My name is Sarah Lunsford and I am a sophomore at Central Baptist College. I was born and raised here in Conway, Arkansas. I remember growing up and always hearing the best reports about CBC.
LEARNING ABOUT CBC
I grew up attending Springhill Baptist Church. We would often have students from CBC coming to invest in our youth group and the choir came every year to sing. CBC became my dream college from a young age. My church was also a huge supporter of CBC. I remember my pastor would always say that as churches of the BMA, Central Baptist College was our college. It was a place where we could receive quality higher education with a Christian foundation and setting. I knew that was exactly what I was looking for.
JOURNEY OF SELF DISCOVERY
When I reached high school and began participating in our youth group, our youth pastor and his wife were both graduates of CBC. They were huge influencers in my life and truly changed me. God used them in a powerful way to help me discover my gifts and my identity in Christ. I joined our youth praise team because of their encouragement. At the time our praise team was led by CBC students. Their mentorship taught me so much about music and the art of leading worship. Their belief in me was so influential in my life. I saw CBC as a place where this type of mentorship and discipleship was taught and fostered.
Later in high school, I took some concurrent credit classes at CBC and through that experience I met students and professors that genuinely cared and invested in my life. It became so obvious that CBC was the place for me.
As I neared the end of my senior year, I had many conversations with God trying to be sure this was His will for my life. I didn’t know how I could possibly afford to come to CBC and that was another object of my prayer. I spent countless hours applying for scholarships, praying, and crying because I couldn’t, in my human power, make the numbers work. As we neared the deadline for registration, I was considering other college options because I just couldn’t make sense of how I was supposed to attend CBC.
ACCEPTANCE AND PRAISE
I remember the day I got the phone call from CBC offering me the Leadership Scholarship. I had worked hard for that scholarship, but there was a very limited number available, and I hadn’t been selected that year. However, a student that was already on the Leadership Scholarship had decided to transfer, creating an opening.
Despite all odds, God was orchestrating my life. Looking back at my lack of faith is disheartening. Of course, God was working things out for me. His timing was perfect, He just wanted me to trust Him. As in so many other stories in scripture, God so perfectly wrote my story that there was no doubt in my mind, or anyone who witnessed my struggle, that God was in this. He directed my paths and made my way straight, just as He promised He would. Without His providence, I know I wouldn’t be here. To God be the glory!
FULFILLING THE MISSION
The mission statement of CBC reads as follows: “Central Baptist College is committed to transforming lives through education that integrates Christian faith and academic excellence in a Christ-centered environment.” It is hard to find a place that prioritizes both academic accountability and Christian excellence. CBC continually strives to balance and reconcile these two.
I am a Psychology major with a desire to be a school therapist. As a Christian, I believe I have been gifted with this desire to be a helper. I love the study of the human mind and thought processes, but because I believe that this is God’s work, it becomes imperative that I combine this study with an equally intense study of scripture’s revelations. I have been enlightened on how intertwined and inseparable Psychology and Christianity truly are through the time I have been at CBC. I have already been so blessed to start off my time in the study of Psychology with a Biblical foundation. I know that this stress on scripture will impact the way I study and practice counseling for years to come.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
Central Baptist College has created a wonderful environment for me to grow in this vital time in my life. During my first year at CBC, I developed friendships that I am confident will last for years and years. I have been blessed by professors who have taken time to genuinely invest in my life. I have been challenged academically in ways that are new to me, but through it all, I have been supported by a faculty and staff that has a desire to see me succeed.
THE TIME IS NOW
There is no time like a global pandemic to test the integrity and determination of an institution. My professors have been so gracious and understanding. I have also seen my fellow classmates extend this same grace as we navigate the new technology and protocols with our professors. I am so blessed and honored to be a student at CBC.
I can give the glory to God alone for allowing me to participate in this work he has created. I am excited to continue to see the way that God uses CBC in my life and how He might desire to use me here. CBC will always be an important chapter in my life. One that represents faith, promises of God fulfilled, and joy.
I know that it is no coincidence that I have been placed here and I praise God. Our theme verse for chapel this past semester was Esther 4:14: “…And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
POSITIONED FOR SERVICE
My position is not royal, but it is significant because it is where God has placed me. I know I am here at this time because God has a purpose for me here, just as he did for Esther in the Old Testament. In the irony of the never changing nature of God, we can rest assured that God makes no mistakes on our journey to find purpose.
Are you seeking a college that focuses on academic and Christian excellence and accountability like Sarah was?
Visit cbc.edu/whycbc to apply for admission or schedule an in-person or virtual meeting.