Dr. Mike Smith, President - 903.589.7106 -


In June of 1873, Dwight L. Moody and his new song leader, Ira Sankey, arrived in England with their families to start evangelistic services. They had an invitation from three businessmen; if they would come to England, their way and expenses would be paid for them. When they arrived, they discovered that two of the men had died and the third had no memory of making a promise. It seemed that the door had been closed to them, and Moody told Sankey that if God did not open a door, they would return to America. So, they waited. A man who had started the YMCA in York invited Moody to visit him. They prayed and decided to start preaching in local churches that Sunday. Moody started in the church where F.B. Myer was pastor. They became friends and prayed often for England. Over the next two years, two and a half million people heard Moody preach, and England experienced one of her greatest revivals.

Waiting is hard. During this COVID-19 pandemic, waiting has been hard for me. I have been waiting to see when we can have worship services together again, waiting to see if we can start classes on campus in the fall, and waiting to see if we can compete in sports this fall. I pray that we are not required to wait much longer.

Enrollment in our summer courses has been strong, and we plan to open the campus in the fall for face-to-face classes and sports. So, tell everyone that there is time to apply to Jacksonville College. We are open for business.

The last week of May was as a hard of a week emotionally as I have encountered. Dr. Blanton Feaster, Jacksonville College Vice President of Executive Affairs, moved to Dallas Baptist University. Blanton was not just a colleague that I depended on but a personal friend and prayer warrior. He is missed.

On Monday, May 25, Bennie Lybrand, whose wife Carole is a Jacksonville College Trustee, died suddenly. I had gotten close to Bennie. He was very generous. He was at the College on Friday, helping with a major project, and we had a good visit. As his interim pastor at New Harmony Baptist Church in Tyler, I visited with him on Sunday. Then on Monday, after he and Carol watched Vanna turn those letters on “Wheel of Fortune,” Bennie exchanged this life for the next. His life was a blessing to many, and he will be missed.

Sunday, May 31, Susan and I and Jan Brazier attended the funeral of Deloris Johnson, wife of Jacksonville College’s All-American basketball wonder, Chief Herbert Johnson of the Coushatta Indian Reservation between Livingston and Woodville. Delores will be missed.

Saturday, June 6, the funeral for Kenneth Cline, Trustee for Jacksonville College, was held at the Lindale High School. Kenneth and his pastor at Red Springs Baptist Church were very instrumental in providing Jacksonville College with LED lighting throughout our buildings. He will be missed.

These departures leave a tremendous vacuum in faithful givers and servants to Jacksonville College. Yes, I am sad for these were my friends. Yet I am waiting to see whom God raises up to fill the gap they have left. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27:14).


Summer 2 Term

Reduced tuition rates and no fees

July 6-July 39

Fall 2020

Classes begin August 12

For more information, contact Admissions at, (903) 589-7110

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