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Graduate Connections


Wubbena Makes Alumni Game a Success

Back: Josh Good, Stephen Anderson, Larry Bache, Erik McRae, Danny Favaro, Jeremy Ham, Jim Sanney, Coach Wubbena. Front: Mark Whitehead, Lonzo Saunders, Lamar Washington, Paul Finelli, Troy Hadlock, John Wilson, Jim Good, Adam Waldo

(10/4/2014-Clearwater) There was an excitement and energy in the air as legendary basketball coach Del Wubbena returned to Clearwater Christian College for the annual alumni basketball game. Wubbena served as menís basketball coach and athletic director for 25 years. After a move to Tennessee and a couple of additional years helping as an admissions recruiter, Del and his wife Connie finally retired. Today they reside in the Knoxville, TN, area.

The alumni menís team was comprised of fifteen former players ranging from as far back as 1997 with Jim Good. Joining these were numerous other former players and alumni throughout the Tampa Bay area. Though age was a definite factor for the alumni team, they were still able to put together a solid effort against the 2014 Cougar men's basketball team. Throughout the match, the alumni team kept the score close, and even with under two minutes left were down by only four. While the final score of 98-92 favored the college team the alumni men put on a great game with Coach Wubbena at the helm.


Tiffany Pack, Kim Vilchez, Alissa Lozano, Niki Rougier, and Kelly Fichtner

Prior to the men's game, alumni from the Lady Cougars played in a close competitive match as well. A number of former players were joined by new CCC coach Natalie Wilkinson and resident mentor Rachel Dees. The alumni took the lead early and kept it for most of the first half. The Lady Cougars eventually caught up and dominated the second half as fatigue finally won over for our alumni team.


Alumni on the Gospel Road

(10/3/2014) For the last 15 years, the Galkin Ministry Team has participated in over 400 evangelistic campaigns throughout the United States. The team is led by founder Will Galkin and his wife Christy, and includes a team of recent college graduates who are trained in evangelism and discipleship and are gifted musically in various ways. They minister in local churches, Christian schools, camps, and college campuses. Team members are often identified during ministry trips and invited to be involved in this concentrated experience for a year at a time. Many continue serving in subsequent years or until God leads them to other vocational or ministerial ventures. While ministering on the road and living out of one's suitcase can be a challenging endeavor, the benefits provide valuable groundwork or introduction to one's future calling for Christ. For these reasons, serving on such a team is viewed as a tremendous opportunity.

For the 2014-2015 ministry year, Clearwater Christian College will be represented on the Galkin team not by one, but by two alumni - Jillian Blackwell and Spencer Shelburne. After graduating from CCC in 2013 with a degree in Music education, Jillian spent her first year teaching music in three different public schools in Pinellas County. She was first contacted to join the Galkin team last October and was interviewed officially in January when the team came to Florida. After much thought and prayer, she was confident this was what God had for her. Jillian writes "I am extremely excited and humbled to be serving in this capacity. Music is such a powerful way to worship Christ, and worshipping with believers in churches across the country is what I am most excited about." Her team responsibilities will include singing, playing flute and penny whistles, and managing the resource table.

Spencer graduated from CCC in 2014 with a degree in Exercise Sport Science. During his final year of college, he received several job offers and ministry opportunities from Christian schools, churches, and camps. Last January, he was asked to become assistant director at a Christian camp. As he was praying for God's direction, he was approached by Will about becoming a member of their next team. Within weeks, the Lord made it clear to him that this was the direction he was to pursue. Spencer writes "I am beyond excited for this opportunity that the Lord has provided. CCC has definitely helped prepare me for this experience. I was able to travel and sing on numerous ministry teams and choral teams while at Clearwater. So I already have a taste for what will be coming. CCC's focus on the gospel and making disciples of Christ was a huge help in my preparation for ministry. Our team shares the same focus and goal!" Spencer's responsibilities with the team will include singing, playing the guitar and mandolin, and preparing all the PowerPoints for the music and Will's sermons.

Currently, the team is assembled in Utah preparing for their extended road ministry, serving in the Gospel Grace Church which serves as the Galkin's home church, and ministering in the local area. Their fall tour officially starts on October 12. CCC is encouraged to see this desired outcome of proclaiming the glorious message of the gospel of Jesus Christ be realized in the lives our students. Pray for Jillian and Spencer as they travel. For a copy of their itinerary and more information on the Galkin team, click here.

