Baptist College gives “tithe” from sale of Blue Springs Conference Center
During the September 18, 2020, meeting of the State Board of Missions of the Florida Baptist Convention, Dr. Thomas A. Kinchen, President of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) presented what he termed as a “tithe” check to Dr. Tommy Green, Executive Director-Treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention. Kinchen announced that the Board of Trustees of the College had approved a gift of $300,000 to the Convention to be taken from the $3,000,000 sale price of the Blue Springs Baptist Conference Center property in Marianna.
In 2016, the Convention gave the property to the College. In its first full year of camp and conference operation, the Conference Center showed a profit for the first time in many years. Soon after the 2018 camping season had ended, Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle. The Blue Springs property sustained significant damage. According to Kinchen, “The damage to the property made it impossible for the College to bring it back to full operation while carrying out its primary function of educating Christian leaders.” At that point, the College began the process of seeking to find a buyer for the property. Kinchen noted, “It was always my desire to find a buyer that would operate the property as a Christian camping and conference center.”
In the summer of 2020, the College sold the Blue Springs property to Camp Anderson Ministries of Old Town, Florida. The buyer for the property owns and operates a Christian camp and conference in Old Town on the Suwanee River. Camp Anderson Ministries had been looking for property in order to expand their thriving camping and conference ministry, and the Blue Springs property fit their needs.
Whenever the Blue Springs property was donated to the College, the agreement stated that if the property was sold the proceeds would go to the College. At the time of the sale of the property, the College received a down payment of $350,000. According to the BCF President, the Trustees of the College excitedly and enthusiastically approved a recommendation to give a tithe (10%) of the total proceeds back to the Convention. “We would not have had the opportunity to utilize the property without the generosity of the Convention,” stated Kinchen. “Therefore, it is only right for one portion of the Florida Baptist family to share with the other parts.” The $35,000 check presented to the Convention on September 18, represented ten percent of the $350,000 down payment.
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