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Roesel Speaks at UC's Annual Franklin Owen Conference


Williamsburg, Ky. – “If we are following Jesus Christ, we will be helping the hurting, not maintaining numbers in church.” This was the idea Dr. Charles Roesel shared with University of the Cumberlands (UC) students in Monday’s Franklin Owen Conference Convocation on April 16 in Gatliff Chapel.

Roesel, the presidential ambassador to the North American Mission Board and UC Board of Trustees member, has employed this idea through more than 56 years of ministry, seeing more than 7,000 baptized for Christ during his ministry. In his work as pastor (and now Pastor Emeritus) at First Baptist Church in Leesburg, Fla., Roesel has been part of starting 70 ministries that reach the hurting, including shelters for men and women of all ages, a pregnancy care center, and a rape crisis center.

Roesel admonished UC students to get out of the modern church “country club” mindset, and to return to the Church of Jesus Christ—“a loving, compassionate, Christian family that reaches out to the hurting and brings them to a saving knowledge of Him.” He described Cumberlands as a place that helps the hurting.

“This is one of the few schools that put this passion into practice. The scripture is fulfilled at UC and it’s a blessing to all those that need help,” said Roesel. “I love this school because it is conservative, and the University believes in the Gospel as it is found in the Word of God, along with academic excellence.”

Roesel also talked to the students about looking to God for miracles, rather than man. “If you look for something that can only be explained through the miraculous power of God, you will be amazed at what you can do,” he said.

A man who has seen miraculous gifts of money given to start ministries for hurting people should know. Roesel has seen strangers to his church give thousands, even millions of dollars to allow the Leesburg ministry to help the hurting.

Roesel’s message to the students was straightforward and relevant, and peppered with examples of the hurting being helped and God working miracles. His message hit home for many.

“I enjoyed it,” said Micah Wolf, UC senior. “I agree that we need to come back to what Jesus wants us to do.”

According to Roesel, and the Bible, what Jesus wants Christians to do is clear. “As long as the church ministers to hurting people, it will never lack an audience.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees; more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.