On May 1st, 21 students and staff from Northeastern Baptist College took part in the spring BENEATH trip (Believers Exploring New England’s Awesome Theological History). The theme of the trip was the life of D. L. Moody, visiting historic sites honoring the great evangelist and his ministry. Continue reading >>
The start of a new year is a great time to make resolutions to change and grow. It has come to symbolize a fresh-start, and the beginning of this new stretch of 365 days seems to give us a stronger resolve and motivation to achieve the changes and growth we desire. Resolutions typically have the same goal: self-improvement. It is common to hear about dieting plans, exercise programs, intellectual pursuits, etc. In church, it is common to hear Christians resolve to evangelize more, pray more, and read through the Bible. Continue reading >>
I recently heard a story about a farmer that was diagnosed with terminal cancer which prevented him from doing his job. In an effort to help his family, the farmer’s neighbors all banded together to harvest his fields in time for winter. Despite the massiveness of his fields, his neighbors were able to harvest and complete the work for winter all in 10 hours! Continue reading >>
Between October 24th and 28th, Northeastern Baptist College held our first Homecoming Week, honoring our Alumni. The event was highlighted by chapel messages from President Ballard and our two graduates so far, Joe Ferguson and Tim Groos. Continue reading >>
Do you remember the “walk of faith” scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Jones is faced with an almost certain death when he reaches a deep cavern between him and his goal. He must walk step by step across a bridge that is invisible to him. Continue reading >>
Every election cycle, certain concepts and buzzwords seem to resurface in the Christian community, such as “moral majority” and “values voter.”
It seems impossible to argue that a biblical “moral majority,” silent or otherwise, exists in the United States today. A moral revolution has swept through our culture like Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti. Our cultural collapse in Christian ethics and morals is reflected vividly in the major party candidates. Continue reading >>
On October 12th, a group of students and staff from Northeastern Baptist College embarked on the first-ever BENEATH trip (Believers Exploring New England’s Awesome Theological History), visiting sites in and around Bennington which are significant to the history of Christianity in New England. Continue reading >>
Northeastern Baptist College staff and students traveled to Montpelier on Wednesday, August 24th, to attend the Decision America Tour held by Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son. At the front steps of the state capitol building, Dr. Graham spoke of the declining morality and spirituality of the country and explained how Christians can make a difference. Continue reading >>
Coming from a big city in South Carolina, I had all the opportunities to go and make something of myself there. My dream was to attend the state school, University of South Carolina, and be in sports radio. I attended a local community college so I could get my prerequisites out of the way, and go on to pursue my dream of attending USC. During this time I felt God call me to drop what I was doing and listen to Him for my direction in life. It took a year for God to open up the door for my next journey. My father brings a mission team up here to work with the school every year. So, we sat down to talk about the possibility of me attending NEBC. That night, after breaking my promise to never move up North, I let God do His work.
I’ve always hated the cold and the snow. I’ve never liked the North and, to be honest, I thought that it was just a bunch of mean people complaining about having to get a new snow shovel every year. When I moved here I found out that what I thought was correct. The only difference is I thought everyone was cranky but I found out only about 3/4ths of the population is that way. I blame it on the weather, because, hey, there is a reason everyone in Florida is always happy and everyone in New Hampshire is always cranky.
Student-Staff Basketball game, Stephen is 2nd from right on back row.
The weather is one reason for all of these stereotypes, but the true reason is because people here are lost. They don’t have a relationship with God. I was shocked to know that Vermont and New Hampshire were the two least religious states in the US, with Vermont at 2% and New Hampshire at 1%. Coming from a city where if you threw a rock it would bounce off of 5 churches, to the towns in Vermont where, if you were lucky, you might find one Gospel preaching church is an eye-opener.
I’ve grown a lot since being here. I’ve seen what a real need for the Gospel looks like. Growing up in the South, everyone goes to church, and if you don’t, people ask you why. Here, it’s the opposite. I’ve seen what true want and need for the Gospel looks like. Through the teachers and students here, I’ve grown from being just another Christian that wants to do enough to get by, to being a Christian that wants to do more than I could ever imagine. I’ve always wanted to be called what David was called, “a man after God’s own heart.” That to me is the ultimate achievement for a Christian. Without the people of this school, I know that I would never come close to becoming that.
