by Norm Miller

VALDOSTA, Ga., (TMNews)—Culminating nineTM-TOPTOWN fellowship meetings, Dr. Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell College, addressed almost 50 alumni and friends at Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta, Ga., May 19.

TMC alumnus, Dr. Robbie Foster – who is pastor of Northside – hosted the meeting.

“These fellowship gatherings provide our alumni and friends of the college the opportunity to reconnect with fellow alums and with their alma mater,” said John Yarbrough, director of alumni relations.

“We are finding alums all across Georgia, and have enjoyed meeting others who are interested in, and appreciate what God is doing at Truett-McConnell,” Yarbrough added.

About 300 people total attended the TM-TOPTOWN meetings, where they heard inspiring details about the college.

Touting TMC’s commitment to missions, Dr. Caner told those gathered in Valdosta that 40 students would leave for a Rwanda on Sunday, May 25, and that mission trips to nine additional countries were slated for summer and into the fall.

Caner cited the scores of students who come to college with the call of God already on their lives, saying some will have church ministries, and some will pursue other career paths.

“It’s a call deeply imbedded in these students to be in certain professions,” Caner said.

Regardless of career and academic goals, every student is required to complete a Great Commission minor that includes Baptist history, theology, Christian worldview and missions. The missions component requires “either a mission trip or project where students encounter others and share Christ with them,” Caner said.

Noting his own experience at Ohio State University in 1988, where professors characterized traditional moral and religious values as “fairy tales,” Caner said that, even in Georgia, 85 percent of students who go to college will not return to the church.

“It takes Mom and Dad 18 years to rear their child,” Caner said. “And the last thing I want to see is that child go to a secular university and sit in a philosophy class, or a science class or a sociology class and be ruined.”

Truett-McConnell is committed differently. “I want to let you know that there is a place that is challenging, academically, and safe, spiritually,” Caner said, “where you can send your students to be prepared not only for church ministry, but equipped to take the Lord Jesus Christ into professional careers like business and nursing and education.”

Yarbrough told TMNews, “The level of commitment to academic rigor and spiritual preparation is why Dr. Caner has been so well received at these gatherings. Our alums and other friends are pleased to have him as president, and are thrilled about what is happening at the college.”

Having identified 17 total TM-TOPTOWNs, Yarbrough has commitments from hosts for five additional meetings scheduled to resume next fall.


For more info, contact John Yarbrough at

Photo by John Yarbrough



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