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Penultimate Semester Activities

On Saturday, April 29th, Toccoa Falls College was lively with a day full of amusing activities. The reason? The Outdoor Club not only hosted its third annual Cherokee Challenge but the student body also came out to participate in Classapalooza. It was a busy day, but students and community members that came out enjoyed themselves as they competed and fellowshipped together.

In the morning the Cherokee Challenge took place. Volunteers arrived around 7:30 to set up and enroll incoming racers and admit those that pre-registered. A few local gyms had booths set up to advertise their business. For those that arrived early, Michelle—the beloved cafeteria employee—led a Zumba session. It was fun and energetic—a great warmup for the runners.

The race started at the pond. Contestants first ran up behind the guest house, and followed a two-mile trail with obstacles strategically placed all along it that eventually circled back to end at the pond. There were three waves of runners, each sent off fifteen minutes between each other; the first left at 9:00, and the last wave followed behind at 9:30.

The rigorous trail proved to be a challenge, but contestants began to near the end. Spectators cheered as runners performed the last stretch—crawling through the sand of the volleyball court, jumping over a fire, and then swimming across the pond. Runners were received at the finish line with great fanfare.

After the Cherokee Challenge had ended and everything was taken down, Classapalooza began. Sandwiches, chips, treats, and drinks were all set out so that people could eat as the activities went on. A table was set up that had different colored paints on it so that people could patriotically decorate themselves to identify themselves with their particular class. Reds, greens, blues, and yellows—seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, respectively—could be seen all around.

Activities began with a game called Hungry Hippo. Everyone gathered according to their class at the four corners of a tarp. The tarp was covered with soapy water, and had a pile of small plastic balls in the middle. Two people from each class coupled up to snatch as many balls as possible. One person had the legs of the other and pushed that person along the tarp as they tried to grab balls with a laundry basket. The game was very hilariously aggressive.

Volleyball followed next. The different classes faced each other off to determine who the champion would be. The games were very enjoyable to watch, as all of the teams did an excellent job. It was very competitive, but the juniors ended up winning overall.

The next event was a chalk art competition. The different classes were given chalk and a parking space and prompted to draw something that represented “living large.” The sophomores did not compete in this activity, but the freshmen, juniors, and seniors all had artistic minds working together to win. The freshmen’s sunflowers, the junior’s cityscape, and the seniors space theme were all excellently done, but the seniors pulled out as the winners.

After the chalk art the classes regathered to compete in a tournament of kickball. The ball used was a large beach ball, and to get to the bases—which were pools of water—one had to slide on a tarp covered in soapy water. Like the volleyball, the competition was intense. The classes fought for the victory, but the seniors ended up winning. By popular vote, buck buck was being played as the kickball tournament went on.

After the kickball, two activities then took place at the same time—a game of life that was played around the pond, and dizzy soccer played at the intramural field. Though the game of life was a little more chill and enjoyable, the dizzy soccer was a little more competitive. It was difficult as the players had to continue to spin as they played, but everyone enjoyed themselves. After the initial competition ended—with the seniors winning—the participants started to play a normal game of soccer for fun.

After all of the games had ended and all of the points were added up, it was determined that the juniors and the seniors had tied! The uncertainty of the outcome had been tense as the score was close, but a tie was not expected; it was surely an interesting ending to the classapalooza competition!

Overall the day was pleasantly active and everyone enthusiastically participated in all that was offered. It was exciting to see the Toccoa community and the student body of TFC interact with each other at the Cherokee Challenge, and then see the student body come together for healthy competition. The community was encouraging, as everyone mingled together. Great company, comfortable weather, delicious food, entertaining games—it was a great Saturday for students to spend time with each other at they look forward the end of the spring semester.

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Upcoming Junior/Senior Banquet 2017!

The annual Junior/Senior Banquet is one of Toccoa Falls College’s most treasured and anticipated events. It is the last big get together for the graduating class, and the initiation of the juniors into their new place of seniority. It is always a pleasure to attend these events, but the stage has been set this year for, what could be, the most wonderfully intense Jr./Sr. banquet TFC has ever put together. Let me explain.

This past Saturday’s Classapalooza was a dazzling display of random athleticism, dumb luck, and unlikely upsets, but the final scoreboard revealed a troubling problem. The junior class and senior class ended the day in an unprecedented TIE. Yes, a tie. Now we all know that if buck-buck had been counted in the final tally the senior class no doubt would have taken the cake, but that was not the case (no bitterness about it). The juniors started the day strong with a huge win in beach volleyball, but the seniors rallied late to win both super slider kick ball, and dizzy soccer. It was an amazing day, but the important question remains. What will the tie breaker be?

Here are the facts. On May 5th at 7:00pm the gates will open and the event of the year will begin. It is taking place at Larkins Sawmill in Greenville, South Carolina. There is no better place than a sawmill to decide the fate of Classapalooza 2017. The clock is ticking down for the day that could revolutionize the Junior/Senior Banquet experience for years to come. I am not sure that anything like this has ever happened before, or that anything like this will ever happen again. This is a cannot miss event.

Several SGA members have been communicating what this tie breaker will look like. The Student Government has done an incredible job for putting on amazing events this school year, and I am sure that they could not have imagined that something like this would happen. They have shown tremendous leadership, creativity, and thoughtfulness while serving our student body and I am genuinely grateful for that. Thank you SGA!   

Remember: This event is a formal event, and is designed for community and fellowship. While there may be some type of misplaced pride at stake, this is a time to enjoy the company of fellow classmates. Jr./Sr. is important for the student body to appreciate the hard work of graduating Seniors, and acknowledge the future success of aspiring Juniors. Do not let the heart of competition (whatever that looks like) ruin the beauty of the Jr./Sr. experience. With that being said, show up ready for amazing food, fellowship, and (more than likely) dancing. Study hard over the next few days and then come celebrate the end of another wonderful year! Cannot wait to see you there!

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The Joyful JOYEUX Premier

Earlier in this semester, the Black Spade Society: a media group, headed by James Hutton,  created a TV-worthy video series by TFC students about TFC students for TFC students. Their first step on this journey was to create a pilot (a proof-of-concept episode) by the end of this semester. Well, after weeks and months of auditioning, shooting, and editing, the cast and crew finally bring to TFC the first episode of JOYEUX.

JOYEUX can be best described as dialogue driven a non-traditional comedy-drama. It will focus on character interaction, bond building, and music. Music is planned to play a big role in this series. It will contain not only stock music but an original track created by the music students and hobbyists here at the college. Character relations are going to be the main focus and this pilot’s goal is to set up the characters and character dynamics for the series.

Having been given the privilege of being able to see it early with the group, I can say that it succeeds at this purpose and is something that I would recommend checking out. It may be dialogue-driven but the interactions are amusing and there are plenty of atmospheric and comedic silent moments with good cinematography. There will be many comedic moments, mostly awkward and relatable things. Many volunteers at the college have participate in creating the film. Those residing in Forrest Hall will definitely take notice. The ending may seem to come sudden and might make one yearn for more, However, it reminds those that JOYEUX will be an ongoing series to support. Be sure to come and make that a reality!

One can discover the secret origin of this mysterious symbol that appeared on the cafeteria chalkboard a while back.

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The premier will be taking place in the Student Center TONIGHT at 8:00 p.m.! Make sure to bring your friends and any visiting loved ones. Spread the word! If you miss the pilot, it will be made available online sometime next week on YouTube. If you have any questions about the premier or want to ask about joining the production next semester, contact the head via email at blackspadesociety@gmail.com.

The production of the main series will begin this fall semester. Whether that will be a single episode or multiple ones, it all depends on how many members there will be and their determination. So, if interested in acting, shooting, music-making, and/or video editing (or even planning on taking a Mass Communications practicum course), be prepared to send an email now or in the fall. Remember, the premier will be 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 28th, at the Student Center. Come out TONIGHT!

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The Future of TFC’s Cross-Country Team

Did anyone really know Toccoa Falls College had a Cross Country (XC) team anyways? That might be a harsh question to ask, but I ran on the Cross-Country team at Toccoa and it was amazing how many people did not realize we had a team. Now I use the word “had” for a specific purpose. The Athletic Department has decided to cut the Cross-Country program indefinitely. Athletic Director Kevin Hall said in response to a question, “Decisions like this never come easy as it always deeply affects someone.” Kevin Hall and I have had several in-depth conversations about the state of the Cross-Country program, and about the ideas that are in place to keep this a valuable part of the TFC community. Here is a brief synopsis of what he said:

  1. The Athletic Department cares about this program and desires to see it succeed
  2. Cross-Country is not totally gone, it will be a club sport (I’ll explain more on that later)
  3. During this hiatus, the Athletic Department will continue to build the foundation for providing Toccoa with quality/stable coaches.

I have no doubt that the Athletic Department desires to see Cross-Country flourish as a collegiate sport in the future. In one of the conversations I had with Coach Hall, he laid out the groundwork for the future of the program and how he envisions the rebuilding process taking place. They will be moving Cross-Country out of the intercollegiate role and into a club sport. This club sport status will (hopefully) allow runners to continue to compete in intercollegiate races if it gets approved by the NCCAA. These races will allow those who are interested in running to compete against other schools, and will also allow TFC to continue to train athletes for the future team. I believe this may be necessary for the XC team. This brief step away from intercollegiate status could be the test of who really cares enough about this program to keep it going. Runners do not care if they are a club sport or a team sport. They want to compete. The truth of the matter is that the truly dedicated few will stick this out and compete knowing that there is a future in store for a very successful program.

Cross-Country is important to me, and it really does change people. In my considerably long tenure as an athlete, I have spent a substantial amount of time conditioning. I have run wind sprints for basketball and countless numbers of laps around the baseball field, but nothing changed my life like Cross Country. I understand why people question the sanity of cross country runners. We are doing something that most people hate doing, and we are doing it for fun! The running joke (pun intended) in cross country is that “the sport we do for fun is considered punishment to everyone else.” It takes a unique group of people to form a cross country team, but I can personally testify that my years of running have changed my work ethic, mindset, and overall attitude toward life. Cross Country showed me how to push past mental barriers and accomplish things that I never thought possible.

I write this article simply to give credit where credit is due. Hang in their runners! Do not give up on this journey. You have an opportunity to pave the way for a bigger and brighter future for Toccoa Falls College Athletics. Face the challenges ahead and run the race well!

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A Trip to the Philosophy Club

To many, philosophy may sound like an intimidating field. Many perceive the area of study as either useless or too abstract. Thankfully, the philosophy club at Toccoa Falls College is willing to take in anybody interested in the topic. If planning on majoring in philosophy, then this club is a must. But is it worth attending for any other reason?

On request by the editor, I decided to scout out a group meeting last week to see how the philosophy club portrayed itself. I arrived a few minutes late to find around 20+ students in the midst of talking about the differences between happiness and pleasure. What is their relationship? How can someone tell if the other is truly happy? Is it possible to be truly happy?

The structure of the meeting seems very straight forward and inclusive. The leader asks a question about the subject and somebody tells their opinion. The whole event is basically a structured, open-ended discussion that anybody can join in without getting hectic. Discussion is encouraged and ideas are traded. Even at one point, a heated conversation started up. The questions that were asked and the discussions that were spawned were along the lines of: How does one define happiness? How does both personally and as a society, define it? Is there really a set definition? What is the nature of happiness? Is it external, internal, or a balance between the two? Were people happier generations back rather than today? Is it a feeling or a mindset? What is joy? What is the difference between happiness and joy? How does God contribute to this? The whole group had a great time discussing these topics.

After the meeting, I interviewed the leaders about the philosophy club and what people should expect.  The club is led by Amber Reynolds, as president, and Michael Sculley, as vice-president, and other organizers. The philosophy club was started around the early 2000s and has been going strong for a long while now. The club is all about critical thinking, communication, and community. “It’s about creating a place where people can exchange ideas, but do it in a very loving and unusual kind of way.”

They plan to set up debate nights and other events. The next upcoming debate is scheduled to take place on April 27th at 7:00 P.M. in Timms Hall. The planned topics are whether or not condoms should be passed out in high schools and regulations on guns in public universities. Also, they plan to host a campus-wide scavenger hunt, tomorrow, April 22 at 7 P.M. Everyone will be meeting in the student center.

However, the philosophy club is currently working on a few changes in the future. Amber will no longer be the club president since she is going to be graduating this semester. Michael Sculley and Rosse Karely Velez ran against each other for the president position. Michael won the presidency and Rosse will be vice president.

So, in conclusion, the Philosophy Club is a fine part of Toccoa Falls College with plenty of opportunities to share ideas and make friends. It is a place where one can expand their ideas and formulate opinions. If feeling intimidated, the club still encourages others to attend meetings in order to understand the importance of the topic. If one has a passing interest in the subject or desires to meet new people, the club offers place a community that desires to share interest with one another. This club plans on continuing to grow and educate more people on philosophy. As the year comes to a close, think about joining the club next year to learn about interesting topics and discussion. 

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Meet Your 2017/2018 ARDs

As the end of the school year approaches and summer shines into view, plans are already being made for the 2017/2018 school year.  In the midst of chaos, cramming, and cups of coffee, faculty and staff are hard at work in order to make next school year even more fantastic and exciting than the present one. One change that takes place annually is the picking of Assistant Resident Assistants. These special people assist Resident Directors behind the scenes in order to guarantee a fun and thriving environment for on campus students. Below is an introduction to your 2017/18 ARDs – Anna Claire Harrison (Fant/LT), Wesley Lavrinc (Forrest), and Julia Raymer (Terraces).

Anna Claire Harrison


What motivated you to apply for the ARD position?

This past year I got to be an RA on Fant 2 and had an incredible year being a part of young women’s lives. I truly believe in Residence Life and the community it aspires to create. Being an active member in community is an essential part of spiritual formation- learning how to bear one another’s burdens, give grace when it is inconvenient, and love one another even when it is messy. Our RA’s and RD’s have a difficult job practicing these things, so I applied for the ARD position knowing that by serving behind the scenes in indirect ways, I can set up other people for victories. I heard it best said in terms of the famous painter Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo would have been a glorified house painter had it not been for the man who made scaffolding in which Michelangelo might paint from. While his job was not glamorous it was certainly essential in lifting viewers eyes towards the depiction of the gospel.

What is the most exciting thing about this position?

Getting to know next year’s RA’s. They are seriously amazing, and I can’t wait to see how the Lord uses their individual gifts and passions to love and serve their hall, celebrate the big and small victories, and learn to lean into one another during the hard times.

What are three things about you that are interesting?

