An Early History of the New Brunswick Bible Institute
By Mark Bredin
(This address was originally given at the 50th anniversary celebration of NBBI in October 1994.)
I am going to read from the Word of God in Deuteronomy chapter 8, pick out three verses from this passage and on them hang my thoughts as I seek to review with you, the history of New Brunswick Bible Institute.
All Scripture is not about us and this passage is not about us; it’s about a people called Israel. But all Scripture is for us and this passage is for us and the principles that are here set forth are just as applicable today as they were when they were commanded.
“All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”
Well, there is our first thought. God commanded the Israelites to remember the past. Two dangers confront us when we begin to think about the past. The first is that we forget it altogether, and God warns these people against that. He uses this word `remember’ here, “remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee.” I know that Paul said we are to “forget” those things which are behind, in Philippians 3, but let me quote a good friend of mine commenting on that passage,
“To what things does the apostle refer when he speaks about forgetting those things that are behind? Did he forget the precious dealings of God with his soul throughout the whole of his wilderness journey? To that idea he would flatly say `perish the thought’! We believe he refers to all those things which have no connection with Christ. The things in which the heart might rest and nature might glory. Paul or any other child of God or servant of Christ should never forget a single scene, or a single circumstance in his whole earthly journey, which in anyway is illustrative of the goodness and the loving kindness, the tender mercy, or the faithfulness of God.”
Why, may we ask, was Israel charged to remember all the way which the Lord their God had led them? It was assuredly to draw out their hearts in praise for the past and to strengthen their confidence in God for the future.
Verse 5 of this passage says, “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.” We are not only to remember the past, we are also to consider the present. The verb `chasteneth’ is in the present tense and in Hebrews we read, “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
Verse 7 says, “For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valley and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey.” We are not only to remember the past and consider the present but it seems to me, we are also to anticipate the future.
First of all, let us briefly think about the past, the past as it has to do with NBBI! How far back does NBBI go? Well, from a practical point of view, the first students arrived here in October of 1944. There were just a few on the staff, John and Maureen Parschauer, and a young lady by the name of Helen Dosso. They were all graduates of a small Bible school in Saskatchewan which I will talk about in a few moments. Helen Dosso eventually went off to Nepal, as a missionary, to spend her life with Christ out there. The Parschauers went off to Germany after ten years here at NBBI. So we have to arrive at the conclusion that this must have been a missionary school, for the first three teachers went to the mission field!
Let me take you back to those early days. The first official board meeting of NBBI was held on November 13, 1944, just a week or two after those first ten students arrived. But let us go back still further to November 13, 1856. What does that date have to do with NBBI? On that day, in the small village of Kelso, Scotland, a young man was born by the name of William Johnston Millar. Unknown to him or to any other, apart from God, this young man was destined to become one of the fathers of the Bible school movement in Canada. I call him the grandfather of NBBI.
In 1876, when he was just 20 years of age, D.L. Moody landed in Glasgow, Scotland and young William Millar attended his meetings, heard the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus and this is what I read about him, “He yielded himself to the claims of Christ and for the next 56 years until he went to heaven he demonstrated that that was a reality in his life.” He went to Africa for a short time, served in Scotland and in 1910 sailed for Canada. He was then 54 years of age and he only had another 22 years to live. In my humble opinion, these were probably the most fruitful years of his life.
Mr. Millar served with T.T. Shields for a short while at Jarvis Street Baptist Church in Toronto, Ontario and then left to go out West. He was a Baptist pastor who concluded his last pastorate in a small town called Congress, sixty miles south of the city of Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. He had a practice in his ministry that when he concluded a pastorate he conducted two weeks of special meetings. He himself was the evangelist, and in that two weeks, after his last pastorate, there were twenty or thirty people saved. Among them were two young men who were to have a very profound influence on this school. One of them was Herbert Peeler and the other was Ed Erickson.
Let me read you a little bit about Ed. “He was born in 1909 of hardy pioneering Scandinavian parents, and spent the first 21 years of his life on a farm in Vanguard, Saskatchewan, just ten miles from Pambrun. At the age of 16 his father died and Ed had to quit school, take care of his mother and the nine other children in the family. He had no formal schooling after sixteen.” Listen to what we read about him! “Liquor, the dance floor and a merry, godless living became the pattern of his life, until one day in Vanguard he was invited to some gospel meetings that were being held there.” Who do you suppose the preacher was? It was William Millar. And William Millar led Ed to Christ, as he had already done in the case of Herbert Peeler. I’ll tell you more about them a little later.