College Celebrates Global Ambassadors During Annual Missions Conference


(10/2/2014) The 2014 missions conference at Clearwater Christian College, Pathways to the World: Celebrating CCC Alumni, highlighted alumni of the college who help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.

Featured alumni speakers included Diana Joss (í89) serving with Child Evangelism Fellowship in the Middle East, Andrew Shields (í00) involved in church planting and Bible institute ministries in Mexico with Banner of Faith Ministries and Phil K., serving in a church planting among Greek nationals, as well as to a growing congregation of Iranian refugees who have fled their country due to persecution.

K. was the conference featured speaker in chapel Wednesday through Friday. He encouraged us to realize this endeavor is not an exercise associated with guilt but in reality our participation in the eternal plan of God to produce faithful worshippers from all tribes, nations and people. On Friday, he spoke from scripture to the issue of persecution and trials to underline the reality that this is one of the chief ways to proclaim the gospel message and illustrated this from the example of Paul and other believers he has already met through his ministry.

Joining Joss, Shields and K. for a panel discussion on Friday morning were Travis Mitten (í94) with Bible Basic International serving in Honduras and Marta Galdamez (í06) who serves with International Partnership Ministries in support services and deaf ministries. In addition to alumni, representatives from 20 different agencies joined our conference as exhibitors, classroom presenters and spiritual mentors. Throughout the conference, a PowerPoint ran prior to chapel and on the screen in the dining hall showing photos of over 40 alumni families serving around the world.

More information about the missions conference, including future dates, is available at clearwater.edu.

The Gospel Challenge

(Clearwater - 9/10/2014) Sharing the gospel with the unsaved brings with it a unique set of challenges, including those spoken in scripture of spiritual receptivity. Imagine adding to the equation the problem we often find in our churches and communities with individuals who are identified as intellectually challenged.   CCC alumnus Andrew Vacca ('07) faces this often in his ministry serving with Life Disability Network, a ministry headquartered out of Central Florida that aids families with members who possess some form of physical or mental disability. The opportunity to speak the gospel into the lives of these folks is one of the ongoing objectives of his ministry. But how to accomplish this effectively and with godly integrity is an ongoing challenge.

Realizing this need in his specific ministry and the objective of Life Disability Network to partner with the local church to answer such questions for the greater body of Christ, Andrew joined Dr. Michael S. Beates to write an article entitled Retelling the Old, Old Story. The article intends to address the issues of disabled members of society and effective means of communicating God's grace to them. The article appeared recently on the Christian Research Institute's webpage and is accessible to those who wish to learn more. Click on the title above to read it for yourself. We commend Andrew and Dr. Beates for their work in this area.

In addition to his ministry with Life Disability Network, Andrew continues his graduate studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL. Andrew and his wife Sarah live in Oviedo.


Sweet Treats

(Dunedin - 9/2/2014) Nestled in downtown Dunedin is a pastry shop that catches your eye immediately because of its brightly painted building and quaint decorations. The smell of freshly baked cookies lures you inside and you feel like you've died and gone to heaven. But it is not until you sample the wares that you are convinced that maybe you have because you've never tasted anything like it on earth before.

This was the experience that I and fellow alumnus Kris DeWitt ('87) had when we went to Kookie Krums after Labor Day to meet with CCC alumnus Janet Landis Long ('97). Janet and her sister Vicki both attended and graduated from CCC. With her psychology degree in hand, Janet did what most graduates do - find a job, start a family, and live the American dream. In April 2007, the opportunity arose to purchase Kookie Krums and she jumped at becoming a small business owner. For over two years, Janet proceeded down this new path facing the typical challenges of life with her new business and family. Then at the end of 2009, that trail took an unexpected turn with the adoption of her youngest daughter, the death of her sister, and becoming a single mom-all occurring in less than a year's time. By God's grace and the support of family and friends, Janet continued forward trusting the Lord to supply her need and to meet the new challenges that lie ahead.