I love the outdoors and backpacking. Forget long walks on the beach, let’s take a hike under the trees with some squirrels. I took a gap year in between high school and college and spent half the year in Turkey. I hope to one day live overseas again. My favorite food is my momma’s guacamole (no other, it must be made by her hands). If I was trapped on an island and could only eat one food- it would be that heavenly avocado spread.

Wes Lavrinc


What motivated you to apply for the ARD position?

My main motivation to apply for the ARD position was being able to develop an even deeper relationship with the Resident Director of Forrest Hall, Saylo Lor. He has been extremely influential in my life over the past two years and the opportunity to work side-by-side with him was something I did not want to miss. Also, I know just how valuable of a position the ARD is in supporting the RAs, and I wanted to directly pour into their lives in the same way that Daniel Nally, the first ARD in the history of Forrest Hall, supported me this year.

What is the most exciting thing about this position?

The most exciting thing about this position is that it is a great opportunity to exercise servant leadership in ways that often go unseen by the public. So much goes on behind the scenes that residents do not see that make things here on campus run smoother and far more enjoyable. It is exciting to have a chance to play a part in that.

What are three things about you that are interesting?

The first interesting thing about me is that I love whistling and have been told that I am not too shabby at it. The second interesting thing about me it that I love sports and always thought that I would end up being some sort of professional athlete. God had other plans. Finally, I believe that God has called me overseas (no idea where yet) to do evangelism, biblical and theological training, and church planting.

Julia Raymer
12074669_934376373290349_1397589191837853592_nWhat motivated you to apply for the ARD position?

I applied for ARD because I have loved serving residents as an RA for the last two years, and I wanted to continue to use my experience to benefit students living on campus.

What is the most exciting thing about this position?

I’m excited to see a different side of TFC, to work behind the scenes, and get my hands dirty.

What are three things about you that are interesting?

I love bunnies, tea, and good books.

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A Relationship with the Heavenly Father

Romans 8:15, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

It is easy for TFC college students to get “bombarded” with the cliches of walking with Christ. Students hear about the Christian “life”- whether it be in chapel, or at Barnabas group, or in Bible class. However, what does it truly mean to have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? People come into adulthood with different views about the heavenly Father. One reason for this may be a poor, earthly father figure or abandonment from a father figure. It is easy to put on a Christian “mask” for pastors, teachers, and even friends and family. However, at the end of the day, what does a relationship with the heavenly Father look like?

A relationship with the heavenly Father is one of out LOVE. The Bible says that the Father sent His ONLY begotten Son to die the most excruciating death on the cross out of His UNCONDITIONAL love for mankind. One can never dream of this kind of love because it is an “out of this world” kind of love. Only Christ can provide that “perfect” type of love which is called “agape” love.

According to Gotquestions.org, “agape” love is: “The type of love that characterizes God is not a sappy, sentimental feeling such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. ”

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Maker of the Universe wants an authentic relationship with humanity. He wants people to be drawn to Himself. That is astounding!

Perhaps David the Psalmist gives us some insight. Psalms 63:1-8, ”

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you.”

A true relationship with the Father is seeking God and understanding who HE IS.

The psalmist says “Your steadfast love is better than life.” David had an authentic yearning to seek after God’s own heart.

One cannot earn his or her relationship with the Father. There is nothing one can do to make the heavenly Father love he or she any more or any less.

Romans 8:35,38-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The heavenly Father longs for his children to long after Him. God speaks to His children through His Word.

One of the most peaceful and reassuring attributes of the loving, heavenly Father is that He loves His children for who they are, and NOT what they DO.

Remember, the loving heavenly Father above seeks to have an intimate, authentic relationship with His children. God’s love can compel one to draw one to Himself.

Have a Good Friday everyone!

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The Trials of Robin Hood

by Mark Westlund

by Mark Westlund

This weekend, gather up your crew of merry men (or women) and prepare yourself for a grand adventure. Starting Friday, the Toccoa Falls College Theatrical Society presents Will Averill’s The Trials of Robin Hood. This semester’s production is a comedic retelling of the classic Robin Hood story from three different perspectives. Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and the Sheriff of Nottingham must present their version of the events to King Richard. The audience will get to participate as the jury who will decide the verdict. There are three nights to come out and see this fun show, so plan to be there!

In addition, there is a chance to win free tickets. Look out for one of five golden arrows hiding around campus. Snap a picture of yourself with it, tagged #TFCTSRobinHood and #tfctheatricalsociety to claim one free ticket to the show.

The cast and crew of this semester’s production have been working together make sure everything is completed with excellence. Theatrical productions at TFC have a lot of different faucets that are all handled by students. This show’s directors, Bradley Weisbarth and Jennifer Doll, are both excited to see their visions come to life on the stage. Keegan Murphey has put together costumes for the show, Angela Warfel will lead a team as the make-up director, Rebekah Sovinsky will have her eyes backstage as stage director, and the gorgeous forest set is due to the efforts of Keven Jensen.

This production’s cast includes approximately twenty-five members ranging from first semester freshmen to last semester seniors. The cast has been rehearsing weekly and is earnest to show the school the product of their dedication. Freshman Callie Langston, who is playing Esmeralda and the Abbess is participating in her second TFCTS production, commented “I’m excited to grow in my acting ability and to bring glory to God through the Theatrical Society. I am apprenticing to be the Props Manager in the Theatrical Society, which is exciting for the future.” Freshman Amber Fincher, who is participating in her first TFCTS production, playing Daniel Boyle and Dani Boyle, says “I’ve enjoyed getting closer with the cast and fighting with the swords. I look forward to everyone seeing the sword fight scenes.”

Senior Rebecca Colson, who is likely performing in her last production, reflected on her time in The Trials of Robin Hood, as well as her past years in the Theatrical Society. “I’ve been involved in the Theatrical Society since freshman year,” she reminisced, having portrayed roles including Cordelia of King Lear and the March Hare of Alice in Wonderland. “I’m playing Dave the Honest Tinker and Alan Adele. I am cross dressing. It is my first time doing that,” she laughed. “It’s fun to get to know a lot of different people from different parts of campus that I would have never interacted with otherwise. It is nice to get to be a blessing in the lives of freshmen.” When asked what she was looking forward to for The Trials of Robin Hood, she responded “you need to come see it. It is witty, clever, and you are going to have lots of laughs.”

Tickets for The Trials of Robin Hood go on sale this week. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for children, but you can get a dollar off when you buy in the student center. Both cards and cash are accepted. The dates are Friday April 7 at 7PM, Saturday April 8 at 7PM, and Sunday April 9 at 3PM. All performances are in Grace Chapel Center of Performing Arts. The Theatrical Society can’t wait to see you there.

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2017 Campus Preview Weekend

March 30th-March 31st, Toccoa Falls College hosted its annual Campus Preview Weekend. This weekend is a highly anticipated event by students and faculty alike, as the Toccoa Falls College community unites to exhibit the life of a college student at TFC. The qualities of TFC that students and faculty value are emphasized and appreciated as they reveal to potential students not just what life at college is like, but what it is like at TFC.

The potential students that come to participate in the weekend no doubt enjoy it just as much as the TFC community, as they have the privilege of experiencing firsthand something that they anticipate being a part of. At the preview weekend, they can look forward to such real experiences as eating at the cafeteria, attending chapel and classes, and sleeping in the dorms.

Most previewers arrived by 3:30pm, and were escorted to where they would be staying by their hosts. As hosts led their previewers to their room they introduced themselves and met each other. Building a friendly relationship with their weekend’s hosts, the previewers settled down in their host’s rooms. Previewers then were taken on a tour of the campus by admission’s office staff.

After the tour, students were taken to the cafeteria to eat dinner. The cafeteria was packed with students and previewers! As everyone sat down and ate, the cafeteria was alive with electric conversation. It was an enjoyable atmosphere, improved by great food and pleasant company.

Previewers and the family or friends that came with them for the weekend then attended a meeting in the Athletic center. This exclusive meeting—with just the previewers and their accompanying friends and family—was a personal encounter with Dr. Bob, the president of Toccoa Falls College. He addressed the previewers and parents, mostly about what the college stood for and what it endeavored to accomplish with four years of education.

Later that night, previewers and students alike had the opportunity to go to Grace Chapel for a concert featuring the alternative Christian rock band Citizens and Saints. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, the concert did not start at the anticipated time; but despite the delay, it was an excellent concert that attracted many people. The students and previewers that attended enjoyed themselves.

Thus concluded the organized events for the first day of campus preview weekend, but the night lived on with much activity as students and previewers spent the night talking and playing. Here previewers got an accurate taste of the community life, as they participated in the fun activities that students engage in throughout the week.

The next day previewers were busy following a schedule that would take them all over campus to do various things. Students could attend classes at each hour to witness and understand the unique TFC class experience. They ate at the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch. They attended an excellent chapel, with student Shelby Hinson delivering a powerful message about finding and following God’s direction for your life; though students could attend a baseball game or go on a group hike to Little Falls, the extent of the campus preview weekend was over, so previewers began to leave.

Overall it was a pleasant and engaging weekend, and a great opportunity for prospective students to come out and gain authentic knowledge about Toccoa Falls College. Thanks to the admissions office, which put in countless hours to organize the weekend and all of its little details, Toccoa Falls College was able to once again host a productive campus preview weekend.

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Mr. TFC 2017!

This past Friday evening, students gathered into Grace Chapel at 8:00 P.M. to watch Mr. TFC. Each year, SGA hosts a competitive event between male representatives from each class. The four selected by the school were assigned to compete in different mindless and silly games that kept the audience laughing the entire hour and a half of the show. The games simply consisted of pure entertainment and hilarious talents. John Thar, Student Body President, and Stephen King cleverly hosted the show that boasted a sense of energy and excitement.

First introduced was freshman representative David Ramirez. As he rushed into Grace Chapel, he pretended that he was running a race. While dramatic music was playing in the background, he ran in slow motion down the aisle. At the end, two students held a banner while Ramirez crashed through and thankfully avoided tragedy. The crowd cheered, as he hopped onto the stage ready for action.

Wes Lavrinc, sophomore representative, was dressed in black with a crazy hairstyle and sunglasses. He came in with a sly walk down to catchy tune while everyone laughed at the dance he performed on stage. It was hilarious!

Dani Maxey, aka “Grilled-cheese Papi,”represented the junior class as he made his famous grilled cheese for the judges. Rolling around on his hover board definitely created laughs that filled the night.

Last, but not least, senior representative, Max Lawrence, marched toward the stage with a TFC flag in hand along with a crew of men dressed in black and white. Lawrence certainly displayed magnificent talent as he was recognized as The Chocolate Fantasy.

The representatives of each class faced each other in a plethora of competitions involving the best pick-up lines, most creative makeup artists, and a unique talent. Lavrinc’s pickup line, “Hey girl, I’ll be the Ahab to your Jezebel” or Lawrence’s dance to the classic “Jump On It” gave the audience an irresistible thrill. Other events like David’s song about TFC, tarantulas, giraffes, xylophones, and other random things or Dani falling off his hover board simply showed that the men at TFC can be quite talented and amusing.

At the end of the show, Thar and King gave the competitors one last competition. They told each representative to take off one sock and hand it to the next man. With confused looks, they did as they were told and waited in anticipation. Afterwards they had to drink a soda filtered through the sock. Whoever finished the soda first, won! Max downed the can extremely fast and smashed it to the ground. The guys seemed troubled by the task, but they completed it without hesitancy.

As the judges handed in their votes for the winner, Thar proclaimed that Dani Maxey won Mr. TFC! Last years winner, Seth Vanhorn, arrived on the stage crowning Maxi and dubbing him with the campus’s famous, golden plunger.

At the end, Maxey screamed “juniors!!” as the crowd cheered. Congratulations Dani for winning this years Mr. TFC!


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Professor Interview: Dr. David Jalovick

Toccoa Falls College is proud to highlight one of its most beloved history professors, Dr. David Jalovick. During the interview, Dr. Jalovick explains how TFC has changed over the years.
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“How long have you been a professor here at TFC, and what classes do you teach?”

“I first came as a professor back in 1997. So this summer will be 20 years of teaching here, but before I became a professor I graduated from Toccoa Falls College in 1981. Right now, I am teaching 11 history courses, which is the bulk of the history courses that the school offers. For a while, I was basically the only history professor here at TFC, but we now have several adjuncts who teach a few of the courses.”

“So, you have been here for a long time. What kinds changes have you experienced over the years?”

“As a student, you are talking about a history that goes back 42 years. I first came onto this campus in 1975. One of the major things that has changed is the increase of students from Georgia. I noticed that when I came back as a professor the Hope grant had been established, which enabled a number of Georgia students to come to this college who would not have attended because of the tuition. One thing that was especially noticeable to me were the number of cars that were not on campus during the weekend. When I was a student, most of us were from out of state, and as a result nobody left, or very few people, left to go home.

Clothing styles have come and gone. When I was here, jeans were not allowed in the classroom because some of us were not wearing the best quality jeans. In regard to hairstyles for the guys, facial hair was not allowed.  There were rules on hair length and dress length for women. Those things have changed.

Also, we have a much larger minority population. Whether African-American or Asian-American, minority population has grown. We are more ethnically and racially diverse than we were when I was a student. ”

“What was your experience like when you were a student at TFC, and what was your favorite part of being a student?”

“I was a missions cross-cultural major, and I have told plenty of people over the years that I think we had the best experience. We were taught to be world Christians, not worldly Christians. We were encouraged to get out of the American evangelical box. I felt that my studies went along with the biblical training that we were learning, as well as the various liberal arts and other courses.

When I first came as a student, I knew no one. I was 800 miles away from my home in Buffalo, New York. It took a while to get to know fellow students.  I am very thankful for the foundation and experiences that I had here. You can benefit from both the good and the bad; both types of experiences shape you, hopefully for the better.”

“Were you here for the dam break? What was it like for you and how did it effect you?”

“I was not in Toccoa at the time of the dam break. After my sophomore year, which ended in the spring of ’77, my fiancée and I decided that it would be better for me to drop out of school temporarily so that we could get married and I could work while she finished her nursing degree. The school that she was attending was in Fayetteville, North Carolina, 300 miles away. We planned to move back to Toccoa after she graduated so that I could finish my degree as well. Though we were not living in Toccoa at the time, we did come back several times to visit before November of 1977. In fact, my wife’s parents were living in the trailer park on campus because her dad was taking classes at the school. We knew a good number of students who were attending TFC at the time of the dam break, and we were here visiting no less than 3 weeks before the tragedy occurred. We came back the day after it happened, but we were not allowed to cross the bridge.  We knew a good number of the folks that had been killed, as well as the families.