After Mr. Millar concluded his pastorate in Congress, he got on a northbound train and headed for Moosejaw. He planned to transfer to the Transcanada train and go out to Vancouver where he would take another train down to California. He was then 72 years of age. When he got off the train and was walking the platform in Moosejaw, two business men who had heard he was coming went down to the train station, walked up to Mr. Millar and said, “Mr. Millar, God has burdened our hearts to start a Bible school, and we want you to be the teacher.” Right on the spot he accepted the challenge and the Moosejaw Bible Institute was born.
The school lasted for only four years. Keep in mind that the Great Depression was on in those days. Anyway, the school started and who do you think went to school that fall – Ed Erickson and Herbert Peeler. You couldn’t get a greater contrast. Brother Peeler was a genius as far as academics are concerned. Ed, remember, had to leave school when he was a teenager. He struggled in every class and through every exam. Peeler got an average of 94% in his Bible school career. Ed was a straight “C” at 71%. But do you know what, friends? God gave Herbert Peeler the gift of teaching and He gave Ed Erickson the gift of evangelism.
Ed applied to the Canadian Sunday School Mission after his first year at Bible School. One of the questions asked was, “What will you do if we don’t accept you?” Ed answered, “I’ll go anyway.” Out he went to many of the small school houses scattered all over the Prairies. Sometimes his beloved friend, Herbert Peeler travelled with him. They were there preaching the glorious gospel the night that John Parschauer, his brother William and his sister Tina were saved! The Parschauers were in a dance band at that time. On the way down to the meetings they put up posters announcing a dance, on the way back they tore them all down and they never played for another dance. Rather, they yielded their lives to the Lord Jesus! The Moosejaw Bible Institute closed its doors in 1932. There was no money to carry on!
There were two families down in Pambrun who had a vital interest in the Moosejaw Bible Institute, the Dicksons and Maureen Parschauer’s mother and father, the Gambles. They sent word to Mr. Millar after the school closed and told him that there were many young converts in their area. They invited him to come down and have Bible classes over the winter. This 76 year old man, and his young student, Herbert Peeler, who just graduated from school, took the train down to Pambrun where six girls decided to take the courses they offered. Suddenly, Mr. Millar had a stroke and within a week or two he was in heaven. Now the responsibility of this school rested on the young man who just graduated. He taught those girls that first winter, but there were young men clamouring to come also. There was a tall, skinny fellow from Pontex, just a few miles down the road named Ken Robins. His brother had attended Moosejaw, but had died suddenly. I think the death of his young brother was one of the things that arrested Ken and eventually resulted in his coming to Christ.
How were they going to house these boys? They didn’t have any buildings. But about three miles down the road, there was an old schoolhouse for sale. Mr. Dickson put in an offer of $200 for it, even though he didn’t have a dollar in his pocket. The offer was accepted. Now what was he going to do? He phoned his banker and told him, “We have a problem. We bought a building for $200 but we don’t have any money. Will you take my cheque for $200, honour the cheque and in 90 days I’ll pay you?” The banker said, “I know you well. I’ll accept your cheque.” So they moved this little one room schoolhouse into Pambrun, partitioned off the back ten feet to make two bedrooms and a narrow hallway, and turned the 6′ x 6′ porch into a kitchen. Ken Robins, John Parschauer and two other young men landed there to join the six girls. The year was 1933.
John and Ken roomed together in one of the small bedrooms for three years. I saw a picture the other day in which the four boys were standing behind a blackboard. They had made a sign and as soon as I looked at it I could see Ken Robins all over it! In his beautiful handwriting he wrote, “Champion Cooks of Canada!” Then he drew a great big pot with one handle. Underneath it was the word “porridge.” The fellows had to cook for themselves in those early days and they had lots of turnips and porridge. The girls were in the other little building doing their own cooking as well.
It was my privilege recently to see that building. They had a full blown Bible school going. There were two bedrooms in the back of the old schoolhouse, a cook house in the front and a chapel and the classroom in the middle. They had ten students and one wonderful teacher, Herbert Peeler! Last May, just after he had resigned from teaching, Mr. Peeler told me that he had taught for 60 years during which time he had never missed one class! When I met him, slept in his home and chatted with him, I said to myself, “I know now why NBBI had such wonderful men of God in its beginnings such as John Parschauer and Ken Robins!” So in 1933 that small school started.
