Charging Forward: The Rebirth of the Southeastern Baptist Chargers

After being dormant for many years, Southeastern Baptist College is looking to build itself as a monster in athletics deep in the heart of Mississippi.

Southeastern Baptist College is an accredited bible college located in Laurel, Mississippi, which is located in one of the most talent-rich areas in the state of Mississippi. 

Southeastern Baptist was founded on October 19, 1948, as a two-year Christian community college. Eventually, over time, the school morphed into a four-year college.

The Chargers, in which the sports teams are known, play in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The Chargers are currently an independent because they do not play in an athletic conference. 

The NCCAA, which was founded in 1968, is an athletic organization that consists of 91 Christian universities, colleges and Bible colleges. Its main mission is “the promotion and enhancement of intercollegiate athletic competition with a Christian perspective.” For the 2022–2023 season, the NCCAA listed 90 members, 51 schools are a part of Division I and 39 of them are in Division II, which is what Southeastern Baptist is in. 

Many teams in the NCCAA are also in other athletics associations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

So far, Southeastern Baptist only has two active sports teams in its athletic department: baseball and basketball.

The Chargers have been very successful in the sport of baseball. Despite having been reestablished a few years ago, the basketball team won a championship in 2021. The Chargers play in the Cochran Center, which holds about 200-250 people.

“It may be a smaller and older arena, but it looks pretty nice despite its size and age, new athletic director JD Holloman said.”

The baseball team will have a lot of expectations as they are expected to be very good. 

“We have a lot of good players coming back from last year and we are bringing in a lot of good players as well,” Holloman said. “We have a total of 37 players on the team right now, which is the most the school has had.”

Holloman said that he plans to have softball during this athletic season and women’s basketball by the start of the next athletic season.

Before he became the athletic director at Southeastern Baptist College, Holloman was a longtime high school coach in the state of Mississippi. He was an assistant football coach at Quitman High School, Marion Military College and Hattiesburg High School. After he helped lead Quitman to its first playoff appearance as the offensive coordinator, he eventually became the head coach. His last stop was at Laurel High School where he became the head baseball coach, a position he held at both Quitman and Marion Military College, as well as the head freshman football coach.

Holloman knows that the athletic program can be developed very quickly because he knows the talent that is not only in the area but the state as a whole.

“There’s a lot of talent in this area,” Holloman said. “In South Mississippi alone, you have Oak Grove in Hattiesburg, Picayune High and Laurel High School. I got the chance to coach Charles Cross, who was a first-round pick in the NFL Draft as an offensive lineman a couple of years ago.”

Although he had been retired for a few years, Holloman quickly got right back into the business when the school tabbed him to be the athletic director.

“There were two things that brought me back,” Holloman said. The first thing was my love of sports and athletics. The second thing, and most importantly, was to be around young people again because I love to develop them into the best people they can possibly be.”

The president of the school is Col. Scott Carson who has served in his position since 2016. Carson served in the United States Army as a chaplain for over 30 years. He has served domestically at both Fort Bragg in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas. He also had deployments in countries such as Germany, Italy, Belgium, Afghanistan and Iraq. Carson’s last deployment in the army was at Redstone Arsenal right outside of Huntsville, Alabama before taking his current position at Southeastern Baptist. 

When Carson took on the job of being the president of the university, the school itself was in disarray. Not only were there active sports teams when Carson took over, but the school was very close to shutting down. Even with all the uncertainty, Carson took on the challenge of trying to save Southeastern Baptist College.

“After having been utilized successfully as a “fixer” for significant and complicated issues in the Army Chaplaincy for the last third of my military career, the Lord led me to accept the challenge of helping to reset the success of SBC,” Carson said.

Since he took over, the school has blossomed and they have brought back both its basketball and baseball programs, both of which have been highly successful, and are planning to add more sports like soccer, softball, volleyball and women’s basketball.

The school has three major bachelor’s degree programs: a bachelor’s of science in church ministries, a bachelor’s of science in Pastoral Studies and a bachelor’s of science in business administration.

The business administration degree is the most popular on campus. There are five concentrations for the business administration major: sports management, marketing, marketing management, global supply management and airport management.

Carson says that there are several reasons why athletes should come to Southeastern Baptist in terms of academics.

“Because we are a smaller school, students will have a chance to gain more attention from their professors compared to a larger school,” Carson said. “Another reason why student-athletes should come to Southeastern is that it is one of the least expensive private universities in the country, so it is very affordable.