One of my good friends, Jerry Brittan, was killed in the basement of Forrest hall. Jerry was from Western New York, and, since he did not have a car, he and I drove my car to New York several times. His room was where the Communications Department is now, and he was not able to make it out the night of the flood. A number of people that my wife’s family knew were killed in the flood as well. Thankfully, my wife’s parents survived the flood. The flood waters actually carried their trailer, rather than crushing it. After the flood, we stayed in Toccoa for a couple of days and visited some folks. It is hard to believe that this fall it will be 40 years ago since it happened.”

Toccoa Falls is thankful to hear from Professor Jalovick on his experience and vision at the school.





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The Black Spade Society’s Show Project

Now, the Black Spade Society is not some secret cult or exclusivist, fancy club here at TFC.  This society is a media group that is planning on tackling a huge project just wanted to bare a cool name while doing it. The project? A completely original, full-length, television-worthy video series created here at TFC by the students and they need your help! If one is a media student (yes, it is confirmed that this project can contribute to mass communication practicum courses), into music making, or just interested in making videos, one should consider joining this journey.

The title of the series is JOYEUX (French for “happy” or “joyful” and pronounced as “zha-why-YOU”) and is headed, written, and will be directed by James Hutton and assisted by Seth Renicks, the head of audio and visuals. It is a dialogue-driven, non-traditional comedy-drama about a group of students here at TFC attempting to make it through the college grind while attempting to find normality, spirituality, happiness, and, as the title suggests, joy. That is only scratching the surface and more will be revealed in time.

Right now, the group’s focus is on creating a pilot episode to get a handle on how they will approach the rest of the series. For anyone who does not know, a “pilot” is practically a single episode of a potential series. The pilot  serves as a proof of concept on what the series will be like, what it is about, and is practice for how the team will create the rest of the series. So, the team is making only one episode in order to figure out how they will approach the rest of the series. The episode is planned to be screened in the auditorium and possibly uploaded online.

The society is looking for creative and dedicated people who are artistically or technically minded to help with the many different tasks of movie/show making. Everything is open. They need people for acting, camerawork, lighting, equipment handling, screenwriting, storyboarding, wardrobe managing/costume designing, art, sound equipment, audio engineering, and soundtrack compositing. Yes, if you are a music major or a hobbyist musician that is good with an instrument, they plan on having a completely original soundtrack and score. More characters will be introduced throughout the series so there is always a chance to get a role. The story revolves a bit around music as well. They desire to use people who have their own video equipment as well. The society does have some funding and administration from the communication department, but there is a limited budget. The other reason for having a pilot is proving ground to be funded for a series.

The society is still on the verge of getting on its feet and it could use as many volunteers as possible to make this ambitious project a reality. The group had their first meeting a couple of weeks ago and they are currently hosting auditions. If you are interested in joining, they plan on having meetings every Saturday and Monday at 7:00 PM. For more details, email blackspadesociety@gmail.com. There will be plenty of opportunities to create an extraordinary production!

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Screaming Eagles Baseball 2017

Toccoa Falls Athletics have been through a whirlwind of change over the last few years. It is common that athletes transfer in or out, but the athletic department has seen a surge of coaching turnover the last few years. The Screaming Eagles are in their first season under Head Baseball coach, Jeff Mullikin, and have struggled thus far. The program brought in more than thirty recruits this year, but have not been able to find the chemistry needed to win games. It is evident, even from the stands, that there is frustration about the seasons turnout. However, there is hope on the horizon according to Senior Team leader Nathan Stanley.

I spoke with Nathan about what the team needs to turn the season around, what are some positive things the team is doing, and the major area of improvement needed.

Nathan says, “The major factor in turning the team around is constant support from players, staff, and the student body. I have played sports my entire life, and I know how frustrating it can be to play on a team that has no support from players or fans. It is demoralizing playing in front of home crowd that does not cheer or support.” The Toccoa Falls fans have been extremely supportive and the team is looking forward to continued support from students, staff, and family members.

In spite of their lackluster record, there are good signs from a very, young team. Stanley talked positively by saying, “There are good things to be said about this team. The guys love each other and compete hard every day at practice to get better. We challenge each other on and off the field.” It is great to hear that the team pushes each other on the field, but their off-field chemistry is going to play a major factor in their success.  

According to Stanley, the one area that still has not clicked for the Screaming Eagles this season is the mental aspect. He explains, “As a team, we need to realize that each day is an opportunity to build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over. Our mental aspect of the game needs to improve as we begin to head towards conference play.”

Whether it is mental toughness, team chemistry, or just bad luck that is plaguing the Screaming Eagles Baseball team, there is no doubt that they are working frantically to figure it out. They have played opponents well, but have not been able to close out games. It will be interesting to see how things progress as conference play gets into full swing. If nothing else, there is optimism in the voice of one of the team leaders. Nathan continues to see the positive by stating, “As we are gearing toward beginning conference play, we expect to get on a hot streak. The last week, we have played top tier opponents and played them well. With our team chemistry and mental capacity for the game expanding, there is nothing but bright horizons ahead.”

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TFC Press Conference

Did you realize that elections for student body president and vice president are almost upon us, TFC students? Whether you did or not, this week you will be reminded daily as we all go through the campaigning week where the candidates vigorously appeal to us, vying for our votes. Other than being the victim of the often enjoyable advertisements by the candidates YOU yourself can be actively involved in this process! Here’s how: Take part in the press conference that is occurring this weekend!

On Sunday, March 5th at 7:00 p.m. SGA and The Talon are collaborating to host a press conference. This ceremony is open to all students, and is a perfect opportunity for one to get to know the candidates that are striving to be the president and vice president of the TFC student body. SGA and the Talon encourage everyone to participate! Last year’s press conference proved to be very successful and enjoyable.

The course of events of the press conference will begin with a short opening. After prayer, Seth VanHorn and Shelby Hinson–this years president and vice president candidates–will each proceed to present their platform. Their goals, passions, and motives will all be revealed as the two explain their goals for Toccoa Falls College. So don’t miss out, because this will be an excellent opportunity for you to learn about who these two candidates are, what they promise to do, and how they will affect your life here at TFC.

But this event will not just be passive listening to Seth and Shelby’s manifesto; no, there is a specific time that is set aside for questioning the candidates. Talon representatives will spearhead the questions, but students are also encouraged to ask their own questions. You will not want to miss out on this exclusive opportunity.

After the questions, Seth and Shelby will have have one last opportunity to speak. The duo’s valediction will give them the opportunity to give one last appeal to the audience. John Thar and Mandy Sullivan will then conclude the press conference by encouraging attendees to act upon their acquired knowledge and student responsibility/ability to go and vote (and even though there is only one candidate team this year it is not worthless to go and vote. Write ins are totally possible!).

However, if you do not have the opportunity to be present at the ceremonies—don’t worry! Eagle Vision will be posting a live broadcast of the event; and your questions can still be answered even without you being there because the Talon will be accepting student questions this week, which will be brought up during the press conference.

If there are any questions that you would specifically be interested in seeing addressed during the meeting, you can submit those questions to Jessica Smith, the editor of the Talon. She will ensure that your thoughts are voiced. Questions should be submitted to Jessica via email at jessicasmith29@tfc.edu. Your opinion matters, and SGA and the Talon are committed to making sure that your concerns are addressed. The deadline for student questions is March 2nd by midnight, so waste no time; but if you are going to be at the conference do not worry about submitting questions—you can bring those up yourself at the conference.

So on March 5th, join SGA, the Talon, and your fellow students in Woener Missions Room 104 at 7 P.M. to take part in the press conference. Participate in listening to the candidates and contributing with your own questions. Ballots for student body president and vice president are quickly approaching, so do yourself a favor and come so that you can be an informed voter.

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Living in the Arts

Looking Outside the Frame is “A photography club themed off of community. Experiencing things while opening our eyes with a different perspective other than societies.” Club president, Samara Spence, developer of the photography club, has a passion for the art of photography, painting, and other art practices. Samara plans on graduating this spring with an Associates Degree in Arts and Sciences. After graduating, she wishes to pursue a degree in film. Samara has greatly enjoyed guiding the photography club at TFC with great effort and a contagious desire for people to learn photography.

Taken by: Samara Spence

This year, Samara started the club and hosted an art festival, their first big event, on February 3rd. For Samara, she wished to demonstrate how the photography club is an important part of the arts that captures beauty. Looking Outside the Frame offers a place for people to grow in their photography skills. Samara explains that she never knew how to start the club, but with the help of her vice-president, she learned how to network and market herself. She looks at the club as “adventuring out” in a small community to share each other’s experience in the subject of photography. Toccoa Falls College students have a wonderful opportunity to join the club as they are looking for members and leaders.

Samara gained her love for picture taking when she found a book, Humans of New York, a collection of stories and photographs of different people throughout New York City. She was fascinated that the author  walked around to different strangers asking for their photograph. She was interested to see how the author was going around to meet new people. However, her vice-president helped Samara shape her perspective for the club as he explained that photography was more than just portraits.

One of the portrait examples she loved was how people showed before and after pictures of losing weight. “It was amazing how their bodies completely transformed”, she stated. Another example that was fascinating to Samara was of a women piercing her bottom lip in another culture to show a sign of beauty. As she looks at these specific instances, Samara is inspired to one day travel and capture Syrian refuges overseas. In addition, photojournalist Jim Loring, at North Georgia Technical College, greatly impacted her and others with his presentation on Syrian refuges. Her favorite part about guiding the community of TFC students in the art of photography is having fun and creating memories. “It’s hard” she explained, “but when everyone has been busy, it is fun to get a group of people together.”

If your interested in joining the photography club Looking Outside the Frame, please contact Samara Spence at SamaraSpence@tfc.edu

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Sadie Hawkins: March Masquerade

Grab a dance partner as quick as you can, ladies, because this March, SGA will be hosting a spring Sadie Hawkins dance. This event, open to all students, is a great way to meet new people, form relationships, and have fun with the entire campus.

This year’s theme is March Masquerade. The celebration will include dance music, colorful decorations, and even a parade float holding a variety of chips and dips. This event will be a great way for everyone on campus to step outside of their comfort zone and find that it is rewarded with new friendships.

SGA is going off of the success of this event from previous years. Already, students of TFC have been coming up with creative ways to ask their dates to the Sadie Hawkins. Mandy Silker of SGA, with a piece of chocolate and a bag of Bugles, told her friend, “It would be sweet if you would boogie woogie bugle boy with me at the Sadie Hawkins”. Other proposals around campus have strangely involved food puns, including “Will you tagalong with me to Sadie Hawkins,” made by Rachel Johnson or “I know it’s cheesy, but it would be grate if you would go to Sadie Hawkins with me”. Students have commented on how impressed they are with the ladies of TFC for not shying away.

Heavenly Dacus, Campus Life Chair for SGA, shared her vision and excitement for this year’s Sadie Hawkins. Heavenly wants to offer a dance that the entire student body can enjoy each semester. “Christmas banquet is normally the only dance open to the entire student body. Junior Senior is a place to celebrate the achievements of the upperclassman,” she explains. “I think that it is an important aspect of life, however, I wanted to give everyone an equal opportunity to celebrate together”. Based off of student’s great memories from previous years, the Sadie Hawkins is definitely an event that everyone on campus can be involved in and enjoy.

Tickets go on sale next week in the Student Center. Grab yours between 12-2 PM for $3 a person. The dance takes place on March 3rd in Gate Cottage from 7:30 – 10:00 PM. Students are encouraged to create and wear colorful masks, but a mask isn’t required for the event. Attire is anywhere from casual to casual formal, so come in what you want! It’s going to be a good time and SGA can’t wait to see you there.

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The Life Of An RA

Although being a Residential Assistant may not be the most glamorous job, it is done for the right reasons. Being an RA can become one of the most spiritually, emotionally, and mentally rewarding jobs to accomplish. Whereas most jobs consist of clocking in, going to work and eventually leaving…that concept is foreign to the RA. Instead of arriving at work, a Resident Assistant lives in the midst of students who look up to him or her as a role model and friend. Because of this live-in position, it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly an RA does. It is impossible to accurately quantify the amount of time, effort, and love an RA pours into the people he or she is serving. Unlike common misconceptions, however, the RA position is more about who you are then what you do.

From the outside looking in, the role of an RA may seem easy to step into – how hard can processing work requests and planning hall events be? However, the majority of this role is found under the surface. One of the primary roles of an RA is being a shepherd to students. This role includes prayer, occasional confrontation, and for a consistent Christian lifestyle to be modeled. As a shepherd, an RA spends time with the students he or she is serving by getting to know and encouraging them. This particular part of being a Resident Assistant requires a genuine care and concern for students. Being a shepherd also involves believing in and implementing the standards of the college as well as maintaining a safe environment for students to feel at home in.

A similar role RA’s take on is that of a Role Model. Like previously stated, an RA must model the standards of the college. However, RA’s also strive to keep their commitments, do what is right, and demonstrate good discipline in all areas of life. This involves being an effective communicator and working hard to maintain a positive attitude in the midst of craziness. A big part of being an RA is encouraging other people, building one another up both verbally and nonverbally, and being willing to listen to others.

An RA can be identified as an accessible person residents can relate to, confide in, and even admire. However, there are some tasks that an RA does frequently. Checking and processing work requests, attending team meetings, planning hall events, monitoring common spaces on lobby duty, filing incident reports, enforcing quiet hour or curfew, and other rules are some of the day to day responsibilities of a Resident Assistant.

Despite the fact that much of the work of an RA is both undefined and behind the scenes, it is truly one of the most life-giving positions. Serving in this role helps to develop balance, boundaries, and godly character. During this time at TFC, where there is much excitement and change taking place, I encourage readers to stop and thank an RA for the countless hours they spend planning and praying for the students of TFC to grow and succeed.

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World Outreach Conference

January 30th– February 1st featured TFC’s annual World Outreach Conference. This conference is a highly anticipated event that features a school wide focus on missions. Numerous lectures are held throughout the week, all of which focus on promoting one’s involvement with missions or on raising awareness of missions. Supplementing these stimulating and encouraging lectures is the presence of many different ministries. Camps, mission organizations, summer ministries—all sorts of ministries are present, and representatives from these different organizations are available throughout the conference for students to talk to.

2017’s conference kicked off in a Monday morning chapel. It was a powerful initiation to the World Outreach Conference, for as the student body corporately worshiped God through singing other students flooded into the chapel carrying the national flags of different countries. The flagbearers paraded up and down the aisles as the music continued. It was a beautiful moment, as everyone’s attention was concentrated on the focus of the conference—the unity of believers over the world and the initiative to expand that family.