How interesting! There was at that same time a young fellow by the name of Mark Bredin. Ken and I were born in the same year. I was living in the town of Orangeville, Ontario and was out peddling bread, the best bread in town, “Bredins’ Bread.” A fellow asked me, “What are you doing Sunday?” I went up to the door with my basket of bread, buns, cakes, tarts, cookies and you name it we had it, and I said, “Well I work on Sunday.” We always baked a day ahead in those days. I worked seven days a week and I got the big wage of $7 plus board for that work. The only secular job I ever had in my life paid a dollar a day. That was great preparation for the work of God, great preparation for coming to NBBI! I thought I was a millionaire when I came here and made $75.00 a month. That was big money when you consider that at the first official board meeting of the Moosejaw Bible Institute, they passed a motion granting Mr. Millar $40 a month. He was the only teacher they had and he taught all day long for $40 a month. In that same meeting they passed another motion in which they inducted a man by the name of A.L. Stewart as the President of the Board. A.L. Stewart was my wife’s uncle. The Bredins are connected to A.L. Stewart, a wonderful man of God. By the way, in that second class in Pambrun there was another fellow named Stewart, Art Stewart. He was a cousin to my wife. He became a evangelist for God. I guess that’s why God brought us here.
So off into the work of God they went. Ken and John roomed together for three years and then went out into the work of God. They both got their eyes on the two young girls who eventually became their wives. By the way, Ken Robins graduated in the spring, and joined the staff in the fall. From the very first year of his graduation until the year of his death, he was a teacher in Bible schools. John joined the staff of the Briercrest Bible Institute.
We’d better back up for a minute. Another young man, in 1927, had come up from the States to the city of Winnipeg. He had a great passion to reach boys and girls for Christ, and out of his ministry the Canadian Sunday School Mission was born. What a combination, friends! I heard a veteran missionary from Germany who was at the very first camp at the Canadian Sunday School Mission. She told me that at that camp they had two tents, one was for the sinners and the other was for the saints. All the kids who weren’t saved went into “the sinners’ tent.” As soon as they got saved, the very day, they transferred them over to “the saints’ tent!” Get them saved and then teach them the Word of God and how to live for Christ. It is no marvel to me that the three Western Provinces of Canada, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba had more Bible schools per capita than any place in the world. They also sent more missionaries per capita to the foreign fields than any place in the world. Authorities tell us that 75% of all evangelical missionaries come out of the Bible school movement in North America. We shouldn’t be ashamed to be a Bible School friends. I’m not ashamed of it. I believe that the Bible School movement has done more to reach this needy world for Christ than any other movement.
Eventually, after teaching at Millar Memorial Bible Institute for some years, Ken and Ruth were married and travelled to Winnipeg. Ken became the director of the Canadian Sunday School Mission for Manitoba. John was interested in the Canadian Sunday School Mission as well, but how in the world did he get all the way down to New Brunswick?
The year was 1938 and the place was in the backwoods of Juniper, New Brunswick. It was a “don’t blink your eye when you go through, or you’ll miss it” type of place! There was a woods camp up there with a man running it by the name Clayton B. Clark. At that time, he was a godless person. Into the camp one day in 1938, walked a young missionary. He was a Shantyman by the name of Ken McLellan whom I had the privilege of meeting some years later. He visited me up in Northern Quebec and I remember him so well, a wonderful man of God. He asked Mr. Clark for the privilege of having a meeting with his men. Mr. Clark said, “Yes you can have a meeting but don’t count me in, I will not be there!” Ken McLellan eventually said to him, “Mr. Clark it’s your choice, but if you continue on this course you’ll end up in hell.” That was a short, brief, to the point sermon! God the Holy Spirit took that word of exhortation to Mr. Clark’s heart and in a short while he was in the hospital with lots of time to think about it. God began to convict him of his lost state. As soon as he got out of the hospital he hurried over to his uncle’s place at the top of the Hartland Hill. His uncle, Mr. Wells Shaw was a Primitive Baptist preacher. Mr. Clark yielded his life to the Lord Jesus Christ, in New Brunswick, just five years after the boys graduated from the Bible school out west.
