Robert Ray wasn’t sure he could do it. After all, he had a full-time job and family commitments.
But on Nov. 17, Ray graduated from Tennessee Bible College with a bachelor of religious education degree.
“When Robert came to us, he was trying to support his family and do all the things you have to do,” TBC President David Hill said. “But we told him we would find a way to make it work. We try to work with folks.”
Ray completed his degree while also serving as an evangelist at Roberts Street Church of Christ in Sparta. He now works with a congregation in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
“Robert was determined to get his degree,” Paul Wilmoth, TBC instructor of preaching, said.
“He was dedicated to the work even though it required doubling up on classes so that he could finish before moving to his new work. The more I got acquainted with Robert, the more respect I had for him. I expect to hear great things from his work in the Kingdom. I wish Robert could have stayed in this area, but wherever he goes, the church will be blessed.”
Kerry Duke, TBC’s vice president, agreed that Ray worked hard toward his accomplishment. “Robert is a great example of the power of perseverance,” he said. “While he was working on his degree, he also had full-time responsibilities as a preacher. He and his wife provided care for a 2-year old great-nephew with cancer during this time, and Robert himself battled with heart failure. But he never quit. His graduation was a great achievement.”
The College has alumni in 22 states and in 6 foreign countries.
“Our programs are designed to meet students where they are,” Hill said. “If they can come to campus full-time, great. If they can come to campus part of the time, great. We can do a blended study through our online college.
“So there’s really no excuse for anybody who wants to continue in advanced studies in Christian education. You can do it right here at TBC.”