Andrew Scott—author of the popular book Scatter—continued to blend the audience’s purpose for global outreach as he explained how each one of us is made for missions. “It is our purpose in life”, Scott defended, “that we be the ambassadors of God’s name throughout the world.” He later concluded his series in a Monday evening chapel, explaining exactly how one fulfills that purpose.

The International Fair followed Scott’s challenging oration. The fair consisted of many booths, each representing different countries—examples being Argentina, Japan, Niger, and the Dominican Republic. Missionaries or natives of those countries stood by the tables and shared information to people who visited the table. Tables could have food, drinks, artifacts, art, clothes, and other things that well represented the culture.

There were interactive aspects of the fair too. A Filipino game that involved jumping over bamboo, a Korean game similar to sorry!, and other games were all available to more curious spectators. There was a place where individuals were giving out Henna tattoos, and another where one could get his face painted. While all of this was going on, festive music from various cultures was playing over the sound system, setting a celebratory mood.

During the fair, a period of time was completely devoted to an interactive dance led by those at the Indonesia/Papua New Guinea station. Those at the fair were invited to join in and learn the dance. Afterwards, Esther—one of the ladies leading the dance—explained to me that these tribal dances are a huge part of the culture of Papua Indonesia. Family get togethers always have music and dancing. The community dances are generally a compilation of the different families’ dances.

Afterwards, everyone was prompted to sit on the bleachers and watch some Hmong students perform a dance. It was fun to watch, with the five couples dancing in sync with one another, alternating between the woman dancing and then the men. They were also dressed up in very festive attire one might where to a very formal event.

After the international fair was a more serious event: 9:08 prayer experience. Those that came sat in a small circle in the middle of Grace Chapel lobby. Soft lights set an intimate mood among the attendees who gathered in the circle as Josh Vang on the guitar and Dania Ramirez on the piano helped lead everyone into worship. After a few songs and a period of time to personally reflect and praise God, everyone broke up into small groups. Each group had a designated leader who helped lead the group into prayer by using a sheet of paper that had prayer requests from TFC grads who are currently in the field. Many of the requests were quite secretive, because of the sensitivity of the information where the missionaries serve. After the 9:08 prayer conference, the first day of the World Outreach Conference ended.

Tuesday began with a morning chapel led by Chris Clayman. His message was about the refugee crisis and people coming to America. He explained that we have ample opportunity to minister and spread the gospel here in our own country. The evening chapel led by Trent DeLoach continued this theme of refugees, though DeLoach approached it on a more personal level. He brought with him two friends: Eco and Ganaro. Both were refugees. Through interview style dialogue, led by DeLoach and his colleague Emily, the teens shared with the audience their experience of leaving their homeland—Eco from Thailand, Ganaro from Sudan—and moving to America.

Besides the chapels, Tuesday was an ideal day for one to meet with the ministries that had presences on campus. Representatives were happy to give information about their organization, but one also had opportunities to find more long term options. The presence of multiple mission organizations and summer options for ministry provided one with multiple outlets of which to pursue serving God.

The Wednesday morning chapel saw once again Chris Clayman. His discussion on God’s “superplan” encouraged the student body that God has an ultimate plan of which we are all a part of and can influence. In the afternoon, students still had the opportunity to speak to the mission organizations that were present before they left. The majority of the organizations that were present had already gone, but the World Outreach Conference did not officially end until Wednesday night when Trent DeLoach spoke at SMF, explaining more in depth his ministry in Clarkston and how one could get involved.

Overall, the World Outreach Conference was an exciting and encouraging opportunity for one to learn more about why one should get involved in missions and how to do it. The powerful and professional speakers left the student body with some challenges, but the student response seemed favorable in that they were left with a determination and desire to do something about those challenges.

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Health and Wellness Club

Toccoa Falls College is excited to offer a Health and Wellness Club this spring! Demetre Wells, club president, shares his experience and desire to apply a healthy lifestyle to the students at TFC.

Certifications: “These past four years, from fall 2011 to spring 2016, I have become certified through College of Lake County Health and Wellness program. I have received a personal training certification, wellness coaching, and also obtained an Associates degree in Applied Sciences with a focus in Health and Wellness promotion.”

Education:“From August 2011 to May 2016, I have studied at the College of Lake County in the health and wellness program. While studying at CLC, I was granted opportunities through the program and my class to do Health Practicum #1. This was a hands off practical observation experience which allowed me to shadow at many different places. Also, I had a chance to get involved in Health Practicum #2. This was a hands on practical experience where I got an opportunity to learn and eventually lead workout and warms ups while participating in different classes. I have learned, not only, in class but at the different locations I was stationed at.”

Key Strengths:“As far as fitness, I believe I would enjoy adding variations into workouts, as well as, being creative with programs and ideas. Also, I desire to be positive and motivational while incorporating interval intensity training, ploy-metric training, along with weight and strength training, etc.”

Personal key strengths:“I believe my key strengths are character, good leadership, positivity, determined, motivating, ambitious, open minded, team player and inspiring.”

Fitness Goal for TFC community:“I would like the TFC community to grow in an understanding of health and wellness through it’s different dimensions. If you are not embracing all of them in your daily life starting with taking care of your physical body and maintaining proper nutrition, it will be difficult to find balance in general lifestyle living. Essentially, I want the community to know it all starts with recognizing the body as a temple. You have to take care of it with good nourishment, exercise, and dieting. I just want to motivate the community toward the practice of being healthy in all areas. This will lead them to better results and find success in daily lifestyle goals in health, wellness, fitness and exercise.”

Health and Wellness will always be an important factor in each person’s life. TFC is privileged to have a determined club president for the Health and Wellness Club. Having the club at TFC will encourage student’s to take a journey toward strengthening themselves physically and spiritually. Fitness and exercise may be difficult, but it allows people to learn how to take care of their bodies as the Lord has always designed. As 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,”

If interested in joining the Health and Wellness Club contact Demetre Wells at: Demetre wells@tfc.edu

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A Christian Ministry in the National Parks

Opportunity to live, work, serve, and adventure in a National Park for the summer!

What will you do this summer? Go backpacking and wake up near a glacier? Lead a church service in the middle of the Rocky Mountains? Become friends with international students during a hike through the Grand Canyon? If you’re ready for the ultimate adventure, then you should look into spending your summer living, working, and ministering in a national park.

On Tuesday, January 31st from 11am-2pm, a recruiter from A Christian Ministry in the National Parks (acmnp.com) will be on campus at Toccoa Falls College in the Student Center to encourage students to apply for the chance to serve and adventure in one of America’s parks this summer.

A Christian Ministry in the National Parks is an interdenominational ministry dedicated to being a Christian presence in the National Parks. ACMNP gives students the chance to have a life-changing summer by developing their own leadership skills and helping other people encounter God in the wonders of creation.

ACMNP volunteers earn a full-time income by working for the national park private concessionaires as waiters, cashiers, porters, and other seasonal positions.

Meet Josh. Josh has served with ACMNP three different times. First in Glacier National Park, then Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and last winter he led the Death Valley National Park ministry team. This is what he has to say about his experience with ACMNP:

“Many of the internationals and Americans at my park felt jaded or abused by the church in some way. Our calling in this park allowed us to reform the concept of what a Christian is and what it means to be a citizen of God’s kingdom”. – Josh Schmidt

“It was a beautiful time…bringing Christianity to a desert land. There was a ranger’s family who hungered for a place to learn and grow in the Word. They were fed. Another girl came to our services which reminded her of home and kept her going even in the difficult times of the season. We prayed with a variety of people in a variety of locations. And, I always learned just as much as everyone else at our weekly Bible studies.” –Josh Schmidt

“Psalm 73 stuck with me through-out the season: ‘Although my heart and flesh may fail, the Lord is the strength of my heart and my portion forever’ (v.26). Although we may sow and even water the seed of faith in others, it is the Lord who makes it grow.” –Josh Schmidt

For more information or to apply, speak with the recruiter or visit acmnp.com.


Geralyn Folz | Recruiter

A Christian Ministry in the National Parks

9185 E. Kenyon Ave. Suite 230 | Denver, CO 80237

P:  800-786-3450 | F:  303-220-0128

recruiter1@acmnp.com | www.ACMNP.com


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They Say, “Home is Where the Heart is”

As Christmas approaches, college students are reminded of home. When people think of the word “home”, many things may come to mind. Some people think of the place where they grew up. Others are reminded of the family and friends most dear to them.  Often times, people are uncertain because they do not know what home means to them. Some have not experienced what it is like to live in an environment worthy of being called a home. Others have lived in many wonderful places that they do not refer to a specific place as home. Some may not spend Christmas in their homes, because they do not have a place to call home. The concept of home is something that can be created wherever people reside. With a little intentionality, relationships can be developed and homes can be created.

What does a home consist of?

“Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:3-6.

Moving is a natural part of life, and encourages one’s walk with Christ.  Few people realize the mark that they leave behind as they travel from one place to the next. The Christ-like impact that people leave behind can be inspiring. Through Christ-like communication, a positive relationship can be made on the lives of others.  Though saying goodbye is difficult, people’s hearts for Christ have the opportunity to grow. As Christians, people have the ability to share with others the personal relationship they can recieve in Christ. A value held within the home may consist of changing the lives of people one holds dear. This is accomplished through intentionally building relationships. Homes are created by structuring God-given relationships that pursue to point one another toward hope in Christ. As Jesus says in Matthew, “Make disciples of all nations.”  Relationships are accomplished through time spent sharing the gospel and the love of Christ. God encourages His children to create homes in places all around the world. As the Christmas season slowly comes, keep in mind that home can be with family, but it is also with those who seek to honor Christ. Most importantly, home is where a community demonstrates love like Christ portrayed His love on the cross. Sometimes homes are just for a season, but the Lord is always in control. People can trust Him to guide them through all seasons because, ultimately, a Christian’s true home is found in the grace and love within Christ. If people can remember this simple truth, freedom is produced as they transition from one home to the next.  God is sovereign, and His promises are always true. He has a plan and a purpose for the lives of His children. Though life may take them from place to place, there is purpose in every move. The love that is shared in every place does not change, and it is that love that constitutes a Christ-like home.

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Christmas Banquet 2016!

On December 3rd, Toccoa Falls College will host the annual Christmas Banquet at the Classic Center in Athens, GA. The event is a time for students to de-stress from the last full week of school, and relax among friends while celebrating Christmas. There is much anticipation for this upcoming Christmas Banquet as all of the tickets have been sold out. The Campus Life division of the Student Government Association will host the banquet. Heavenly Dacus, the director of Campus Life, expressed her excitement for spearheading this event.

“I’m excited for the Christmas Banquet, and to be in charge of something that brings so much life to the TFC community. It is definitely a different feeling being in charge of a party instead of attending. It definitely takes away the mystery of the night, but I am honored to be able to bless my student body by putting in the work. I also genuinely love working with my team, so I am very thankful.”

This is not the first time a Christmas Banquet has been held in the Classic Center. It was also held on December 7, 2013. This particular time became a historical event for the students of the college because it allowed dancing to be sanctioned. While the banquet is a normal event hosted by TFC, it was the first event where dancing was fully sanctioned. The event was a great success while drawing in a greater following where more lasting memories were made. “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.” –Bob Hope

A couple of TFC alumni were asked about their thoughts on their past experiences with the Christmas Banquet and have expressed their opinion that dancing being allowed at TFC.

Dr. Bill Quarterman, class of 1976, and current head of the Department of Counseling and Psychology remembers general events within TFC, such as music skits, speakers and games. Dr. Quarterman says, “It would be a great thing to incorporate” toward allowing dancing at TFC events.

Shari Jalovick, class of 1981, is the wife of current history professor, Dr.David Jalovick. She remembers how hard of a time she experienced picking a dress for the banquet. However, Mrs. Jalovick grew up in an environment where dancing was allowed, line dancing to be specific. If anything, she claims that she would still enjoy the dancing as a student.  

Semi-formal attire is preferred for this event, and all classes are welcome to be a part of the banquet. There will be activities for all students after the banquet, such as exploring the city of Athens. SGA will provide information for key landmarks of Athens to visit that night. SGA is excited for students to come out and experience a beautiful night in Athens! 

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Rest: An SMF Worship Night

On Wednesday night, the Student Missions Fellowship of Toccoa Falls College hosted a worship night. Providing an intimate setting where the students had an extra opportunity to gather for corporate worship, it was a much appreciated event.

Since the doors into Gate Cottage’s large inner room were not yet open, students accumulated in the small hallway and spilled out into the driveway outside; it was a large and congested crowd. A palpable energy exuberated, indicating everyone’s eagerness for the event to start. Once the doors were opened, everyone flooded into the room.

An abundance of seats were set up, semi-circled in the middle of the room. As everyone suffused into the room the seats were filled up so quickly that soon some people had to stand around the edge of the room—there was such a turn out!

Music played and boisterous conversation ensued as everyone waited for the event to start. S’mores were available—as well as coffee—for consumption. People began to line up to indulge as they waited for the worship to begin.

The event was initiated with the declaration of a theme for the night: “Rest”. It was explained that after questioning some students, rest was a common theme among what students felt like they needed; therefore, the whole night was determined on helping people to relax and release their burdens to God. For those who felt like they were busy, they did not have much time to cultivate their relationship with God. The night was an opportunity to reinvigorate their stagnate devotion.

Music began, and everyone sang together. The small and intimate atmosphere of Gate Cottage reverberated the many voices, allowing one to hear the collective voice of God’s children singing. It was a beautiful sound!

After two songs everyone was invited to break off into groups and pray for each other. As many grouped together, singing continued. It was a blessing to witness the student body come together to worship God as others lifted each other up in prayer.

As all of this went on in the background, students had the opportunity to participate in various booths that were set up as additional modes of worship. There were five booths, each with a specific focus.

One booth had paper and pens. Here, one was encouraged to write down what was keeping one from truly and fully resting in God. After honestly writing down a personal answer, one vulnerably taped it to the wall. Gradually, the wall became increasingly populated by the answers of students earnestly seeking rest in God.

Another booth had “Eternity Ropes.” These “Eternity Ropes” were hemp strings that had a small section with black tape on it. The rope as a whole represented eternity, and the small section of black tape represented our lifetime—small in comparison to infinity! Here students meditated on their life as it related to its short, conditional quality and compared that to eternal life with God.

Closely related to the ambition of SMF, a third booth had pictures of interns and their place of service listed on it. At this booth, students had the opportunity to pray for Toccoa Falls College interns. Also, jars were set on the table where one could donate money.

