“It’s Bible Conference! What a great time to be at PCC, that’s for sure,” said Dr. Richard Flanders, scanning the student body from behind a desk onstage. Because of recent health concerns, he was seated in a wheelchair, settling in to share his heart with the audience. “So many good things have happened these last few days,” he said. “Having been here, what goes through my head is memories and the friends I have here. And you will feel that way about this place for the rest of your life.”
For the past 48 years, PCC students and faculty set aside classes and studies to spend a few days listening to solid preaching from God’s Word. This year’s speakers featured Dr. Richard Flanders from Revival Ministries (MI), Dr. Greg Mutsch of Bible Baptist Church (TN), Pastor Tim Rasmussen of Faith Baptist Church (CA), and Pastor Tyler Gillet of Worth Baptist Church (TX). The multiple services informed, challenged, and moved students to refresh their walk with God.
Even the music team prayerfully chose special songs and congregational choruses to enhance the truths presented from God’s Word. The audience was moved by the choir’s performance of “King of Kings” with a duet. “I really believe God used [the song] to encourage and bless everyone listening, whether in person or over livestream,” Megan Smith (Jr., GA) said. “It was what God did through us and the message of the song to glorify Him. Getting to be a part of such a powerful Bible Conference special was a blessing.”
What Tyler Bourne (Sr., TX) enjoyed most about Bible Conference was hearing from various speakers preaching from different styles while sharing the same gospel message. “I think this conference is important because it gets our focus back on why we’re here in the first place,” Tyler said. “Yes, we’re here to get a degree, but more importantly, we’re here because God has called us here and to impact our world for Christ. We learn how to do that effectively through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.”
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
Michelle Peralta (Jr., Honduras) appreciated the spiritual refreshment and the chance to focus on the still, small voice of God. “I think it is a wonderful opportunity that most of us probably will not get again after graduation,” she said. “As a full-time student, you get to take time off and listen to the Lord for two whole days. It is a call to ‘be still and know that [He] is God’ (Psalm 46:10).”
A little nervous about life after graduation, Michelle was amazed how God used every message to ease her anxiety. “I realized that more than half of my fears have the easy fix of trusting the Lord, and every single preacher reminded me of it,” she said. “It was like they were speaking directly to me!”
While faculty are grading behind the scenes, they still get to enjoy a brief pause from lecturing. “One of the most enjoyable aspects of Bible Conference is the opportunity to rest and recenter your life on Scripture,” said Sarah Kaiser, a business faculty member. “Life gets busy, so the break causes real reflection and evaluation of the biblical topics discussed. I believe it gives the Holy Spirit more opportunity to work in everyone’s life.”
A highlight of Bible Conference draws everyone outside for a picnic after the Wednesday morning services—the Olde County Fair Picnic. Scene Shop, Dining Services, and Special Events transformed Eagle Field into a miniature fairground with all the festivities. Lively music under a warm sun invited students, faculty, and staff to enjoy a boxed lunch as well as a selection of footlong corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and ice cream.
Groups sprawled out on blankets, clustered on the bleachers, or relaxed on hay bales while listening to a barbershop octet harmonize old-time favorites or by watching others play themed games across the field. Anyone could have a turn at the strongman, Plinko, dunking booth, corn hole, and more. They could also have a caricature sketched or ride along a trolley route driven by Dr. Troy Shoemaker, president of the College.
Her first time at a Bible Conference, Clara Hansen (Fr., VA) loved the opportunity to hang out with her sisters and friends at the picnic. “We got to explore each booth and enjoy all the free food and games. [One of] my favorite parts was getting to see my art teachers doing caricatures of students,” she said. “It was so neat to see them doing what we do in classes each week. And to learn that what we are learning can be used in real life.”
“I thought the [Olde County Fair] theme was so fun—and all the food was amazing!” said Averie Hollowood (Sr., MI). She especially enjoyed the freshly squeezed lemonade. “I always feel very cared for when the school does something special for us like the Bible Conference picnic.”
“By canceling class and setting aside specific time for the preaching of God’s Word, PCC shows its students and faculty that the Bible comes first and foremost,” Averie continued. “Despite changes in the world around us, God remains the same, and our trust in Him should remain the same as well. I’m so grateful for a college that encourages that type of spiritual thinking and has not compromised on the Word of God.”
As Bible Conference came to a close, students have been saturated with preaching and revived to continue pursuing God’s will for their lives. Dr. Greg Mutsch wrapped up his final message with this challenge: “There is no more powerful force that God uses with humans at home, in a church, or in a college than personal testimony. We learn to follow Jesus Christ by following those who have a personal testimony that counts for Christ,” he said. “You’ve got influence. Use it for God.”