Mr. W. J. Hill, from the Saint John, New Brunswick area, was out west and met up with the director of CSSM, Mr. Aikenhead. Mr. Aikenhead found out he was from New Brunswick and was very interested in him as he wanted this mission to stretch right across Canada. The only name that Hill could come up with was the name of C.B. Clark. He said, “When you go to New Brunswick, get a ticket to Hartland, and ask for a man by the name of C.B. Clark.” That’s exactly what happened and that explains why NBBI is located in a place called Victoria, N.B., rather than St. John or Halifax or Moncton!
The very next year two young ladies, Gladys Wakeland and Alberta Davis came down. They stayed for a year and travelled by bicycle all around the back roads of this area, visiting schools and reaching boys and girls for Christ, initiating the work of the Canadian Sunday School Mission. Because of their efforts, the mission decided to send a man to pioneer the work. Who did they think of? Well, they thought of a man who was a pioneer, John Parschauer. While He was in Saskatchewan, teaching at the Briercrest Bible Institute, they invited him to come to New Brunswick.
Let me read what he wrote to me just a short while ago, “I arrived in Hartland in the spring of 1943. I was unofficially engaged to Maureen. I stayed with Clayton Clark that year and he offered me a car and told me that there was no church or Sunday School out back or East of Hartland.” So, Mr. Parschauer began his ministry. This is what he said about it here, “After that, I visited many public schools – invited myself in. I sang a couple of choruses and made known the Bible memory contest.” For learning 33 Bible verses each child would get a New Testament and if they memorized 300 verses, they could come to camp for a week for free! So CSSM came into action down here.
Ed came along in 1944 with Mr. Peeler and had a V.B.S. down in Sackville, NB in the Main Street Baptist Church (one of the oldest Baptist churches in Canada). In that campaign some were saved who became the first students at NBBI. Mr. Erickson, Mr. Peeler, Mr. Parschauer and Mr. Robins were also there! Because they needed V.B.S. workers and could not get them, they decided to start a Bible school. John went back after that first year, married Maureen and in 1944 they landed in Hartland. Mr. Clark had an empty house in Rosedale and NBBI started. There were just three teachers, John and Maureen Parschauer, and Helen Dosso, and ten students. The next year the campus was moved to Victoria, and Ken and Ruth came along to help. The very next year the Bredins blew in. Ruth, Mildred and I have been here since. My beloved friend Ken has gone on before to Heaven.
What do you need to have a Bible School? First of all, you need to have a faithful God. That means He is true to His Word, He answers prayer and He stands behind His promises. Then you need to have a man of God. That’s how the Moosejaw Bible Institute, the Millar Memorial Bible Institute, the Briercrest School and Prairie Bible Institute came into being and that’s how New Brunswick Bible Institute got started. John Parschauer came to Victoria, N.B. along with his godly wife, Maureen.
Then you need a board, a group of men to assume the leadership of the organization. Well, that board was already established. It was the board of the Canadian Sunday School Mission. It also became the first board of the New Brunswick Bible Institute and consisted of: C.B. Clark, Chairman; William Fraser, Treasurer; C.E. Rideout (a potato dealer in Hartland,) Vice Chairman; Gurston Day (who had a little transportation business in Hartland;) and Zanner Orser. How could I forget Mr. Orser? He was blind and when he prayed you could hear him a block away. How he cried out to God in those board meetings. Finally, John Parschauer was also on that board. Ken Robins became part of the board in 1945.
A very interesting gentleman by the name William `Billy’ McGee, born right across the river, went to Houlton, Maine as a young man. God caused him to prosper in his business and he was very frugal in his life. Billy McGee had prayed for years that God would start a Bible school in Houlton. He supported Bible schools all over the place such as Moody Bible Institute, a school down in Los Angeles and London Bible Institute when it started. When NBBI was born he said this is the answer to my prayer and I now turn all my interest away from every other school to NBBI.
He was a shrewd business man, he always had a deal in his hands. When they bought this property in Victoria for $4,000, Billy McGee said, “I’ll give you $2,000; you raise $2,000. For every dollar you raise, I’ll give you a dollar.” That was his scheme. Everytime we had a big deal. Every dollar you raise I’ll give you one. I don’t know how many thousands of thousands of dollars he gave to NBBI. He came to live with us the last year of his life. That was the deal – I’ll build your house, if you let me live there. The little house on the hill cost $6,000. He gave us $3,000, and we had a room there for Billy McGee. He had a very quaint saying. He used to write to us who were on the board saying, “Do what can.” That was his favourite expression. When he went home to heaven, he left the residue of his estate to NBBI. At that very same moment, the property across the road came up for sale and there was more than enough money in his estate to buy it. People had prayed for years that NBBI might have that place, but the old lady who owned it said, “I’ll burn it down before they get it!” We bought the ten acres of land and the two buildings for $9000. Billy McGee bought it with his money after he went to heaven.