The fourth booth was a small table with many slips of paper spread over it. These pieces of paper had promises of God written on them with the accompanying Bible verse. All of the verses related to one’s identity in Christ and students meditated about who they are in Christ. Since there were multiple slips of each paper, students could take one of the promises that particularly ministered to them so that they could continue to think about it.

The final booth was a comfortable corner with blankets and pillows. Paper and markers were available here for students to write with. As they meditated on rest, they had the opportunity to write down what came to mind and place those prayers and thoughts in a glass bowl.

Keep in mind that as one attended each booth, the unified voice of students singing and the compilation of many unique prayers echoed in the room. This audible praise from God’s children helped propel one deeper into a heart of focused worship.

With a final song and an exhortation to continue to rest in God—especially by placing the last portion of the semester into God’s hands—the worship night ended. Everyone left feeling spiritually refreshed and encouraged by the corporate worship. It was a blessed time of fellowship together as the core values of Toccoa Falls College were demonstrated among the student body.


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Toccoa Falls College presents The Jungle Book

This Thursday will be opening night of this semester’s Toccoa Falls College Theatrical Society’s production: The Jungle Book.  A large number of TFC students have dedicated their time, effort, and talents into making this semester’s production an even bigger success, and continuing the tradition of the Theatrical Society.

Bagheera: captured by Mark Westlund

Bagheera: captured by Mark Westlund

This semester’s play is an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s famous work by Monica Flory. The play retains all of the fun and liveliness from popular adaptations, with a few more ties back to the original work. For example, this adaptation will elaborate on the content and importance of jungle law, as outlined in the jungle book. As well, this adaptation will feature characters that appeared in the original work that audience members might not be as familiar with, such as, Tabaqui the Jackal. The Jungle Book will be family friendly, at times funny, at times dark and intense, and heartwarming all the same.

The Jungle Book will star Gavin Brain as Mowgli. Gavin is 11 and the oldest son of the Brains, a contributing family to TFC. This semester’s play will also star students, Cameron McIntyre as the bear Baloo, Keojah McBryde as the panther Bagheera, and alumni Robert Mayo as the tiger Shere Khan. The entire team, cast, and production has put in countless hours to make this play a success. When asked about the play and what things she has enjoyed most from this experience, Keojah McBryde answered, “It’s been really fun getting to know all of the new cast members.” Indeed, the theatrical society gained a huge turnout of incoming students. “We’ve had a lot of laughs and a lot of bounding time”, McBryde finished.


Shere Khan: Captured by Mark Westlund

This year’s production is due to the leadership of students, Angela Warfel and Abigail Dority, two MKs with an extraordinary vision for this production and a vigorous drive to carry it out. Upon interviewing the directors, Abigail Dority was able to share one of the rewarding things about directing a play. “One of the most rewarding things is being able to take my ideas for something and seeing it executed the way I want it to be done. Everybody has different views. Somebody else would have read this script and thought of totally different things than I did. Seeing something portrayed the way I visioned and having it come to fruition has been really cool.” The vision will be grand, as the play will be performed on a beautiful jungle set, which was designed and built under the leadership of Keven Jensen and Karely Velez. The directors are excited to see everything come together. “This definitely takes a lot more work than I expected, but it was easier because I had Angela as my co-director,” Dority admits. “She and I work really well together, so it wasn’t quite as hard as I was expecting it to be. It’s been really fun.”


Mowgli: Captured by Mark Westlund

The Jungle Book will be this Thursday and Friday at 7:00 PM, and this Saturday at 3:00 PM at The Pointe Church in Toccoa. Tickets are $5 for students, $7 for adults, and $3 for children at the door. If you buy early in the Student Center, every ticket is $1 off. Doors open half-an-hour before each show and the show lasts about an hour and a half. Come out and prepare yourself to delve into the warm, dark, heart of the jungle.

All photos by Mark Westlund.

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Portraying the Life of Christ through Spiritual Formation

Toccoa Falls College seeks to pursue the body of Christ within each student. Spiritual Formation director, Chris Stratton, shares his journey with Christ and his love for developing a community that desires to shape and form the life of Jesus within His people.

Growing up in a family full of Asbury College alumni, Stratton believed it was only natural that he attended as well. Stratton felt like he had a positive experience having his father as a pastor. He was able to fully understand what it looked like for a family to be in ministry. He also experienced the Christian community in different contexts. As a basketball player, he said, “I was not really at college, just to study.” However, Stratton was able to be a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, an organization that has permission to operate within high schools as a club. Their purpose is to share their love for Jesus through their athletic performance.

Stratton learned about TFC in connection with Brian Shelton, who attended his father’s church in elementary school. For the previous sixteen years or so, Stratton worked as the managing editor for the Catalyst, a publication for Foundations of Theological Education. On discovering the book Prevenient Grace, by Brian Shelton, Stratton decided to take the opportunity to reconnect with Shelton while requesting he write an article for the Catalyst. After talking with his wife, Michelle, she discovered a job posting online for a position as the head of Spiritual Formation. Stratton understood what the position was required of and became interested in gaining a position that shared responsibility in both pastoral and academics.

Now, as the director of Spiritual Formation, Stratton’s heart was stirred toward the excitement of spiritually investing in college student’s lives. He states, “TFC is not the church, but college plays a key role alongside the church in both the education and formational processes of Christian students.” Christian college students experience life together in the everyday, and grow together into what the Lord desires His people to be. Together, students can be shaped into the life Jesus has for His people. Stratton also mentions that Jesus seeks to mold His people through small groups as they come to understand what salvation looks like.

A specific goal the Spiritual Formation Department seeks to implement is to further invest in building relationships while being a part of the campus community. Relationships continue to be the central focus at TFC because Stratton desires to create a community context where Christ’s image is portrayed in His people. His first year at TFC, he was focused on building a team. Therefore, the Grace Chapel leadership team grew to insure that the central Christian practice of worship was implemented in the community.

As the Spiritual Formation Department moves foreword, they seek to focus on observing where Toccoa Falls has developed within its small groups. Stratton asks, “Are they playing a formative role in our lives as followers of Jesus?” The purpose of barnabas groups is to build a team that serves together as the body of Christ. Furthermore, barnabas groups are dedicated in mentoring relationships to inform and nurture each college student in their spiritual life. Stratton desires that Toccoa Falls College pursue to embody the life of Christ in one another.

Paul says to the church of Colossae that he labors with everything in himself. With this in mind, Stratton perceives his role as the director of Spiritual Formation to labor at TFC, where people can create a context where Christ life can be formed within His people.

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Looking Outside the Frame

A new Toccoa Falls College student organization, Looking Outside the Frame has flourished under the leadership of Samara Spence.

Looking Outside the Frame is a photography-focused student organization on the campus of Toccoa Falls College. Officially notarized by the Student Government Association in September, Looking Outside the Frame has quickly developed an active role on campus. The organization’s mission is “to enable photographers to develop both passion and skill for photography by taking risks and engaging in communities around and beyond them.”

Picture taken by Abby VanWye.

Picture taken by Abby VanWye.

Samara Spence, a sophomore at TFC and founder of Looking Outside the Frame, developed an interest in photography and was inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York. Spence loves that people are the focal point of the popular photography project. Through Humans of New York, Stanton highlights everyday people and their stories. It is a simple concept with a huge impact. Spence said that photography can be used as a method of anthropology. She desires to authentically portray people and their lives through Looking Outside the Frame and its photographs.



Picture taken by Samara Spence.

Spence also enjoys nature photography. When in nature, she feels as though she can experience God and learn more about His character. “I find peace; all my worries are washed away with the sounds of the wind against the trees and water running down a stream.” Spence photographs moments like these so that she can look back and remember them. She hopes that the members of Looking Outside the Frame can experience and share the beauty of nature through photography.


Spence wanted to start a student organization because she was looking for a way to grow as a leader and build a community. While she experienced some difficulties when implementing Looking Outside the Frame, Spence views these bumps in the road as learning lessons.

Working with people is difficult, yet beneficial.  Spence has learned when to stand firm on an idea and when to compromise. She said, “ I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone. And as much as you like your idea, sometimes, you should let it go if other people don’t agree with it.” Strong communication is crucial to an organization’s health. Spence has developed in both speech and listening skills. She has found it important to portray respect even when it is difficult. She said, “Leading a group of people will always be a challenge for me, but it is a learning process.”


Picture taken by Jenalee Hinkle.

Through the commitment and work of Spence and other Looking Outside the Frame leaders, the organization has quickly developed a significant presence in the Toccoa Falls College community. The organization is actively meeting and taking advantage of many photography opportunities on and off campus. A strong bond is growing among the members. Being surrounded by students with similar passions yet unique perspectives has been rewarding for Spence.

Looking Outside The Frame meets on Tuesdays at 9:00pm in the Student Center lounge. The organization is not exclusive to skilled photographers. Anyone from the Toccoa Falls Community is welcome to attend. Photojournalist, Jim Loring, will be hosting a workshop on November 29th. Also, Looking Outside the Frame will be providing an opportunity for students to display their photographs and art on December 2nd. More details regarding these events will be advertised in the coming weeks.

Photographs taken by students are showcased on Looking Outside the Frame’s Instagram account: @looking_outside.the_frame. The account posts weekly themes, not to only connect but challenge followers. Participants  are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and use creativity.



*Featured image taken by Levi Cornelius.

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A Backpacking Trip on the AT

As required by the Outdoor Club, each of its leaders must coordinate an event for its members to participate in.

So last weekend Terik Thacker—one of the leaders within the Outdoor Club—had his debut in organizing and leading an event for the club. He decided to arrange a backpacking trip along the Appalachian Trail. Other than to enjoy the natural scenery, encouraging company, physical exercise, and adventure, Terik’s declared purpose for this hike was to teach people how to participate in an overnight backpacking trip so that in the future they would have the ability to go on one without assistance from experienced backpackers.

The hike took place on October 28-30. Altogether, six people embarked on this venture, equipped with gear, food, and other paraphernalia necessary for surviving outdoors for three days. On Friday evening, the group drove to Lake Winfield Scott, where they camped for the night.

In the morning, the group packed up their gear and began the hike. They planned to hike for five miles to arrive at their next destination: a camping spot along the Appalachian Trail. As the day progressed—with splendid weather accompanying the hikers on their excursion—they enjoyed themselves as they pushed on toward their goal.

They reached the campgrounds much earlier than expected, but there was no complaining as some began to take naps, others talked—everyone simply enjoying the environment and unique opportunity to interact with each other. Here they camped for the night; but before surrendering to sleep, the hikers enjoyed stargazing for several hours from their exceptional overlook.

One would think that backpacking for three days would produce plenty of excitement—but the next morning, our backpackers from the Outdoor Club experienced a disappointing misfortune. The group’s original plan was to end the hike at a parking lot a mile ahead, where they had previously placed a car. This car would be used to transport two people back to where they began the hike, where they would retrieve the bus and then return to pick up the rest of the group.

But as the hikers continued on that last day, they discovered that they did not have the keys to the vehicle parked up ahead of them! Thankfully, Ryan Smith offered to run back to the bus and drive back to rescue everyone. With his weighty backpack, Ryan rushed back to Lake Winfield Scott and recovered the bus. Everyone returned back to TFC safely on Sunday—it was an adventurous trip, indeed!

If one would like to get involved with the Outdoor Club, it is open and available to all who are interested. It is a student sponsored on campus club that hosts events for all students. Its ambition is to provide authentic outdoor experiences for those that attend the exciting events offered.

Many events are hosted by the Outdoor Club. For example, this weekend they are going skydiving. Though other events are being discussed, nothing absolute has been determined. If one is interested in joining any of the future trips that the Outdoor Club may host, an email is sent out that explains the events and how to sign up to participate in them. Kayaking, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing—these are all possible trips that the Outdoor Club may host in the future. Get involved and stay involved! TFC has a lot to offer.

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Beyond Malibu: My Summer Camp Experience

Student, Steven Buffington shares his incredible, summer experience with Beyond Malibu below.

I told Rick Masters that I wanted to do mountaineering for my internship. He told me that he had something in mind, but that it was a great challenge. Part of what motivated my desire to work for YoungLife this summer, at first, was a tiny bit of personal ambition, but mid-way through the summer God quickly changed what was left of that. I realized that no matter what your major is at school, camp is still all about the Gospel and the camper.

The journey to Canada began at the beginning of the spring semester in 2016. Ryan Smith and I both had to save up and fundraise for plane tickets to multiple trainings out in Seattle, Washington. The Camp Ryan and I were working at was a mountaineering camp called Beyond Malibu (A YoungLife camp). The camp is an hour ride from any kind of civilization and takes campers up into the alpine of the Canadian, coastal mountain range. Now, just to give you some context, this is not your typical hike up Stone Mountain. This is climbing and descending around 6,000 to 8,000 feet from sea level to summit and back for seven days. The routes require everything from ice axes, to glacier crossings. It is not just a Sunday stroll on the good ole Appalachian Trail.

My personal, camp experience started about a month earlier than all my other co-guides. Unfortunately, I could not afford a third ticket out to Washington. So, I scheduled all of my finals a week early and bought a one-way ticket to Seattle-Takoma airport! It was like I was traveling the world again, but this time I was couch hopping from one friend’s place to another taking a giant backpack and a small backpack with only the things I needed most for the summer. I would later have my mom mail my favorite board shorts and t-shirt that I missed so dearly. Most of the time pre-camp was spent in Bellingham, Washington where my hostess/best friend Meg treated me to brunch at a different place in town almost everyday.

I would come to lead four trips and three different routes during the summer. The routes names are Frankenstein, Sun Peak, and Zion. The groups I guided were from Bellingham, Washington, Idaho, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Decatur, Georgia. Each of them grew me in many different ways. Two big lessons were overcoming fear and having a servant’s attitude no matter what. Learning to conquer a fear is a must when taking seven to ten eighteen year olds into the alpine. We had one group where we were in the middle of a lightning storm on top of a granite slab around midnight. Imagine being on top of Stone Mountain and lightning would strike right on top of you for four hours. Also, you would have a whole group of teenager’s lives in your hands. The second lesson is just as hard, but not quite as frightening. Learning to love a kid when they are dropping the f-word every five minutes and complaining about how hard the trip is may not be the easiest experience. These opportunities are where you can truly show them the love of Jesus.

