I want to let you know about the latest thing we are doing here at Solid Rock Baptist Church.
As you know who know me, or who have read my bio on the website, I graduated from Pensacola Bible Institute (PBI) in 1984 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree, and then YEARS later received my Master of Biblical Studies degree from Gulf Coast Baptist Bible Institute and Seminary (GCBI) out of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in 2008.
I have been good friends with the head of GCBI, Dr. Harold Tabb, since 1979. My wife was his secretary and our marriage was the first wedding he performed in his ministry. Dr. Tabb also preached my ordination at Bible Baptist Church in Pensacola back in 1986.
As a pastor of a local church, you want to feed the flock of God the best you can. A church family of ours who is enrolled in GCBI suggested that, to help them, and also benefit the church, I should teach the GCBI material at church. For years I have thought about doing this as a satellite of GCBI, but did not because I thought we needed to do it on another night rather than a regular church service. Why, I don't know, but when they made their suggestion, I thought: why didn't we do that before? Dummy me, I suppose.
Following up on "the suggestion," I called Dr. Tabb on the phone and told him what we would like to do. This is really one of the options that he allows for, as he wants the Bible Institute to be a ministry of the local church. So the bottom line is that we are now teaching through the GCBI curriculum in our Sunday afternoon services, and advertising ourselves as a "SATELLITE SCHOOL" of the Gulf Coast Baptist Bible Institute & Seminary.
We hope that our church family that is officially enrolled will continue on to earn their degree, and then get see them graduate with their Graduate of Theology degree in Fort Walton Beach in the next couple of years. And of course, we also hope that others will see the benefit and challenge of earning a Bible degree, and decide to enroll as well. As a satellite school, ALL WE DO IS TEACH THE MATERIAL and serve as ministers of the word of God to teach, and to be available to answer questions and clarify the Scriptures. We have nothing to do with the finances or grading or granting of degrees, or any administrative functions. That is strictly handled by GCBI if a person decides they want to enroll in the Bible Institute.
For those who don't feel the need to "earn a degree," no problem. You will still benefit from the Bible material that is taught and so will our church. It will make you a more knowledgeable Christian and a better, more mature church member. And that is what all our churches need. We would like to have some "home-grown" servants of the Lord here at Solid Rock Baptist, that we can be a better church to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ in our community and throughout the world.
Please PRAY FOR US as we endeavor to educate God's People in God's Word.