Stephen (center) with Lake Sunapee’s Pastor Sam on left.
Currently, I am attending Lake Sunapee Baptist Church. I help in many different ways. I help park cars, take up the offering, as an altar worker, and help set up for events if needed. It is an amazing place that really has a heart to reach the lost. The Northeast is a dark place. God calls us to be the light in the darkness. Because there is nowhere in the United States that is as dark as the Northeast, it is the perfect place for Christians that want to impact peoples’ lives to come in and change the world.
Coming from the South, I went to church all the time. Everyone goes to church, and there are practically at least 3 churches on every street. The Gospel is obviously needed everywhere, including the South, but if you want to see real change in a community, the North is the place to go. There are plenty of people ministering in the South, but the Northeast needs every single person they can get. The Northeast needs the Gospel. I am excited to see what God does through the lives of the students at this school. I believe God will use NEBC and the students to change the Northeast and ultimately the world.
I’m a New Englander. I was born and raised here. I trusted Christ here. I was called to ministry here. I met my wife here. Together, we’ve begun building a family here. And now, it’s here, in New England at Northeastern Baptist College that I am receiving the training and tools I need to serve God for the rest of my life.
Growing up in Massachusetts, I have personally experienced the successes and failures of the New England church. In what was once the Bible belt of America, the land of Whitfield, Edwards, Moody, Schofield, and many others, Biblical ignorance and spiritual apathy run rampant. Hundreds of New England churches, devoid of sound pastoral leadership, are being forced to close their doors. Most New Englanders have never heard the Gospel or stepped foot in a church building. Every day, millions in New England stand on the precipice of life and death, facing an eternity without God.
I enrolled at NEBC to change this reality.
While there are many schools across the United States where I could receive training in Pastoral Ministry, Northeastern Baptist College is nearly the only school where I can receive training in the region to which God has called me. Because of NEBC, I’ve had the opportunity to preach God’s Word over 100 times in over 50 different churches across New England. Each experience has taught my wife Rachel and I how to shepherd a congregation of broken, hurting people.
Josh with his wife, Rachel, and daughter, Sophia.
One Sunday, in particular, the weight of these needs overwhelmed me. As I planted my feet behind the pulpit, my sweaty palms nervously gripped at its oak sides. I lifted my eyes and beheld my quiet audience. I knew many of them. One couldn’t pay rent that month. One lost a relative to cancer exactly a year ago. One lost her baby just days before. In that moment, my unsettled mind began to race, and the battle began. My entire consciousness was flooded with a sense of insecurity and inability. What seemed like the weight of the world pressed on each shoulder, burying me. Drowning in my own weakness in the front of that sanctuary, I heard the still, small voice of my Heavenly Father say, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
In an instant I was filled with a courage and resolve I had seldom experienced before. I opened my mouth and for the next 30 minutes, preached the truth of God’s Word, in the power of God’s Spirit, for the faith of God’s people. By the end of the sermon, 2 had trusted Jesus for their salvation, and 10 publicly stated that they decided to surrender their lives to the Lord. “Amazing,” one man said afterward, “I haven’t heard anyone preach from the Bible like that in years! I need more of that!” Every Sunday for the next year and a half, I’d hear the cries of many biblically starved New Englanders, each one a heartbreaking example of what happens when the sheep have no shepherd.
Josh preaching at a church in Vermont.
At NEBC, however, I’ve studied under some of the most excellent minds in scholarship. I’m being equipped to meet the demands of a church under more intellectual attack than ever before. At NEBC, I’ve learned invaluable lessons from men who’ve shepherded God’s local flock for decades. I’ve connected with brothers and sisters in Christ who share in NEBC’s burden to impact our nation with the Gospel. I’ve been rigorously trained to persevere as a “good soldier of Jesus Christ” in the spiritual battleground of New England.
And with every new semester, assignment, church service, and sermon, comes a clearer understanding of how desperately the Northeast needs a school like NEBC. Countless of God’s chosen have left this region to pursue schooling in other areas of the country, never to return.
I’m a New Englander, though. My Savior has called me to live, work, train, and pastor here. Until God calls me somewhere else, or takes me home, it’s my privilege to be a part of what God is doing in New England, through Northeastern Baptist College.