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Louisville Baptist Fellowship Center students visit CU with trustee Smyzer

July 31, 2014
For Immediate Release

Wanda Washington of Greater Campbellsville United shows the students an experiment involving listening and following instructions. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)
Wanda Washington of Greater Campbellsville United shows the students an experiment involving
listening and following instructions. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)

By Drew Tucker, communications assistant

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Education is important to the Rev. Matthew Smyzer, executive director of the Baptist Fellowship Center and a CU Board of Trustees, CU Church Relations Council member and former chair, which is why for the past three years he has brought a group of Louisville area students to Campbellsville University to encourage them to stay in school and plan on going to college. July 21 was no exception.

Dr. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, congratulated the students on participating in the Baptist Fellowship Center and said Smyzer means a lot to CU.
“He’s a treasured and valued friend to all of us,” Chowning said.

Chowning said that CU is “on the move.”

“We have a great student population. Last year we had more than 3,600 students, this fall we’re expecting to hit that number again, from, literally, around the world,” he said.

He said 100 Kentucky counties, 30 states and around 45 different nations are represented on campus, with 65 different languages spoken. “Literally, the world is coming to Campbellsville.”

Dr. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, told the students "CU is on the move." (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)
Dr. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the
president, told the students “CU is on the move.” (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)

“You’re a very important part,” he said to the students. “I see some very fine young people here this morning, and I see some prospective Campbellsville University students. We hope that as you leave campus this afternoon that you may know more of what CU is about and may even become a Fighting Tiger fan.”

Lindsey Hammers, admissions counselor, said some of the programs CU offers include nursing, medical technology, pre-medicine and cosmetology.

“It never hurts to get started early,” she said.

CU offers many scholarships, and Hammers said with a good GPA the students could receive scholarships to any school they wanted, and how doing well on the ACT is important as that could be an $11,000 scholarship.

She said scholarships include everything from being in sports, having a parent who’s a teacher or pastor, and applying to go into nursing.

“If you want to be at Campbellsville, we want you here,” she said.

“Growing up,” said Tony Young, mayor of the city of Campbellsville and CU alumnus, “there were two things that were important to me, and still are important to me. The first most important is my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and belief in God – without him I can’t do anything.

“The other thing is education, and you can get both of these things at Campbellsville University.”

He said to prepare yourself for whatever you want to be.

“If you really take the time to position yourself and get focused and be serious, you can do anything you want,” he said. “Nothing is limited. It’s up to you to best decide what’s best for you, and this is the place to do it.”

“Right now I’m doing a job that I love to do,” he said. “I’ve had several good and different jobs, and I’ve had the opportunity to travel, and I really enjoyed those jobs, but they’re nothing like the job I have now because I have an opportunity to assist about 11,000 people in the city and 24,000 people in the county.”

He said God was preparing him all of his life to be able to do his job as mayor, and he’s made mistakes because he’s human, but he asks God for His leadership and guidance in everything he does.

“So keep those things in mind: God, family and education. Be focused at home on what you like and what you want to be.”

Wanda Washington, executive director of Greater Campbellsville United, chose 10 students to help her in an experiment involving listening, following instruction and choices. She had the students color in a bug on a sheet of paper, using various colors.

“What did I ask them to color first?,” she said. “The eyes; and that was their choice.”

She had them color on another sheet and said it was about listening and following instruction.

“From the time you’re born to death, you’re going to have to listen and follow instruction somewhere,” she said.

She asked the students where might they have to listen and follow instruction. The students mentioned school, church and home.

“When you’re in a classroom you have to be a good listener and a good communicator, because if you’re not, it affects all of us,” she said.

“I want to thank all of you,” she said. “Make good choices so you can be empowered to be the very best you can when it’s time to come to college – when it’s time to marry – when it’s time to become a good citizen.”

Washington told the students a story to help them “realize things in life,” involving candy.

“Don’t be an airhead,” she said while holding up Airheads. “Be good in school because when you’re good in school you respect your brain and that’s how you become a good listener.”

Dr. DeWayne Frazier, associate vice president for academic affairs, said he has six children. He loves coaching sports and his wife and he do children’s ministry at their church.

Frazier showed off Bibles translated in Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Mongolian. “God always has a special message for whomever we’re talking with.”

“A long time ago I knew a little boy who was born,” Frazier said. “His mother was 15 years old and his dad was 17. His grandparents raised him in a very poor part of Kentucky. Nobody in his family had every graduated from high school and guess what: that kid ended up graduating from high school, went on and got a bachelor’s degree from CU and a master’s from University of Kentucky, and then got a doctorate at the University of Louisville. You know who that kid is? That’s me.”

He said he didn’t have a lot of things growing up, especially money, but what he did have was a strong faith. His grandparents instilled in him the importance of faith.

“I’ve had the chance to travel all around the world,” he said, showing off a doll. “This is from my travels in Central Africa – we worked in an orphanage. Did you know students from Campbellsville University travel all over the world to work in orphanages? They’ve had a chance to work in Haiti at an orphanage, at a hospital over in Africa and all kinds of different places.”

Frazier called three students up to the stage and asked them to juggle soccer balls. He said in college you’re going to juggle a lot of things: from sports to homework to housework.

“One of the hardest things to do is to juggle all of these things,” he said, “but if you’re smart and trust in God, you’ll be able to get through it.”

“I commend you for being a part of this program,” Frazier said. “Listen to your teachers. I’m not a product of my circumstances – I’m a product of my decisions.”

He said by making right decisions, such as studying hard in school, they’ll be able to do whatever they want. If they make the decision to help out in their church, they can receive a scholarship; if they do well in sports, they can receive a scholarship, he told the students.

Frazier quoted James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

“I learned a long time ago that many people can be a birth mother and father, but it takes a special person to be a mommy and daddy. No matter what you do in life, make sure that you work hard to be the best person you can be.”

This was the third year the Baptist Fellowship Center students visited CU as part of a month-long summer educational enrichment program. Each student received a certificate and scholarship commitment of $500 if they choose to enroll at CU once they reach college age.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is