CBC Alumni Story
Dr Zeb Balentine
I was born and raised in Warren, Arkansas and the summer before my Junior year of high school, I responded to God’s calling on my life to be a minister of the Gospel. I graduated high school in 2003 and began doing seminary work via correspondence, but was unsatisfied with the level of education I was receiving. I transferred to Central Baptist College in January 2005 and finished in December of 2008 where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies with an emphasis on pastoral ministry. It took me a little longer than four years to earn a bachelor’s degree, so I just say that I took the “scenic route” through college. Part of this was because I was double-majoring in Biblical Studies and Socializing. I chose to attend CBC because of the reputation it had as being a great school to study the Bible and to be prepared for ministry. I love how there was an incredible balance of theological training with practical, real-life ministry skills. CBC’s approach to training their students for pastoral service is second to none.
All through Junior and Senior high school, I was a terrible student and didn’t like school at all. God changed that for me when I came to CBC. I found a desire to learn and study that I never had until that point. I had a hunger for God and His Word and I loved how the college is faithful to lead their students in that way. One of the aspects of God’s Word that I began to develop a passion for, was it teaches us about worship. That passion for learning and worship that was sparked by CBC led me to continue my education by earning master’s and doctoral degrees in Worship Studies from Liberty University.
This eventually led me to write a book entitled, The Singing Teacher: How the Worship Leader Shapes the Theology of the Church. It reflects how CBC shaped me as a person and a minister. It’s an expression of my heart’s passion to lead God’s people to worship Him in spirit and truth. It is also a call for worship leaders and church musicians to love and communicate God’s Word through the songs they lead the church to sing.
I spent twelve years in vocational ministry as a worship leader, eight of those years I served in a dual role as a youth pastor. After those years in church ministry, I was given the opportunity to become the professor of Worship Arts at Bryan College in Dayton, TN. I teach all of the Worship Arts classes, and I also oversee chapel worship teams and a traveling worship band that represents the college. I also teach online for Liberty University for their Worship Studies degrees. In addition, I have had several opportunities to function as a worship consultant. Then, in 2017 I decided to organize those efforts into a ministry I call, Vital Worship (vitalworshipgroup.com).
The years I spent in vocational church ministry, and now as a professor, was made possible because of the education, experiences, and friendships that I made during my time at Central Baptist College. I had rock solid Biblical training from some great men of God. The professors are experts in their fields, and they are approachable and down to earth. They know each of their students by name and they truly love and care for each one. While I attended CBC, I had many opportunities to preach or lead worship at various campus activities. Those experiences were incredibly beneficial to me during my time there. God used these opportunities to prepare me for my life after college.
The thing I am most thankful for my time at CBC is meeting my wife, Michelle. She alone was well worth going to college for! I am forever grateful for the life that I have now because of how God used Central Baptist College to shape me while I was there. I’m thankful that I am one of the many who’s life has been shaped and molded by the faculty and staff. I am a more devoted follower of Jesus because of them.
To purchase Dr. Balentine’s book & to learn about the consulting services available through his worship ministry click on www.vitalworshipgroup.com.
To get information on how to start your CBC story, click cbc.edu/WhyCBC