December 15, 2020
This semester we had the opportunity to interview five of our students. Those students were Cami Bernal (senior), Elana Cripps (senior), Elizabeth Farmer (junior), Davide Kim (freshman), and Nicholas Sandridge (junior). Questions ranged from the semester to how they heard about West Coast and their salvation testimony. Here are their answers to some of those questions.*
Question: Who are you, and how did you hear about West Coast?
Cami: My name is Cami Bernal, and I came from a little town called Montverde, Florida and then recently our family moved to Texas. So technically I'm from Texas. I didn't actually know anybody when I came. I came out here [as] a step of faith because I didn't know anybody that was out there. The only [people] that I knew at the time was Ricky Allen, Ethan Amasula, and Jaclyn [Graves] who later got married. They were super great, and I remember touring the campus with them. I knew them, but then I went to college days the year before I came in 2017, and there's just a bunch of people I met there, [including] my future roommate, I had met there, too because she’s like, “Hey, let’s be roommates!” And we ended up being freshman roommates. The biggest word that made me want to come here or [a] few words, was “ministry” and “missions,” because I've always had a heart for missions ever since I was six years old. So whenever people would talk about West Coast, they would always talk about all the ministry here, and they were supporting missions, and we want to train you to be a missionary. These were buzzwords, I guess, that I would hear [in] conversation, or The Baptist Voice was something that our family got a lot and that ultimately was what brought me here. We got it all the time in the mail, and I remember flipping through the pages of these magazines every month, looking forward to getting it and being like, “Man, I can’t wait to go there,” and just visit the ministry that is out here, and I remember being so excited about that. But basically, when I found out it was a ministry school, like specifically for ministry, I wanted to come here; and right when I came on campus, I had a peace about it.
Elana: [My name is] Elana Cripps. I'm from Baytown, Texas about 40 minutes outside of Houston. I had three older siblings (two brothers and one sister) come to West Coast. They all graduated, and there's actually two guys from my church that are here right now. The first time I heard about West Coast was when I was 10 years old. My oldest brother came and I was 10. So I've been pretty familiar with it my whole life or most of it, and the years leading up to me coming, tour groups came through. Dr. R came through. He's the best recruiter at the school. [Since I was] the youngest of four, my biggest pet peeve [was] to follow my siblings’ footsteps. So for me to come [to West Coast] I felt like, “I'm just following in their footsteps.” It was expected. So the summer before my senior year, I was asking God to give me my own reason besides [the fact that] my siblings came, or that's what I'm supposed to do. I had the opportunity to come visit my sister two times while she was in college, separate from anything else, and it was really obvious how much the staff was invested into the students, and that's what made me want to come. I always loved it, and I always wanted to [come] but I needed a reason [to come]. Yeah, because otherwise I'd just be following [my plans], and I'll be doing it just because my siblings [came], and I didn’t want to do that. [Because] the staff [was] so involved [and cared] so much – That was the reason I was like, “I want to be here and not just to follow [my siblings].”
Elizabeth: My name is Elizabeth Farmer. I’m from Gray, TN. My home church is Buffalo Ridge Church [with] Pastor John Herdman. I actually did not hear about West Coast until right before my freshman year of high school. Pastor David Fox who had sent a couple of his children here, asked my family if they would attend a spiritual leadership conference with him and that was my first introduction to the college. After spiritual leadership conference, I automatically kind of felt like this was probably where God wanted me to be. I really appreciated the vision Pastor Chappell had and seeing the passion and the care that faculty had for students was really something that I really appreciated. And especially the organization that was here at the school, I had noticed that more so [here] than other schools. I really liked that, and I also got the chance to attend Joshua camps the summer after my junior year of high school. So that really confirmed to me that this was the place to go.
Davide: My name is Davide Kim, and I'm currently a freshman here at West Coast Baptist College. I'm originally from Lancaster, California, so West Coast is very close to here, and my dad is a pastor here at the Korean Ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church. We grew around West Coast being [not necessarily] “pushed” on us, but it's highly encouraged, and my sister is a sophomore here at West Coast Baptist College too, but I would say the way or the reason I chose West Coast Baptist College and how God led me here and called me to this place was in 5th grade. God called me to be a pastor, and it was such an obvious answer that West Coast was definitely the best place in the entire world to learn about [how to be a] pastor and how to deal with church planting and all these things, and we have so many great people here who know exactly what they're doing, and the spirit of this place has been so awesome. So even from a young kid, some people have their dream colleges [as being] in an Ivy school, but West Coast was my dream college, so [I am] really pumped and excited to be here. Watch[ing] the graduates coming out of West Coast, there have been some really good graduates who have come out of this place, and the instructors who are here – I think that's really the main reason I came here was how good the people who I know who are giving me training, like Dr. Goetsch with his years of experience, of Dr. Schettler, or Dr. R. [who] has been here for a long time, Dr. Lester, and people like that who have so much wisdom to give and I feel like it'd be a waste if I didn't take that opportunity.
Nick: My name is Nicholas Sandridge. I am from Durham, North Carolina, from Liberty Baptist Church. I've had several people that I know that have come here. First two were my brother and one of his classmates Kyler Ketner, which is Kam Ketner's brother, who I am also friends with and was another person that came here [who] was a pretty big influence on me coming here. There's been about ten people from my church, and ten people or so that’s come here, so that would cover that. As far as for me, what got me to come here, I visited [here during] my brother's first year. I was a freshman in high school. I got to see the campus, tour the campus [a] little bit. I think we stayed for a few days, and [that] was kind of eye-opening. I never really thought about West Coast. I didn't know much about West Coast at all. So that was the biggest, at least the first thing, that got me thinking about here. After I graduated high school, I still didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go. I was praying about it [and] had a few options. I took a year and near the end of that year, I still wasn't sure, but that summer we had a tour group from West Coast come. That was the day that I finally I filled out the application and finally decided West Coast.
