parker President Steven Echols. “It reflects our dedication to nurturing our students’ intellectual and spiritual growth, preparing them to be ambassadors for Christ in our community and beyond. We believe that the outcome of these funds will profoundly resource BPC’s mission to transform the lives of students both academically and spiritually, all for the glory of God.”
To learn more about Brewton-Parker College, see related stories.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written and originally published by the Christian Index.
Brewton-Parker College chapel service sees 150 students respond
In September, an estimated 150 students made spiritual decisions during a chapel service at Brewton-Parker College in a scene that President Steve Echols described as amazing.
Between 60 and 80 of the students made first-time salvation decisions while others rededicated their lives to Christ.
“The Holy Spirit was moving in a way I have never seen before,” said Echols, a longtime preacher and Christian educator. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have seen some marvelous things, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more precious than this.”
Georgia-based evangelist Rick Gage, leader of Go Tell Ministries, preached in the chapel service attended by some 500 students, faculty and staff.
‘We lost count’
Students were on their knees weeping, crowding around the altar and filling the aisles when Gage gave an invitation.
“So many students responded that you couldn’t even get down the aisles,” Echols said. “They were completely full of students on their knees praying. We lost count, because they kept coming.”
Echols said counselors talked and prayed with students long after the chapel service ended.
By 5 p.m. Tuesday, counselors had confirmed 61 salvation decisions but were expecting that number to swell by 20 or more as they followed up with the students.
“I’ve seen nothing like this,” said Echols.
Gage pointed the students to Matthew 7:13–14 in which Jesus talks about the narrow way that leads to eternal life and the broad way that leads to destruction. Gage then shared his Christian testimony, talking about how he walked away from a promising coaching career to serve God.
“Students came down to the altar, got on their knees, and got right with God,” he said. “We saw a harvest today.”
Brewton-Parker professor Billy Puckett said faculty and staff are working hard on follow ups.
“We are in awe of the move of the Holy Spirit today,” he said.
Gage and his evangelism team are working in south Georgia this week, holding a crusade at Appling County High School’s Jimmy Swain Stadium in Baxley.
By Sept. 19, some 600 people had made decisions for Christ at the crusade and related events. That includes nearly 300 who made decisions at a pre-crusade youth rally last week.
Georgia has been seeing large numbers of people coming to Christ since the COVID-19 pandemic subsided. The state’s 3,400 Georgia Baptist congregations have reported a 47% increase in baptisms since 2020.
Localized revivals have been popping up in every region of the state in churches large and small.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Roger Alford and originally published by the Christian Index.