In 1946 Bill Simonson, Wilbur Brownrigg, Robert McLean and I all became part of the board. A little later Walter Whitehouse joined us. His beloved wife got saved and she began to pray for Walter. Eventually after one year he got saved and became one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Church in Somerville. Glen Duff joined the board in 1952. He is now our present Chairman. Then came Emery Tozer and Ivan Smith and, of course, many, many more since.
Every one of the original board members that I sat with and prayed with and discussed with, apart from John Parschauer, is in heaven today.
You not only have to have a man and a board, but you also have to have a staff. I told you how God had prepared the original staff, two young men from Saskatchewan and their wives, then Mildred and I. We were having Youth for Christ meetings in Halifax in those days, and I was the director. I was always looking for speakers. Lindsay Johnstone, who was in the first class of this school, blew into Halifax and came in one night saying he was giving his testimony! He said, “Jack Wyrtzen asked me!” Jack was our speaker that night.
Lindsay told us about this school and eventually we invited John Parschauer to speak at our rally. I can remember John, Maureen and little Donna coming in that old Chevy. They found out my wife was an English teacher which they were in desperate need of, so they hired her and had to take me in the deal! (By the way, the same year that John Parschauer ended up down here in N.B., I also came through New Brunswick. I was headed for Halifax. I had never been East before in my life and the day after I landed, I met the best girl in Nova Scotia! And the Lord, in His mercy, gave her to me as my wonderful wife.) Then Ernie Klassen and Harold Duff came along, and I better not forget these two men and their wives, Clarence and Shirley Knowles and my beloved neighbours and friends, Joe and Gladys Kerr. Clarence came on staff on the very day he finished his first year at Bible school. He was student and staff. Then when he graduated he joined us full-time. I marvel at them. No matter how early I got up, I saw Clarence heading out for the barn to milk the cows when all the students were on vacation. I saw Joe getting that old machine out to plough the yard. I saw them as they trained young people outside the classroom. The students learned a thousand lessons from these men which they couldn’t have from us, however brilliant we were as teachers!
Then an Irishman by the name of Bob Dowie came along. He became a member of the “big three.” You see, some of the big three had dropped off! Ken, John and I were the original big three. John left and Harold Duff, Ken and I became the “big three.” Then Mr. Duff left and Bob Dowie took his place.
I better not forget to mention Marion Young and Marion Graham. I used to say to Marion Young, “I have three consciences: the first is inside of me, my wife is the second and you are the third!” What my wife couldn’t tell me to do, Marion Young sure managed to.
You’ve got a man, you’ve got a board and you’ve got a staff. Of course, you need students, don’t you? I went out the other day and just looked around at the photos in the foyer. I often do that. Let me draw to your attention a few names from those early classes. Med Wry. If you knew Med, you will remember his favourite saying, “Thus saith the Lord!” He was a great evangelist for God, a great lover of young people and a great worker at camps, in the woods and wherever else he could preach the gospel. Med is in heaven now! John Jones was also in that first class, along with his wife, Faith. In the second class was Ken Garnett! Ken is in heaven now as well. That was a wonderful class. There were six in that class and five of them went to the mission field, the highest percentage of any class that ever graduated from NBBI! They went to six different countries; Bolivia, Panama, South Africa, Brazil, Chad and France.
In 1949, Verna Lawson was born in a little place out back of Woodstock. Verna was saved in the Woodstock Baptist Church. She was the first graduate of NBBI to go to the great subcontinent of India. Fern Dunnett, went to heaven just a few months ago. She had gone to the Sudan in Africa and served the Lord until she was invalided home. In the next year Sterling and Joyce Clark went to British Guyana, South America. In 1952, who could forget Jean Shepherd – vivacious Jean? To receive one of her prayer letters was to be lifted to the heavenlies. She is now retired from the mission field, after serving all those years in Ethiopia. Then, Wilbur Matthews went to the revival meetings up in Sillikers. He got saved, his sister got saved and his brother got saved. The three of them all went into the service of God. Wilbur went to Kenya to serve the Lord. I was there just after the revival, and also had the joy of teaching others who were saved. Gene Tozer and his little wife, Nita came. They were saved that week too. I tell you, God did more in one week than we can do in ten years, in the moving of the Spirit of God. Bob Dunlop and Marge were in that class. A Missionary Pastor is what I call him, a great preacher of the Word of God.