The greatest thing about working for YoungLife this summer was seeing their model for sharing the Gospel. At Beyond Malibu you serve, you cater, and you pursue. All for that sweet moment of a kid opening up and spilling their guts out about their life. In other cases, you hear them say they do not believe in God. Trust me the honesty in those statements is so sweet because the kid is being authentic. These happenings are opportunities for us as guides to relate and share our own experiences while displaying Christ as Lord and Savior. Sometimes you have to turn the other cheek for entire weeks. Some weeks you may not reach a single person, but the moments you do, it is treasured forever. That is what makes camp so sweet!

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An Interview with Toccoa Falls For Life

At Toccoa Falls College there are numerous campus clubs which assist in highlighting the various heart cries and passions that the Lord has uniquely positioned inside of each student here. Below is an interview of Seth VanHorn, President of campus club Toccoa Falls for Life, providing insight into the heart of the club itself, its purpose, goals, and upcoming events.

Could you explain the general overview of Toccoa Falls for Life?

Toccoa Falls for Life is a student organization that is centered around the Pro-Life movement. Our hearts are to foster a community on campus that values human life no matter what stage it’s at and sees that all life is precious. We also have a desire to give students more than the knowledge of what it means to be a part of the Pro-Life movement by providing proactive events where they can step into this belief for themselves. We want to help people realize that if this is what they say they believe in, that a baby is a human life at conception, then something has to be done about it.

Do you have a specific missions statement for the club?

There are three key words in the statement that we filter club behavior and choices through. Those are: awareness, action, and advocacy. Awareness is about creating an environment that is aware of what the Pro-Life movement is as well as what it involves. Action, once you understand what’s going on, how baby’s lives are being taken unjustly, the fact that something must be done comes into play. And advocacy, this is essentially what the previous two words are pointing towards. We want to be advocates for the babies who can’t do anything for themselves, for the mothers who are in crisis pregnancies and need help, and those who are faced with the difficulties of wondering if they should get an abortion.

What was your motivation for starting the club?

I have a story that’s similar to most, I grew up Pro-Life because my parents were. I thought that to be a Christian you had to be Pro-Life, so I said I was but didn’t really know what that meant. It seems like a good idea to support babies, you know? As I got older I became frustrated with my views regarding the sanctity of life. People would start talking about it and I’d get frustrated and argue, but I didn’t know what I was arguing about. I realized my frustration was stemming from apathy. I was telling people I believed life begins at conception and that abortion is murder, but I wasn’t doing anything about it. That’s when I realized I needed to get involved. If I’m saying this is the worst social injustice that’s ever faced anyone in the history of the world – statistically more lives have been ended through abortion than anything else – then as the body of Christ we can’t sit by and not be actively engaged. That was convicting to me so I wanted to provide a way for students to get involved with the Pro-Life movement at TFC.

You had an event last Friday, October 21st. Can you talk a little about it?

On Friday we got involved in a movement with an international organization called Forty Days for Life. They create prayer vigils across the world, uniting Christians to go and pray in front of abortion clinics nonstop for forty days straight. Our event was in partnership with them, we signed up for a shift to go spend two hours in front of an abortion clinic in Greenville. It was a cool time to spend with some other students from TFC in prayer for the Pro-Life cause. We prayed for preborn babies, that God’s hand of protection would be over them, for mothers who are currently or will face an unplanned pregnancy, those who are dealing with the grief of abortion, for abortion workers themselves, and for our nation as a whole to be reawakened. There were only a few others there from another group who were all Catholic. When we got there I asked if we could pray with them, so we prayed a Rosary with a specific lady. We went through about fifty hail Mary’s. I could tell quite a few people were uncomfortable from our group, not exactly sure what was going on. The cool part was, afterwards, she asked to pray with us and we all went around in a circle praying. It was cool to see the body of Christ, the universal church, coming together as one body united for a particular cause regardless of different traditions and theological views. That was probably the most impacting part of the night for me. The event ended with a little bit of worship.

Do you have any upcoming events?

We’re hoping to hold an apologetics training course where you can learn how to articulate your beliefs and argue effectively that a pre-born baby is actually a human life. That will be sometime in November so be on the lookout for that.

What would you say to people who are skeptical about Pro-Life?

I don’t have all the answers, but I would love to discuss this issue and hopefully find answers with you. In regard to being skeptical about Pro-Life, I think that comes down to looking at the core of what the Pro-Life movement actually is: valuing life. We look at life and say regardless of size, level of dependency, location, etc. human life is important. Defending innocent lives and looking out for the vulnerable matters. I think something a lot of people miss is that the Pro-Life movement needs to also be Pro-Woman. When people think of Pro-Life, often they see old Christian haters, holding signs that say “God hates you” or “you’re going to hell for having an abortion,” but the Pro-Life movement needs to be a holistic environment that looks out for the lives of mothers too. If we’re going to say that these babies need to make it to birth, then we need to provide for them afterwards whether its adoption or helping a mom get back on her feet. It’s about valuing human life no matter what.

What does it look like to be a member?

If you want to get involved we’d love to have you. We have a group of officers, and next semester we will put out information about officer positions. Treasurer, secretary, community outreach, whatever it is we have a spot for you. If interested, contact with me or Sydney, the Vice President, we will keep you in the loop of when we’re going to do things or have events. Anyone can join. We’re also on Facebook, Toccoa Falls for Life.


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Murder among the Mateys

This Saturday, the TFC Philosophy Club and the TFC Theatrical Society will be teaming up to bring you this year’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theater: Murder among the Mateys. This year’s Halloween dinner theater will take you to the high seas as participants will interact with the pirates and solve a heinous murder. Meet the crew of the Jaded Jewel, engage in humor, enjoy great food, and dress up in your best pirate gear. Meet Captain Redbeard and his scurvey crew. Meet Governor Napier and his royal family, who despise pirates. Put your detective skills to the test in this interactive set.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater is a tradition that was started last year. Over a hundred attendees gathered to interact with 1920s mobsters and capture a murderer. This year hopes to be another success, with Philosophy Club President Amber Reynolds at the stern. General Coordinator, Rosse Karely Velez, has been the go-to girl in the process of making this year’s events happen, overseeing props, set, and actors. This year’s event is also due to the efforts of students such as Keegan Murphy, in charge of costuming, and Amber Reynolds in charge of evening’s dinner with the help Dr.Gary Elkins and Paula Elkins. The actors have taken up responsibility for coordinating themselves and have been preparing for weeks while having fun getting to be pirates. Actress Renee Morris commented on the process that has been invovlved in putting on this event; “The cast of Murder among the Mateys is unique because one is not just affiliated with the Philosophy Club or the Theatrical Society. Everyone joins to have fun and be entertained by the students of TFC. One of the actors comments,”I have the privilege to be a pirate with some talented people I didn’t know before this production. It’s been fun to play a pirate and see everyone enjoy the production by playing around with different accents, calling each other pirate insults, and getting to play a character that we might no totherwise be able to portray.” The cast is geared up and excited to put on this production for the student body for the second year.

Saturday’s events will take place October 29th at First Alliance Church in Toccoa – that’s right across the street from Walmart. The doors open at 5:45, and the program begins at 6:00, so don’t be late! Tickets are $3. The Philosophy Club will be selling tickets in the Student Center during lunch and dinner hours this week. Tickets will be sold at the door, but the club asks that you purchase your tickets early so that they can assess the attendance. This year’s attendance will be capped at 100 and last year saw over 100 participants, so get your tickets soon!

A homemade dinner and dessert will be served. Come dressed in your best pirate gear, but if you don’t have a costume, you’re still wholeheartedly welcome to come.  There will be two contests where participants can win prizes: one for best dressed and one for best solution. So buckle your boots, strap on your sword, get out your thinking caps, and join Murder among the Mateys for an extravagant adventure.

Murder among the Mateys

October 29th, First Alliance Church Toccoa

Doors Open: 5:45 – Program Starts 6:00

Tickets $3

Dinner served, Come dressed in your best pirate gear!

For Questions, Contact: amberreynolds@tfc.edu or rossevelez@tfc.edu

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2nd Annual Coats & Cans: Battle of the Bands

The Justice Campaign held its 2nd Annual Battle of the Bands: Coats and Cans Drive on Friday night. Going off of the success of last year’s event, the Justice Campaign team hoped to raise money and awareness for this semester’s cause. Furthermore, they hoped to present ways that students can get involved, and gather for a fun evening of music and community. Admission was granted to the event with the donation of clothing and/or canned goods. Attendees were treated to coffee and snacks made by the members of the Justice Campaign as they waited for the battle to begin.

Cody Towe

Cody Towe: Captured by Abby Van Wye

The cause of the Justice Campaign for 2016 is for refugees. This call towards injustice comes with the current attention surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis. While the student body longed for ways to be Jesus’ hands and feet in the overseas struggle, the Justice Campaign sought to offer practical ways to fight injustice. Co-Senior Manager of the Justice Campaign, Renna Varano, shared her heart regarding the Coats & Cans: Battle of the Bands event. “With the donations, students can get involved. If they don’t have time, that’s okay,” she encouraged. “These donations are going to great causes that will help refugees get on their feet and establish themselves here. My heart behind it is that people become more aware. This is an event where we want to shed light on this situation and have a fun event for the students.”  Certainly, everyone on the team was ready to have fun and spread their cause. Callie Langston, a first year who eagerly joined the Justice Campaign team, commented, “I’m excited to see all the bands participate. It’s very exciting to see college students get excited about things. I like watching others be excited. It makes me excited.”

Dr. Chris Vena & Keith revealing their scores

Dr. Chris Vena & Keith: Captured by Abby Van Wye

The night saw four bands perform: Wakefield, Blankets, Two and a Half Beards, and The Luke Bagget Band. The night began with Wakefield, featuring Seth Renicks on acoustic, cajon, and vocals with James Hutton on keys and vocals. They opened with a cover of Macy Grey’s I Try and received a score of 22 out of 30 from the judges. After a word from the speaker, the band Blankets performed, featuring Cody Towe on acoustic and vocals with Alex Hurtsellers on acoustic, electric, and vocals. After jokingly changing their band name last minute to the Chris Vena experiment to appeal to the judge, the band captured the audience with their indie acoustic version of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time, scoring 24 points with the judges. Next up, the lively boy-band, Two and a Half Beards, played their set. The group featured David Ramirez on keys and vocals with Trey Worsham on bass, Jordan Bisignano on drums, and Alex Bisignano on acoustic. They left the crowd singing along by opening with Rude by Magic! and finished with Georgia Florida Line’s Cruise. They scored a whopping 28 points with the judges. The Luke Baggett Band didn’t actually feature Luke Baggett, but featured Seth Banks on vocals and acoustic. They wowed the audience with their voices, and the judges tallied their votes. After the Luke Baggett Band received a score of 26 out of 30, the prize of T-shirts, gift cards, and a golden duck tchotchke went to Two and a Half Beards.

Trent Delouch

Trent Debouch: Captured by Abby Van Wye

Interlaced into the competition, the Justice Campaign offered more ways for students to get involved in their cause. They raised money by selling T-shirts and raffling prizes. The Justice Campaign also invited Trent Deloach to speak at the event. Trent Delouch is an alumni of Toccoa Falls College and currently the pastor of Clarkston International Bible Church. Delouch brought to the groups attention some of the problems that refugees face overseas and struggles they face when they land right in our backyard. He alighted the audience as to how life isn’t easy, even for refugees who manage to make it to America. The Clarkston International Bible Church seeks to come alongside refugees and offer them a friend in America and any type of support that they may need. Karissa Glass, with the TFC Clarkston Refugee Ministry, offered students a way to get involved with the things that are going on in Clarkston.

Ultimately, it was mission accomplished considering the goals of the Coats & Cans event, but there is still much to do and plenty of ways to get involved. “We’re going to be having events throughout the year,” Varano commented. “We’ll be going to Clarkston and we will be working alongside Trent and the other ministry on campus, the Clarkston Refugee ministry. We’ll be doing whatever needs to be done. We want to help the refugees out in any way that we can. However if students want to get involved: if they want to join the team, come to meetings, or come to events.” TFC is excited to see what the Justice Campaign will do towards their cause this year.

All photos captured by Abby Van Wye

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“All Things for Him”- The Perspective of an Athlete.

Kaitlin Weidner, pictured as the first girl on the left, is a junior at Toccoa Falls College from Corry, Pennsylvania. She has been a volleyball player her first two years at Toccoa Falls and is continuing to play during her junior year at the college. She is a Cross Cultural Adult Education major who wishes to serve overseas with the Alliance.

Kaitlin explains that she wished to become a volleyball player since she was a little girl. She would practice often on her own while throwing the volleyball up the stairs. She patiently waited for the ball to bounce back down so she could pass it up the stairs again. Her mom was a volleyball player in high school and Kaitlin finally won her chance to play in the 10th grade and has played from them on.

Her attendance at an Alliance church and her pastor attending TFC benefited the path that led Kaitlin to the college. Other people from her camp came to Toccoa Falls, and she was interested in the excellent missions program.

When asked what her favorite part about being an athlete was, she replied, “It is fun to represent TFC in other places. The team and the coaches are like a little family.”

The volleyball team at TFC always demonstrates outstanding character. After many games, a parent from the other team or a coach frequently comment that the team always has a smile on their face no matter the score. They never get angry with the referee, and many have mentioned they can easily see the character in the team. Kaitlin says, the team always encourages each other no matter how they play.

Besides being an athlete, Kaitlin was asked how volleyball has allowed her to glorify God. She confidently states that she is able to use the talents that God has given her in order to invest and reach out to others. “Athletes can be considered an unreached people group, and in this way I am able to connect with them through a sport.”

In relationships with her teammates, she is able to connect with others in ways that she normally would not have obtained. “Being an athlete isn’t my whole life.” Volleyball is not Kaitlin’s identity, but through volleyball, she is able to invest in other relationships.

While being an athlete, maintaining schoolwork, and obtaining a job; there can be a lot of stress and pressure. Kaitlin explains that even though she doesn’t get too much sleep, she knows it will somehow always get completed. She frequently smiled as she mentioned that there is little time to be apart of other things during volleyball season. However, she tends to procrastinate more during the off-season saying, “I have plenty of time”. She quickly realized that it is important to stay on top of her schoolwork because it can easily slip away.

However, volleyball has been connected to Kaitlin’s spiritual life as well. Volleyball has shown her that she is incompetent on her own. “So many times when I believe that I can’t do something, God gives me the power to help me do it. I am helpless on my own.”

A significant feature that makes the Toccoa Falls College Volleyball team unique are the devotionals led before games. A team member is always in charge of leading a devotion for the entire team. Furthermore, they will sing and worship before games. While ending their time glorifying the Lord before entering the court, the team will throw their hands together and cheer, “All things for Him.” Toccoa Falls College’s Volleyball team always pursues Christ in the manner that the game is played.

