COVID- 19 UPDATE
by Dr. Mike Smith
President of Jacksonville College
“My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’”—Forrest Gump
We can’t know what the future holds, but Scripture assures us that we have nothing to fear if we are followers Christ. Jesus said, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34).
A few months ago, none of us could have imagined the challenges we are facing today. I pray for those who are suffering through COVID-19. I pray for the families who have lost loved ones to this virus. I pray for our medical staff and those on the front line of this war. I pray for our leaders who must make tough decisions. I pray for our pastors and churches who have had to figure out how to meet online, hold virtual services, and find new ways to fellowship. I pray for our missionaries, church planters, and associational leaders whose support could be threatened as church offerings decline. I pray for Jacksonville College faculty and employees who have risen to the occasion and continue to provide a quality education from a biblical worldview. I pray for our students and faculty who are adjusting to online classes.
The current worldwide health crisis has required many adjustments and sacrifices. Almost every aspect of life has been affected, and college life is no exception. Jacksonville College courses were transitioned online during Spring Break to follow the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other agencies. Since then, we have continued to follow the guidelines from our federal, state, and local medical and governing officials. We had hoped that things would improve so that we would be able to meet on campus again later in the semester. Sadly, this was not the case.
Considering the present conditions and the directions of our governmental leaders and health care officials, the Jacksonville College administration has decided that the College will finish the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester online and remotely.
My heart is heavy at the sight of an empty campus. I miss our students and employees who normally fill our hallways with excitement. I am saddened for our students who looked forward to a graduation service, a spring banquet, and spring athletic competitions that have now all have been cancelled.
Pray for Jacksonville College:
Pray that a cure for COVID-19 is found soon, ending the pandemic and allowing for a return to normal life.
Pray for coaches, the choir director, the theater program director, and the director of admissions as they recruit students.
Pray for Jacksonville College finances. We must refund $56,000 in room and board costs to our on-campus students. We were going to have our annual Jaguar Day Across Texas appeal in May and use part of the gifts received to cover the loss. However, because present circumstances have led to low church offerings, I do not feel I can ask our churches for more at this time.
Pray that God will lead students to apply for admission to Jacksonville College in the summer and fall semesters. We need a record fall semester to make up for the loss in funds during the pandemic.
Pray that we as Christians will not miss what God is telling us in this crisis and that we will present the gospel message to the lost as never before.
Even though Jacksonville College has had to adapt to the current health crisis, our plans to offer summer and fall terms have not changed. Jacksonville College is accepting applications for our three summer terms (Maymester, Summer 1, Summer 2) and for Fall 2020. Applications may be submitted online at www.jacksonville-college.edu/application. For more information, contact Admissions by email at email@example.com or by phone at (903) 589-7110.
Registration for summer classes continues through the first day of each term, with tuition rates reduced and fees eliminated for all three summer terms. Maymester classes will be held May 13-27, Summer 1 classes will be held June 1-25, and Summer 2 classes will be held July 6-30. Almost all summer courses are online classes. Registration for Fall 2020 begins April 16. To view course offerings, visit our website at www.jacksonville-college.edu, and click on “Courses.”
If you would like to help Jacksonville College financially, any amount you can contribute will be greatly appreciated. You can mail your check to Jacksonville College at 105 B.J. Albritton Drive, Jacksonville, TX 75766. To give online, visit www.jacksonville-college.edu/donate-support-invest.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Congratulations, Bro. Mike, for receiving the 2019 Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award at the 95th Annual Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet.
Jacksonville College Singers at First Baptist Church, Jacksonville
Jacksonville College praise team leading worship in Chapel on March 4