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Central Baptist College Hosts 2023 Scholarship Gala –
Announces $1,085,208 raised for Student Scholarships

March 30, 2023

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Central Baptist College hosted its fourth annual Scholarship Gala on March 28. The black-tie optional event featured keynote speaker, Harry Miller, and was held at the Conway Expo Center. 

The proceeds of the event benefit student scholarships, and Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrow announced $1,085,208 had been raised through event sponsorships and private donations.

The theme of the event was “Fearless Faith” and the program focused on the mission and ministry of Central Baptist College which is “the integration of Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment.” The emcee for the night was Yalanda Merrell, Director of Audience Engagement at Lifeword. 

Following the opening prayer by Dr. Larry Henderson, Central Baptist College Chaplain and Therapist, CBC Dining Services, under the direction of Chef Billie Rodriguez, served a delicious meal. The first course was spring salad with pecans, apples, and served with a lemon vinaigrette, followed by the second course consisting of a surf and turf with a garlic butter, oil infused roasted potatoes, sauteed asparagus with parmesan, and yeast rolls with herb butter.  The meal was concluded with a chocolate lava cake with berries and cream fresh.    

The highlight of the evening was an interview with Harry Miller facilitated by Yalanda Merrell. Harry is an Ohio State student who announced last year that he was medically retiring from football due to declining mental health.  Harry shared his amazing testimony of living through times of deep depression and thoughts of suicide. When he medically retired from football, he said people would say, “What’s wrong with Harry?” He was at the height of his football career, NFL agents were recruiting him, he was a 4.0 Mechanical Engineering major.  On the outside, he seemed to have it all together.  On the inside, however, he was falling apart.

Miller talked about how God has worked in his life over the past year bringing him to the realization, “I have a story that must be told.” He was asked about what a “hero” looks like to him. His response, “Kids have all these posters of these athletes who are big and muscular and in these beautiful poses that make them look strong and powerful. I’d like to see a poster of Michael Jordan sitting on the curb crying.” He said, “That’s the kind of hero I want.” At the end of the interview, Harry received a standing ovation from the over 400 attendees of the Gala. 

The Central Baptist College Fine Arts department provided the entertainment.  The Central Baptist College Choir, under the direction of Mr. Jim Turner sang Fearless Faith. Words were written by Christine Harris, wife of alumnus David Harris, and the musical score was written by Mr. Jim Turner, Assistant Professor of Music.

In his announcement of the $1,085,208 total that had been raised through this event for student scholarships, President Kimbrow acknowledged 57 event sponsors, and many additional individuals and businesses who made contributions towards the total.  "I am beyond grateful for the generosity of so many,” said President Kimbrow. “The Central Baptist College Board of Trustees, businesses, not only in Conway, but across the state of Arkansas, and other individuals who are such faithful supporters of Central Baptist College all came together to make this an unforgettable night for the support of Christian Higher Education."

Contributions are still being accepted. To contribute visit and complete the online giving form. Checks may be mailed to Central Baptist College, 1501 College Avenue, Conway, AR  72034 with “2023 Scholarship Gala” on the memo line of the check. For more information 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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