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TFC Homecoming Weekend

On October 7th and 8th, Toccoa Falls College hosted a homecoming celebration. To promote fellowship, many activities and events were available to the alumni, family, and students that attended.

Festivities began with a cookout style dinner provided at the baseball pavilion. People first passed through the pavilion to acquire food, and then—because of the gentle rain—progressed to a nearby marquee to sit around the blue and gold cloaked tables set up under it. The blended group of young and old—of student and alumni—produced energetic conversation as everyone ensconced in the tent.

Satisfied from food and conversation, people wander to the nearby soccer field to watch the women’s soccer game that had begun during the meal; even though the rain had not ceased, homecoming participants were not hindered from supporting the Toccoa Falls College woman’s team as they played against Trinity Baptist School.

During the sporadic rain that accompanied the impressive game, the stands and sidelines were alive with cheers from students, alumni, and family that came to support the game and from conversations among old, seasoned friends.

The half time at the soccer game saw the recognition of four senior players: Jessica Smith, Naomi Horton, Katy Koser, and Sydney Vanhorn. Even with the rain that had begun to intensify, the ladies walked out to the center of the field with their families as their hard work and accomplishments were recognized.

The rain had stopped before the second half began. Our ladies contended with Trinity Baptist, but they emerged through the game with a satisfying victory for TFC.

Following the TFC women’s triumph was another soccer match that placed TFC and Trinity Baptist’s men’s teams against each other. The TFC men played hard and gave everything they had—it was an electrifying game!—but Trinity Baptist won.

After the soccer games, people began to migrate to the intramural field by Grace Chapel for sweet treats. A massive tent was set up, under which was an abundance of delicacies. Boiled peanuts, cotton candy, fried Oreos, Coke floats, popcorn—this was just a sample of what was available. Alumni, students, and family enjoyed themselves as they fellowshipped and indulged.

The long awaited announcement of the homecoming queen occurred in a ceremony that followed the delicious feast. Everyone assembled in the athletic center, where Mandy Silker heralded each representative. Regan Paul, Briana Koser, Dania Morales, Heavenly Dacus, Arin Harrison, and Kaitlyn Koser—accompanied by a father, brother, friend, or significant other—all walked out to the middle of the gym floor as Mandy introduced them.

Hannah Gibson, the previous homecoming queen, appeared last to crown the new homecoming queen. After opening an envelope that revealed who was nominated, Mandy announced that Dania Morales was elected queen! As people cheered and clapped, Hannah crowned Dania. Dania received an abundance of congratulations from people as they left.

Thus, Friday’s homecoming activities were concluded. They were continued on Saturday, which witnessed remarkable weather.

Most of the day was left to the leisure of participants, but everyone began to congregate at Gate Cottage for the anticipated duck race at 1 pm. After depositing one’s pre-purchased ducks at a tent by the bridge, people began to sit along the edge of the creek to watch the race. The race began once all of the ducks were assembled and dumped into the creek. It lasted for some time, as the river flowed weakly and a strong wind blew; but after some assistance from the race organizers as they pushed the ducks along, the race concluded. Respectively from first to third place, Lisa Reed, Sarah Blackaby, and Roy Reed won the race. They were awarded Walmart gift cards and large rubber ducks.

Later that evening a team of alumni played the TFC men’s basketball team in a heated basketball game. It was an exciting game, with a diverse group of spectators supporting the teams as they competed with each other. After two halves, the TFC men’s team won.

For many, the festivities ended with the competitive basketball game; but for some the celebrations continued at a rave that was launched at the baseball pavilion.

Participants arrived on scene to see strobe lights—blocked by paint splattered banners—placed around in a circle and setting the mood. Two tables were set up: one with glow in the dark paint and glow sticks—where people could decorate themselves—and one with snacks and water. As music played, people danced amid the strobe wreathed circle. It was an invigorating event, and an exciting conclusion to the enjoyable homecoming weekend.

Altogether, homecoming was a special event that saw reunion and celebration—all who participated were blessed by the restoring atmosphere of positive community and amusing activities.

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Battling Defeat During Midterms

It’s here! It’s that time of the year where it becomes progressively harder and harder to persevere. It’s that time of year when professors and parents are giving constant encouragement to “finish strong.” It’s that time of year where assignment after assignment comes due. It’s midterms week.

Before fall break, it is very academically, and emotionally, difficult for students. There is a great deal of pressure and stress involved with finishing final assignments and preparing for the first break of the year. Students lose sleep, and drink more coffee to keep them going. With everything that they have to do, it is easy to give into feeling defeated. It is easy to focus on this one week of academic strain and lose sight of the big picture. God has given each of his children strength for every moment. Anything one could ever need, they already have in Christ. He has given his children enough strength, enough patience, and enough perseverance to overcome anything they may face. With all the anxiety this time of year causes, it is easy to be consumed by defeat. It is difficult for students to juggle the greater amount of responsibilities and obligations given to them. With the high level of stress that accompanies this week, it is even more important to remember to keep one’s eyes set on things above, not on things below. As soon as one is consumed by anxiety, crippling defeat is not far behind.  An anonymous Toccoa Falls College Sophomore wrote a short piece of poetry concerning this week.


“Dear defeat,

It’s been a long battle between the two of us. You knock me down, and I’ll recover, then you’ll knock me down again. You haven’t given me a moment’s rest. You’ve come at me with everything you possibly could, but I will not be undone. I am in the palm of the one who crafted the heavens and the earth. You have no power over me. The things you attack me with are temporal. They are ultimately meaningless. You have lost. By the grace of my God and my King, it is YOU who are undone.

Dear defeat, you have been defeated.”

Battling the feeling of defeat is a primary part of spiritual warfare. Once a student stops fighting and succumbs to defeat, it is so much easier to fall into depression and despair. This principle applies not only to midterms week, but in all areas of life. God calls us to “fight the good fight of faith.” We as Christians are to “take hold of the eternal life to which you were called” (1 Timothy 6:12). God has called his people to live courageously and fight with strength and perseverance. This spiritual battle is challenging. After all, if it was easy, God would not have encouraged His people to fight with courage.

It is the midpoint of the semester, fight to finish well! Fall break is in sight, so fight the good fight.

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Meet the Ladies of the Homecoming Court 2016!

This year, the seven Toccoa Falls College women were honored to be picked by their peers to
represent them at homecoming. The freshman, sophomore, and junior representatives as well as
the four senior candidates for Homecoming Queen are honored to be a part of the legacy of
Toccoa Falls College.

picture by: Mark Westlund

Regan Paul is the Freshman Representative for Toccoa Fall College’s 2016 Homecoming Court. Regan is from McDonough, Ga. She is currently pursuing degrees in both cross cultural adult education and TESOL. She enjoys missions work and being outside. Coffee and Hiking are also things that she enjoys. Regan reports that the most important thing in her life is forming relationships with people. She loves to connect with people and share with them the grace and love that Christ has shown her. She wants it to be known that everything that she is today is because of Him.


Briana Koser is the sophomore representative. She is currently pursuing a degree in both Music and Bible and Theology. She is currently on the TFC Women’s soccer team, the publicity head for Toccoa Falls for Life, and the Choir Chaplain for the TFC choir. She is also a member of a chapel team. She enjoys as she terms a ‘connoisseur of all things science fiction”. The interest even lead her to create and independent film this past summer entitled Dead sound. While TFC was not the school she expected to attend, she has come to view it as strangely wonderful. The genuine people searching after the Same God full-heartedly have made TFC her unexpected home.


Madison Coulter, known to her friends as Madi, is the Junior Representative. She is well on her way to earning a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is from Franklin, NC, but feels at home anywhere in the mountains. She is currently working as the Assistant Resident Director for Fant and Letourneau Halls. Madi enjoys playing with cats, using essential oils for made-up ailments, and reading picture books to kids.

By: Mark Westlund

Dania Morales, soon to be Dania Ramirez, is a senior nominee for Homecoming Queen. She is thankful for her time at TFC and how it has formed her. She reports that she gets to marry her dream guy this December and that she has loved the journey God has given them together. The main lesson she is taking from TFC is to pursue character. She reports that she has learned that her life is not about her but about Christ. She is thankful that is true. She is passionate about leading worship and prays that attitude spills over into how she lives out her daily life.


Hevenly Dacus is a senior Homecoming Queen Nominee and is currently pursuing a degree in Counseling Psychology. Currently, she is the Executive Campus Life Chair, is part of a Worship Arts team, and works as a tutor for Academic Services. The things that she is most grateful that TFC has taught her are the positive effects of learning. She has learned to love learning for the sake of learning, how to give an account for why she believes what she believes, the power of random dance parties, the simple courage of fighting for those she loves, the importance of humility in showing love, and what the priceless honor of gaining fiercely loyal friends feels like. After graduations, she hopes to get a masters in leadership development in order to facilitate success in leadership teams in ministries and businesses.

By: Marcus Westlund

Arin Harrison is a senior Homecoming Queen Nominee and is currently pursuing a degree in Counseling and Psychology. She serves as the Executive Chair of Community Partnerships for SGA. She is a master in the arts of passenger seat dancing and singing in the shower. She also can make any stick into a lovely home decoration. In the future, she hopes to receive her masters in psychology. Arin has a great passion for building strong, local communities and sees that helping individuals who suffer with mental health disorders in one of the best ways to impact communities for the better. She is so thankful for the friend, professors, and mentors who challenged, encouraged, and loved her and ultimately prepared Arin for the future.


Katlyn Koser, known to her friends as Kay, is a senior nominee for Homecoming queen. She is currently pursuing a degree in Counseling Psychology. She reports that Toccoa Falls College is a part of her family stating that this college was the place where her grandparents met. She loves the community that Toccoa Falls fosters and seeing college students pursue Jesus in all of their endeavors. She is thankful for all the wonderful people here who continually show the love of Jesus. Katy is currently a part of the Women’s Soccer team, of the Counseling Club, the SGA senate. In her spare time she enjoys going on adventures with loved ones, naps, dancing always, and appreciating the little things in life. God continues to transform her life as she learns at Toccoa Falls College, and she counts herself as blessed to experience the Gospel oriented community of TFC.


All four nominees have demonstrated care for others and a deep conviction to love God and to love others. They are humbled by the love they’ve received at TFC both because of their nomination and their experience as a whole. This week you’ll have the opportunity to share your voice in who should be left as this year’s Legacy.

Here’s the link to vote: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfsUUH2w9LH23cKYmhEaAj8aUWypVc0qta8TqB8d7Kj8esSqQ/viewform

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The Survey Says…TFC Family Feud

Just when the nights began to turn a little chillier, an abundance of eager TFC students gathered in the Student Lounge for a night of friendly competition playing Family Feud.

Friends gathered in the dimly lit room, taking seats on the outer edge to chat while those organizing the game finished up some last minute arrangements for the anticipated Family Feud challenge. As the room began to fill with people, the teams—which had been organized before the event began—could distinctly be recognized, united by identical outfits or outrageous costumes. They prepped together, secretly strategizing or simply talking away the imminent stress.

Gameshow host Thomas Floyd initiated the games by explaining the general rules of the game. Afterwards the first round began, facing off the Homewreckers with Hoprah. With the first question “What might you do to become a sumo wrestler?” the two competed to win the round. Homewreckers put up a valiant fight against Hoprah, but after three more questions and a round of Fast Money Hoprah seized the victory.

The next round the enthusiastic team Hoprah—with their socks and sandals and wacky shirts—faced Fant Plus One, a quintet of ladies clad in plaid. After a provoking round that ended with the challenging question “Name something a mad golfer would do,” Fant Plus One pulled just ahead of Hoprah and won the match.

Disappointed but still upbeat, Hoprah surrendered, leaving Fant Plus One to be challenged by the Vicolserhorns—a group of ladies dressed as grannies, with powder white hair. With an entertaining round of questions accompanying the humorous rivalry, the Vicolserhorns trumped Fant Plus One.

The subsequent round pitted the victorious Vicolserhorns against the Brown Family. It was an interesting round, where both teams struggled to triumph over the other; but at the end of the round the Brown Family lost, propelling the Vicolserhorns to a second victory.

At this point in the game the audience began to dwindle because, as teams began to leave, so did those supporting them. Also spectators who had come to investigate the festivities began to leave as well, satiated from their observations; but many supporters lingered, not only interested in seeing the outcome of the Family Feud competition but also because of the tense atmosphere as the Vicolserhorns transitioned into their third round and another possible victory.

The next round featured—of course—the Vicolserhorns; but this time they faced Two A Squad. The round was tense, with the mood further exacerbated by difficult questions such as “Name a fictional character who doesn’t wear pants.” When the round was over, the score revealed that Two A Squad had won. The Vicolserhorns were disappointed, but sat down and watched till the end of the game, the possibility of winning conceivable.

Two A Squad went into the next round facing the Red Birds. With challenging questions, the two teams struggled to beat the other. At the end though, Two A Squad won. The Red Birds were frustrated, particularly team member Clay Ogle, who expressed that he was astonished that the responses “food” and “shelter” were not considered correct answers to the question “What one thing would you want to have on a deserted island?”

Two A squad then entered into the final round, were they confronted the Sour Patch Kids. Both teams did an excellent job, but the scores at the consummation of the round revealed that the Sour Patch Kids got squashed.

After quick calculations to determine whether Two A Squad or the Vicolserhorns were the winners, Two A Squad was declared to be the winners! The team celebrated together as they posed for pictures and were awarded Chic-fil-A gift cards—the prize for winning the thrilling TFC Family Feud contest.

One thing was evident throughout the entirety of these games—good sportsmanship, encouragement, and joy reigned supreme. The audience cheered on the contestants, and the team members supported each other throughout the games. “Good answer!” was yelled by friend and foe alike, further emphasizing the positive atmosphere. Reflecting the values of TFC students, this event surely represents the qualities any future TFC event that will be featured will possess. Join in the fun next time if you missed out, TFC students! You will not regret it.

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Currahee Military Weekend

In the Northeast Georgia Mountains, Toccoa offers much more than hiking the falls or gazing upon the scenery at sunset. Toccoa, Georgia offers history, community, and an authentic experience of a small town.

Maybe making a trip to McDonalds at 11:00 p.m. on Big A Road or taking a leisurely drive to Walmart on a Friday evening are the “exciting” events in Toccoa. Perhaps the citizens of Stephens County experience the word “fun” at the high school football game or driving the “biggest and baddest” truck around. However, the city of Toccoa is a meaningful town that welcomes home veterans who have fought for the country.

