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President of Central Baptist College Announces Plans to Retire

March 11, 2024

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Terry Kimbrow, who has served as the president of Central Baptist College (CBC) since 2004, announced Monday afternoon his plans to retire in May 2025.

Kimbrow’s announcement comes after serving as CBC’s ninth president since 2004. Kimbrow’s decision to step down comes with a heartfelt message of gratitude and optimism for the college’s future.

“I have been so blessed to serve as president for the past twenty years. I’m convinced it’s time for someone to come in with a fresh vision and renewed heart for CBC. God has someone, and it’s my prayer that He will reveal that to the search committee.”

During his time as president, Kimbrow has been a driving force behind the growth and success of CBC. Under his leadership, the college has experienced significant achievements, including the construction of the Ratliff Bell Tower in 2008, which symbolizes the college’s mission to transform lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment.

Kimbrow’s visionary leadership has been instrumental in spearheading a comprehensive rebranding effort, attracting million-dollar gifts, multiple capital campaign fundraising efforts, and significantly increasing the college’s endowment by over 300%. In 2011, he led his most successful capital campaign, Vision 2020: A Miracle in the Making. His dedication to fundraising peaked when a historic $5 million contribution, the largest single gift in the college’s history, kicked off the campaign. Vision 2020 raised over $18 million.

Under Kimbrow’s leadership and guidance, CBC has witnessed unprecedented growth and expansion, including the construction of the Watkins Academic Building (2012), the Story Library (2013), and Dickson Hall (2014). He also was instrumental in the renovation of Burgess Auditorium (2015) and the establishment of the MaryNed Foster Band Rehearsal Hall (2018).

During his presidency, academic excellence was a main priority. He successfully led the continuance of regional accreditation and the establishment of the Teacher Education program, which has helped significantly expand the college’s bachelor degree offerings to over forty. In 2009, Kimbrow was able to secure a Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant enabling the establishment of several science degree programs and the construction of the Judy Gabbard Science Center.

Kimbrow has also been instrumental in the growth of the Mustang Athletics program. During his presidency, athletic teams have expanded from five to 16 in the American Midwest Conference (AMC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Kimbrow is currently serving his third term as Chair of the AMC Council of Presidents.

Kimbrow has also been active in his community, serving on multiple boards and committees including Institutional Certification Advisory Committee (ICAC), Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities (AICU), Baptist Hospital Patient Safety Committee, Conway Police Department Chaplain, Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, Conway Rotary Club, Faulkner County Leadership Institute, Bank of America, and Haven House.

During his career, Kimbrow has also been awarded or participated in the following: FBI Citizens Academy, Faulkner County Leadership Institute, Dan Nabholz Leadership Award, Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Business Executive of the Year, Central Baptist College Employee of the Year, Central Baptist College Alumnus of the Year along with many others.

As Kimbrow prepares to step down, CBC Board of Trustees expresses its deepest gratitude for his exemplary leadership, unwavering dedication, and profound impact on the college. “It is with sorrow that the CBC Board of Trustees heard the news of President Kimbrow’s plans to retire in May 2025. President Kimbrow informed the Board of his intentions at their meeting on March 2nd. We had begun to work with Bro. Terry last year on a succession plan but had hoped that it would still be a long way off,” said Kirk Shelton Board Chairman.”  He added, “The college has been blessed with solid, visionary leadership for almost 20 years.  I believe I speak for the entire Board when I say we would like to have him for 20 more.”

The 20-member Board of Trustees has formed a committee to head the search for his successor to ensure a smooth transition for the college.

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