The next year, in 1954, Mable Ayer was the first to go to HCJB in Ecuador. She also went to heaven just a few months ago. Out of the first eight classes, fifteen grads are now in heaven! Isn’t that amazing. There are three former staff members in heaven, Ken Robins, Maureen Parschauer and Loela McClure, who was a secretary here for a short time.
And what more shall I say. For time would fail me to tell of Edgar Garnett, Vi Hope, Don Wilson, Carroll Hill and Ronello Knightly. They were around here in the days of wooden ships and iron men. They were giants. I remember Carroll and Ronello swimming in the St. John river with the ice cakes floating by! God sent them up north. Carroll, is the director of the largest Indian mission in Canada. Ronello, a fellow who had such a struggle with his studies, is a field director out west for the same mission.
I could tell you a few things about men by the names of John Hoag, Bob Booker, Dave Doherty, John Boyd and John McKim. And then there are Wayne Carter and Eric Rozelle, my wonderful friends. They are also in heaven! Marianne Carter called me on the anniversary of her dear husband’s funeral. I remember when she was just a little girl. She gave her life to be a missionary. Then I got to thinking about all those campus kids. The Robins, the Dowies and the Knowles, they produced a Bible school by themselves!
I wrote this down, “What a joy, what a privilege to be a teacher.” I have spoken of just a few students. There are so many others, including many of you who are graduates.
The Bible school movement is now well into its second century. The first Bible school in North America was founded in New York in 1882. Listen to its name, “The Missionary College for Home and Foreign Missionaries and Evangelists.” What a name! Who do you suppose founded that school? Well, he was a Canadian and a Maritimer, if you will. He was born on P.E.I. and his name was A.B. Simpson. D.L. Moody also came along and he founded the Moody Bible Institute just four or five years later. And all of that followed a very significant event. In 1858 there was mighty revival in the Eastern United States. I am told that American churches added 1 million converts within a space of 18 months!
Let me quote, “As Bible institutes, we enter the second century and we not only enjoy great success, but we face severest tests.” This was a message given at the 100th anniversary of Moody Bible Institute by its Vice President, Dr. Kenneth Hanna. He said “We are now living in the down side of expansion. More schools are competing for fewer students. Bible college enrolments have declined by 11.9% in the last four years.” So I guess we better just settle it. Do the best job we can with what we’ve got. Teach them the Word of God. Teach them to do the will of God. Students expect education that leads to employability and if that’s why our students are here, they are in the wrong place. The reason for this place is to train young men and women to serve the Lord.
“A permissive society has also taken its toll on evangelicals,” says Pollster, George Gallup, Jr. After doing a survey, he wrote these words, “There is no doubt that religion is growing, but we find there is very little difference in ethical behaviour between church goers and those who are not active religiously.” Righteousness is not growing, friends!
Here’s what Dr. Hanna said we should do as we face the second 100 years of Bible school ministry:
- “We must reaffirm our historic purpose. God has raised up a distinctive kind of school to meet the spiritual needs around the world. Each institution must carefully examine why it came into being. Bible schools dare not change their mission. The future belongs to those who know who they are and why they exist.” Those are good words for us at NBBI.
- “We must sharpen our focus. With limited resources they must learn to do a few things well. Broadening the program to attract students is often self-defeating. In the process, distinctions are blurred and quality diluted. Successful Bible schools must specialize. They must know who and what their students are. Historically, Bible schools have given ordinary people a chance to learn the Word of God and become servants of Christ.” That is certainly true and has been for all these years at NBBI.
“We must be servants in the institutions.” By love, serve! The old adage of find the need and fill it still applies. “Bible schools that identify and meet the real spiritual needs of people are still in demand, so are their graduates.”
This is what he told his audience at Moody Bible Institute. I think they are excellent words for all of us at the New Brunswick Bible Institute; for board members, for staff members, for students and even for those of us who are retirees, as we face the future!
This message (edited for length) was given by Mark Bredin at our 50th anniversary celebration in October of 1994