This upcoming weekend, downtown Toccoa will host the annual and fun-filled Currahee Military Weekend from September 30- October 2. Come enjoy a weekend full of history food, and fun as Toccoa celebrates a plethora of military history. Currahee Military Weekend is a series of events that celebrate the history of the paratrooper that trained at Camp Toccoa in WWII. The event encourages others to remember the 17,000 men that attempted to accomplish the paratrooper training in Toccoa where the Northeast Georgia Mountains reside. Even though 5,000 men completed the training, there remains excitement as citizens welcome the reunion of paratroopers that come to the yearly events. Currahee Military Weekend is about remembering those who were sent to Europe in 1944 and thanking the men of Camp Toccoa.

The weekend starts off with the yearly Hangar Dance that is held at the Toccoa-Stephans County airport. Many Toccoa Falls College students enjoy a time of dancing and dressing in vintage costumes. The camaraderie of people and the dancing offer a wonderful experience to kick off the fall weekend.

Other events include the Chamber of Commerce Barbeque, Currahee Challenge, Memorabilia Show, WWII veterans book signing, the Veterans Parade, reenactments at the military camp, and the displays of vehicles and planes. The fun does not end on Saturday. A special service will be held on Currahee Mountain on Sunday evening. Curahee Mountain offers a beautiful view of the Georgian Mountains and a stunning, glow at sunset.

Toccoa Falls students also participate in the Currahee Challenge each year. The Currahee Challenge is a 5k/10k run or walk up and down Currahee Mountain. The Currahee Challenge is also called “Three miles up and 3 miles down” and will be held on Saturday, October 1st. Registration will begin at 7:00 A.M. that morning. The 5k run/walk will be held at 8:00 A.M. and the 10k run/walk will be held at 9:00 A.M.

Take the opportunity to check out the Currahee Military Museum at the Toccoa train depot. There is an overabundance of history in Toccoa that many would not imagine. Glass walls protect military uniforms and artifacts of veterans. Hundreds of metals display countless stories of history, and a giant parachute hangs on one of the ceilings throughout the museum.

For more information check out http://www.cityoftoccoa.com/currahee-military-weekend.cfm

Don’t forget to come and participate in the weekend’s events and support the return of the veterans!

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Summer Bucket List

As the masses descend upon the great sandy shores of unfamiliar beaches or besiege the family dwelling with sleepy eyes and the urge to binge Netflix, the time will pass by faster than one might think. Instead of achieving a state of mindless spontaneity, consider this time a chance to explore the unexplored. Enjoy the unknown, and even reinvent the known. I am writing to all who would like to participate in a new kind of fun, a renewable bucket list. A summer “put drops in the bucket,” instead of kicking it.

The following are some ideas to help the summer become an experience to remember:

  • Disc Golf! Even if you cannot throw the discs far, disc golf can be a great stress reliever spending an hour or two chucking objects toward a goal. As for the discs themselves, a surprising amount of people are getting into the sport, and because of this, discs can be found almost anywhere. The discs on the lower end are only a few dollars and would last long enough to determine whether or not the player wants to put a little more money in. Also, courses are generally free and expansive. It has never been a better time to play a new up and coming sport!
  • Star in your own movie! With a good majority of Americans having access to a smartphone and almost a century worth of film ideas, why not make a small movie? First, grab a phone (most shoot HD video), grab a friend, and spend a couple hours in varying locations making stuff up as you go. Next, upload it onto a computer, download a free editing program, and go to work putting in wacky transitions and anything else that could be fun. Finish the product and show it to friends. Laugh, learn a new skill and love the experience.
  • Host a dinner party! So sports are not your thing. Maybe making a movie is too much work. How about hosting a get together with friends and food? Gotta have a break from the beach every now and then, right? What’s better than food, movies, and AC? (credits to Kinsey Whittet for the idea)
  • Servanthood through recycling knowledge! Have you ever wondered how recycling material works? I mean really, what happens? When we toss our cardboard Triscuit boxes, or our electronics away how can they be reused? Maybe, this summer would be a good time to gather up a bunch of recyclables around the house and set up an appointment with a local recycling plant manager. You could possibly see a tour or at least learn a lesson in understanding how recycling works. Its worth a shot, and I am sure that someone out there would be willing to share the process to an interested college student. You never know, by having the knowledge you could really be making a difference. If not, then at least you recycled!

As the summer continues, take the time to focus on building relationships with those around you and exploring God’s creation. Summer is a wonderful time to make memories with the ones you love. Having the opportunity to share a fun idea with a friend may make their day. Relaxing on your summer vacation is great, but remembering the moments of sitting by a bonfire or fishing with your family are the best of memories. The summer bucket list could become a trend for every summer.

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Faculty Spotlight: Professor Griffin

Well-known and loved by many at Toccoa Falls College, Professor Joyce Griffin has been teaching at TFC for 18 years. The college asked her to become a professor after she had returned from living overseas as a missionary in Argentina. At first, Professor Griffin was an adjunct professor, but she eventually moved into a full-time.

When asked for her favorite passage of Scripture, Griffin had a hard time choosing—because she loves the whole Bible, of course! However, she was able to narrow it down to two passages. Currently, Psalm 23 is very special to her. Throughout this Psalm, God reveals Himself to be a loving shepherd to His people, instead of a harsh judge. God has been using this truth in Griffin’s life lately, as she has been going through a study on the Psalm with the girls in her Barnabas group. The second passage that Griffin chose is Philippians 4:4-9. These verses have been a comfort to her throughout her life, helping with anxiousness, correcting her thinking, and helping her to rejoice in various circumstances.

Next, Griffin gave three interesting facts about herself:

One time when she was riding in a tiny plane, the engine failed. The pilot was forced to crash the plane in a field. Luckily, everyone was ok, but  it has become quite the story to tell!

Second interesting fact, when she was little, she was locked inside a men’s restroom at a campground in Quebec, Canada. The other people in the restroom only spoke French, so it took some time before she was able to escape.

Lastly, she  reveals that she was once a co-star in a three-act Christmas play for a church in Argentina—her office is in the World Missions building, in case you want an autograph.

Griffin says that her favorite part about working at TFC is the students. She loves being able to build relationships through mentoring, teaching, and everything else involved in working with students. Ask her what her least favorite part about teaching is and she instantly answers “grading papers!’. Griffin’s craziest memory at TFC involves some students from her department. One year, the seniors had thrown a Christmas party for the professors in the Global Ministries Department. Legend has it, that the student impersonations of the professors and the White Elephant gifts went a little crazy that night.

Professor GriffinGriffin offers these three pieces of advice for students at TFC:

  1. Take your classes seriously and learn everything that you can. Even if it does not seem applicable now, it will build character and life skills.
  2. Make relationships and invest in them. Learn this now, so you can do it in the post-college world.
  3. Get all kinds of experience while at TFC. Figure out who you are as an individual in God through these experiences.

It can definitely be said that many TFC students  are very grateful for Professor Griffin’s work. Her love for Christ and for students shines in all that she does. She loves to laugh, which is fitting because she makes her students laugh as well. She is a joy to have as a professor, mentor, and friend. Thank you, Professor Griffin, for serving the Lord the way you do! Simply put, you are fantastic, and your ministry at TFC is beyond valued by all!



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In Honor of Mothers Everywhere

When one thinks of a mother, words such as caring, kind, and wise usually begin to come to mind. Mothers play a huge role in the lives of their children, and this does not stop when the children start to grow up.

College students often find themselves completely flustered by situations faced by adults every day. For some, cooking is a prime example of this. Recently, one TFC student found herself with three large pots of beans, when she only intended to make one small pot for herself. Though stuck in a sticky situation, this college student knew exactly what to do. It was time to call in the expert: her mom. A mother’s advice seems to be able to fix most everything. In the case of the excess beans, this superhero mother’s solution was quite simple: freeze them in Ziploc baggies and save them for later. Good mothers are always there to help out their children, even with the tiniest of crises, such as having cooked enough beans to feed the entire school.

Moms are special people. From day one, many moms are ever-devoted to caring for their children. They give and give, and expect nothing in return. When they do not feel good themselves, they can often be found taking care of others. If something is wrong, a perceptive mom will know right off the bat. Usually, she will also know just what to do to help fix it.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy for people to take their mothers for granted. Sometimes, a mother’s love can be misinterpreted as over-protective or nosy. Instead of shoving a mother’s questions aside as insignificant, it is important to value them and answer them fully.  Mothers desire to be connected with their children, and it is hard for a mother to let her children grow up.

With that in mind, college students should remember that the occasional phone call to keep mom up-to-date can make a huge difference.

It is also important to note that a mom does not have to be a biological mother in order to be a mom. Many of the world’s greatest moms are not the biological mother of their children. These women are very special individuals who deserve just as much honor as any other mother.

In Proverbs, there is a description of what a godly woman looks like. This description is found in the latter half of chapter 31. This chapter is a good reminder of all that goes into motherhood and it shows that the job description is not easy. The Proverbs 31 woman is hard-working and valued by all those around her. Verses 25-26 say, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” This is an excellent description of what a good mother is for her children; she has much wisdom to impart to them and her words are kind and loving. Verse 28 says, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her.”

Though it is easy to do this on Mother’s Day each year, it is important to recognize that mothers deserve this year-round.

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Taste of Toccoa

Taste of Toccoa hosted its 26th anniversary providing an evening of food, fun, and friends on April 28th.

This historical occasion offers different foods from local restaurants for people to enjoy. The event was hosted from 5 to 8 P.M. to bring the community together and share the experience of Toccoa life. The downtown area of Toccoa was closed off to set up booths, rides, and entertainment for both locals and visitors to enjoy the atmosphere of Toccoa. Taste of Toccoa helps advertise for small town business, coffee shops, and restaurants. On a beautiful, sunny day in the Northeast Georgia Mountains, people certainly took pleasure in an evening full of good food and friends.

Taste of Toccoa’s operation is fairly simple. As one walks into the downtown area, booths are set up for people to buy tokens for fifty cents each. After buying tokens, one can use them to buy food, coffee, or dessert at the different catering businesses and restaurants. At the end of the day, the tokens were counted and entered into a competition. The booth that received the most tokens wins a prize and the money is split between the city and the business.

Attendees were able to vote at the WNEG radio tent for their favorite foods. Businesses were challenged to bring their best spring menus. Eight different awards are offered every year to the favored food companies. As the voting was taking place, one of the volunteers at the tokens booth explained that she loved the event every year as she watched people interact and enjoy the different activities.

While walking past young children with funnel cakes and fellow college students curiously looking for food, everyone seemed to delight in the camaraderie that was built around the community.

Faith Newey, who is Toccoa Falls College’s Director of Leadership and Service, was helping with the Rotary table. Rotary is an organization of businesses that help with community needs. Faith explained that she has been coming to Taste of Toccoa since she was a student in the 90’s at Toccoa Falls College. She has enjoyed each year and loves to see all the people interact with each other.

Another table called the Stephens County Food Bank, Inc. provides non-perishable food and canned items for those in need. Also, connected with the Toccoa Soup Kitchen the volunteers explained that the organization has helped feed the hungry for over 25 years. Not only were tables meant to advertise food, but encourage the community to help others in need.

Taste of Toccoa is a fun, historic event that symbolizes the importance of community life. Interacting with one another allows people to grow and experience their culture together. One evening out of each year, people are given the opportunity to observe small town businesses while enjoying one another’s company. Taste of Toccoa truly fulfills a loving community inspired to help one another.

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Meet Martha

Hello there!  I’m Martha Mae, and I’m just tickled that you’re here. It isn’t often that I get visitors this far out. But if they do make it out here, nobody leaves with the bout of melancholy they came in with. You see, I just have that special knack for advice givin’. My mama had it, and so did her mama, and well, here I am with the same skills. I always seem to know just what to say to make a soul feel better.

Oh, but there I go, rambling along, but you don’t know nuttin’ about who I really am. I guess the first thing you oughta know is that I moved here from Savannah, GA. I was the prettiest girl in Savannah… Well, at least that’s what daddy said, but then mama would always shoot him a look that let him know she didn’t ‘ppreciate losing the contest. Anywho…

I make the best dang peach tea and pecan pie that will ever grace your taste buds. My pie has won blue ribbon at county fair for the past three years now. My mama and nana have taught me all their household runnin’ secrets. I’ve been married for nearly 50 years now. I’ve worked with people my whole life in different job endeavors, always following dreams. I love to paint and draw overlookin’ my back crick.  I’m just a regular ole southern gal still looking for adventure.

My kids are all grown now trying to give advice to little kiddos of their own. My husband spends his days fishing and cracking some smart aleck jokes in the rocking chair next to me. I’ve got some life under my belt and I want to share it with you, youngins.  It’s time my advice givin’ skills were put to good use.

I say all of that to let you know a little of who I am and why I can help you. All you have to do is ask; I won’t tell nobody your name or who you are. That’ll all be our little secret. So, come and sit a while with me on my porch and I’ll try to help you the best I can with what the Good Lord gave me. I hope we can learn a little from each other.

If you do decide that you would like to contact me to advise you in your time of need, honey, you can reach me by e-mail at: ComeToMartha@gmail.com.

I would love to help you. After all, these grey hairs aren’t just for show. Where else would you find this much knowledge in one place? Come back soon!

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Owning A Local Business

Victoria Head gave insight into what it is like to own a local business and left advice for aspiring business owners.

Toccoa native, Victoria Head, owns local bakery, Victoria’s Sweet Treats. Started in 2013, “Victoria’s” is relatively new; however, it continues to grow. Running her own business has given Head much experience and insight. In an interview, she explained that it has been both difficult and worthwhile.

Head said that the most difficult aspect of owning and running a local business is the management of both time and resources. While Victoria’s is rapidly increasing in popularity, it has a very limited staff.

“As the business has grown, it has been challenging to keep up with the demand in the space I am currently in with the staff I currently have. It requires long hours just to keep up with the orders and then on top of that, there is the ongoing need to manage the business’s finances and supplies to be able to continue operations.”

Head compared owning a business to having a child in the sense that “the work is never really done.” She said that the list of things needing to be prepared or accomplished seems endless.

Owning and running a local business has been rewarding for Head. “Knowing that a product or service you provide brings joy and happiness to someone else is a great feeling.” While encouraging those who aspire to own a business, she reminded them that it is a commitment. One must be willing to give one hundred percent effort.

Head also advised future business owners to become very familiar with their community and customers. She said, “If you do that, your customers will keep coming back and that is what keeps a business going.” Connections are crucial to businesses, especially in small areas.

Head believes she has followed her calling by opening her own bakery. While owning a small business is not easy, she has found it very gratifying.