Question: How did you come to know Christ as your Savior?
Cami: When I was 5 years old, me and my brother were at our house. My dad just out of the blue one day decides to give us a devotion. We had grown up in church ever since I was an infant, and my dad, he decided (this is definitely the Lord) he was just having a devotion, and he sat down and started telling us the story about this boy who had gone into a cave with his family. They had gone spelunking or something, and once they [had] gone deep enough into the cave, it was so dark [that] they couldn't see the hands in front of his face, and he was very scared. He's like, “I'm so glad I have the love of Jesus in my life, and I don’t have to be in darkness like hell. Hell is dark like this, and it is a place that we don't want to go.” I remember being as a five-year-old, I was so scared. I was gonna go to hell, and [my dad] started talking about the light of Jesus Christ and how we don't have to live in that darkness. The light of Jesus Christ is what we have in our life, and we can choose that over the darkness. I remember being convicted of that as a five-year-old and my dad just telling me [that], and he led me to the Lord.
Elana: I was raised in a Christian home. My dad’s been a pastor since I was two years old and before that he was still [in] full-time Christian service. So, while growing up, [I] heard the gospel over and over again. I always had the head knowledge, and I was really smart about it, and I could have fooled anyone [in]to thinking I was saved because I knew all the questions and how to answer them and when to answer them, all of that. Because I was the pastor's kid, it was assumed that I was saved because you go into [the] second grade class and it’s like, “Oh, she must have been saved the year before [or] whatever.” I don't know what teachers were thinking, but I never thought about actually asking Jesus to come into my heart until… it was something that I fought for a long time. It wasn't something that hit me like, “Oh I have it.” I knew that I had it for years. But it wasn't until a couple days before my 13th birthday [that] I couldn’t take the doubt anymore, or [rather] it wasn't even doubt. I knew I wasn't [saved], and what stopped me before was pride because I'm about to turn 13 years old. I know that if I get saved right now, it's going to shock everyone. It's going to shock my parents. Then I have to get baptized in front of the entire church. And then, everyone knows that it's not a secret. I thought about asking my dad if we could do a private baptism, but that doesn't really count because it has to be a public profession of faith. So one night, I woke up in the middle of the night, and that's all I could think about. I had all the pictures in my head of the Abeka flashcard crucifixion. All of it was going through my head, and I [knew that] it's now or never. I can't take this anymore. [It happened] in the middle of the night or early in the morning. I went to my parents’ room and I [told them], “I'm not saved it, and I can't do this anymore.” So I got saved that night in April, a couple days before my birthday. I didn't want to [get baptized], but my dad told me, “You're getting baptized this Sunday. You don't have a choice.” I think I cried before because I was still really prideful. It took a lot of humbling, but I did it, and I have never regretted it obviously.
Elizabeth: I grew up in a Christian home. I've been in church my entire life. My younger brother Andrew actually got saved right before me at the age of five. He would constantly – as new believers are especially passionate about the gospel – and he as a young kid, he was just talking to me about salvation, like saying [that] he's praying for me and eventually then, at the age of five, [the concept of salvation] finally got in my head and I told my parents that I finally realized that I was a sinner.
Davide: I grew up in church. Obviously, my dad was a pastor. So I was already acquainted with everything, and I think I knew the plan of salvation, and I was a very good boy. I knew how to – I want to say I knew how to play the part. I think I actually believed that I was a Christian, and I never made that decision, but I just I knew exactly what to say you and what to do, but I always wondered why –when the Lord's table ordinances were coming by – why my dad would never let me eat the food, and it really bothered me. Like, why can’t I eat this? So I was questioning [that]. He kept saying something about salvation or something like that, and I remember [that] I don't really understand why my sister could eat it and my parents, but why I couldn't. Finally one message… Oh! even baptism. I was like, “Oh, why can't I go to the pool?” So one day Pastor Chappell brought a sermon, and I don’t remember the contents of it, but I just remember going home and [I was] really scared of going to hell, and I asked my dad, “Hey, can you show me [how to get saved] because I don't want to go to hell, and I need to know how to get saved, and my dad took me into his closet, and we prayed, and that night I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, and I knew it wasn't anything that I did or but it's all based on total reliance on what He's done for me and putting my faith in Him. A couple months after that, [I] realized that I can now eat the bread, [and that was] the added bonus.
Nick: I was actually saved when I was three; I initially realized and trusted [Christ as my Savior]. It was after a church service. We came home, and I shared a room with my brother, and that night we started talking about it, and he asked me if I was saved because we had been talking about the message [which] was on hell, so we had been talking about that a little bit. So he asked me if I was saved. I told him I wasn't, [so] he went through [the] plan of salvation. I was running out of my room and running to my parents to tell them that I got saved, and, obviously, they went over it with me again. Just [to] make sure that I really understood, and again when I was 9 or 10, I got assurance of it. I believe, obviously, that even at three that you can be saved, and you can realize [that] but [I] also wanted to obviously make sure yeah. *Responses were edited for readability.
Not receiving alumni update emails?