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Central Baptist College Announces New Date for 2nd Annual Scholarship Gala

January 14, 2021

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Central Baptist College has announced a new date for its 2nd Annual Scholarship Gala. Planned for February 20, 2021, the event will now take place on Saturday, June 5 at 6:00 p.m. at the Conway Expo Center. The black-tie optional event will be catered by Central Baptist College Dining Services under the direction of Chef Jill McCollum. The night will be a celebration of patriotism and faith and will feature keynote speaker, Ret. Lt Col Brian Birdwell. The proceeds from the event benefit the Central Baptist College Scholarship Fund which supports institutionally funded scholarships. 

Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 global health pandemic and with vaccine implementation currently underway, we felt it was best to postpone this event until late spring, said Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrow. It is important to us to be able to host an in-person event, and to hold the event when our supporters will feel more comfortable coming together to celebrate Christian higher education. I am excited for attendees to hear the inspirational message that Ret. Lt Col Birdwell will bring, In early November we announced that an anonymous couple had given a $400,000 matching gift for the 2021 Scholarship Gala, said Amy Reed, Central Baptist College Director of Development. 

All sponsorships, individual ticket sales, and additional contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $400,000. We are making good progress toward our event goal of $800,000, one hundred percent of which will be used to fund student scholarships. The inaugural event held in September 2019 raised in excess of $500,000 through event sponsorships and private donations. Never has there been a time when we need individuals, churches, and businesses to come alongside Central Baptist College and support the transformational life change that education can provide, said President Kimbrow. I cannot wait to celebrate with many others the red, white, and blue, and to celebrate the amazing blessings bestowed upon us by God. 

Ret. Lt Col Birdwell is dynamic and inspirational; his story is one of faith and miracles, as is the story of Central Baptist College. About Ret. Lt Col Brian Birdwell: On September 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed just yards away from his second floor Pentagon office, Ret. Lt Col Brian Birdwell was critically wounded and severely burned. Of the burns that covered more than 60 percent of his body, nearly half were third degree in severity. Today, following 39 operations, months of hospitalization and numerous skin grafts, Brian has made a miraculous recovery. Despite physical limitations, he testifies not only to his physical healing, but the ultimate miracle of grace through Christ. In 2004, he authored a book, Refined by Fire: A Familys Triumph of Love and Faith, with his wife, Mel. He has served in the Texas State Senate since 2010. 

Event sponsorships begin at $2,000. Single tickets are on sale for $100 each. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to make a donation to help CBC meet its matching gift goal, visit or contact Amy Reed, Director of Development, at or 501-205-8934.

Central Baptist College is committed to transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment, and is a four-year, private, liberal arts college owned and operated by the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas. CBC offers approximately 40 baccalaureate degree programs, 16 athletic teams that compete in the AMC conference of the NAIA, and 6 fine arts performance groups. For more information about CBC visit

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