Looking at her website, it is a business anyone would love to own. Each morning she awakes to bake some of the greatest treats one can imagine. Her specialty is homemade cookies, but you will also see a variety of cupcakes, brownies, and all sorts of other delicacies. She has built a good clientele of regulars, some whose daily ritual is to drive to Dunedin just to get one of Janet's cookies. But over 75% of her business is online and she provides cookie parties for birthdays, special treats for business and government functions, and ships cookie arrangements all over the world to business acquaintances, family members, and anyone else who needs a thank you or encouragement in this tasty manner. During our time together, we discussed creating a means where families of currently enrolled students can encourage their own children through her tasty treats. Her business is booming and she is on the verge of moving it to the next level by increasing her sales and hiring additional staff. Sometimes life takes you down difficult paths. But often, through God's grace, we can discover the value of His direction. And sometimes it is literally sweet, just like Janet's cookies!

To read Janet's story, see her products, and maybe even become one of her customers go to Kookie Krums.

Finding the Edge


(8/29/2014) Summer is when most students take a break from their studies and relax for a brief time before finding a job to earn money to return in the fall. Some are able to carve out a little time for a mission trip or visiting friends and family. For Allan Dunlap, it was time spent this summer pursuing his dream in the social media market as a student intern.

Allan's love for social media and internet marketing started in his teens when he was able to help a few local businesses address basic needs. This spring, as he approached the end of his junior year of college, he was introduced to representatives from Branch Creative Network, a division of Jackson Dawson Communications in Detroit, Michigan. Their specialty is digital marketing for businesses. A door was opened for him to join BCN this summer as an intern. It didn't take long to go from student to intern. After a quick tour around the facility, he was assigned a desk and given his first assignment. He was quickly immersed in the business world that required quick thinking and finding solutions on the go. His team was extremely helpful and answered questions that arose. After a of couple weeks, Allan become acclimated to his new environs and became a valued member of the team.

In the weeks that followed, Allan has been able to participate in a variety of projects. He worked with the BCN team doing research, creating proposals, and executing strategies. He learned how the world's most successful companies were using social media, email, and websites to capture their markets. In addition to digital strategies, Allan was exposed to marketing strategies used in today's business, attend meetings with various client teams, and gain valuable insight into how campaigns are run.

With the uncertainties in the world today, graduates need to have many opportunities to develop their strengths and broaden their skill sets. Participating in internships such as the one Allan experienced may give graduates the edge when searching for their first job out of college or admission into graduate programs for further education.

For more on Allan's story, go to My Summer at BCN.

Alumni Sets the Standard

(8/23/2014) With the fall classes underway, it's time to get down to business. It's time for volleyball and the Lady Cougars are gearing up for their hopeful ninth consecutive NCCAA Division II national championship. But their foe on Saturday afternoon was not their typical opponent-it was eleven battle-scarred veterans of past CCC volleyball teams. They were the 2014 Alumni Volleyball team, and they came not to just play but to win!

Organized by alumnus Beka White ('06), this team of graduates played hard and earned a 3-2 victory over Dr. Denny's 2014 fall team. Coach Denny said "We had great support from alumni for today's game. Beka White did all the work in getting the girls to come and some drove a good distance to be with us. They gave us our first good workout of the season and they beat us. Hopefully, this will be an incentive for our team to improve as we enter our regular season schedule."

Being one of the first major activities of the school year, the gym was packed for the afternoon's contest and the enthusiasm for volleyball was great. We thank Beka for putting together this year's team and all the ladies who took out the time to play.


2014 Alumni Team (L to R): Suzy Llerena('93), Janelle Barnes ('05), Jenny Tyrpak ('05), Cindy Stenberg ('03), Rachel Gardner ('04), Kimberly Ponce ('14), Laura Marvin ('07), Danielle Heffernan ('11), Dana Medich ('14), April Whitehead ('07), Beka White ('06), Coach Denny



Borden Named VP at BBC&S


(5/27/2014) 1991 business graduate Mark Borden was recently announced as the new vice president for business and finance at Baptist Bible College & Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. To accept the position at BBC&S, Borden resigned his post as the Carson City (MI) City Administrator, a position he has held since 2008. Borden will assume his new responsibilities after June 1. Clearwater Christian College congratulates Mark on his new position.






Alumni Articles (January - April, 2014)