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.
When I first heard about NEBC, it was the summer of 2013, and I was serving on the Word of Life Ranch as a counselor. I had just finished up my year there and was still feeling a call to go to school in order to be better equipped to serve God in full time ministry. So I applied to NEBC. I’d like to say the rest is history, but I’m more stubborn than that.
When I received my first bill for the initial deposit, I used it as an excuse not to go (I told myself that it was too much money). In reality, at that point in my life I was struggling with control and pride. So, instead of asking God for guidance concerning school, I was telling Him that I did not need school and instead needed to get married and settle down.
Chris’ comedy routine at the Hebrews Cafe’s open mic night.
That was the beginning of the biggest time of growth I’ve had in my walk with God, up until now. During that time, my relationship with my girlfriend ended, I was feeling dissatisfied in my job, I was feeling discontent in life, and then I was hurt by some people from a church I served in. It gotten to the point where I was honestly ready to walk away from ever serving in the church, or in any full time ministry.
My mentor Mark J. and I talked one day at college and career fellowship. He asked me a lot of questions that made me examine my life, and I realized that I had some idols I needed to forsake and some confessions I needed to make to God. I took a walk to River of Life’s bridge and had a good and long talk with God. He brought John 14:27 to my mind: “Peace I give you, not as the world gives, but a true peace, I give you” (paraphrase). Instantly I was calmed, like I could hear Him again.
Chris is a Work Study student in Maintenance
The next day, I contacted the admissions director, Tim Groos, and finished applying. One thing I can say about being an NEBC student: is it is tough. But so is ministry! And this school is geared to equip students to be prepared to serve God in ministry, to have the mind of a scholar, heart of a shepherd, and perseverance of a soldier.
My plan after graduation is to be involved in ministry. Right now, I feel led towards counseling young adults. I’ve been through a lot in life, and if God can use my example to pour into the lives of young men and women to help them through some of life’s valleys, I’d say I’ve fulfilled my purpose.
I came to NEBC ready to take the next step toward ministry. In my studies I am pursuing a BA in Biblical Studies with a focus in Pastoral Ministry. I did not only desire to learn about pastoral ministry from the classroom, I also wanted hands on experience. For this I needed to involve myself with a church that could give me hands on experience while training me in the ministry. By God’s grace I was able to find that church.
Through a connection made during my second visit to NEBC, I met Pastor Branden Rogers. I was able to get involved with the two churches he is pastoring in Poultney and Castleton. I helped with set up, tear down, parking, greeting, and youth group. I was enjoying it, but wanted more of a challenge. In talking with Pastor Branden, I discovered that the youth pastor was wanting to step away from youth ministry and into college ministry. I was able to transition in as the new youth pastor!
Tyler (front, center) and his youth group
I never saw myself becoming a youth pastor. God has blessed me with the position and has worked through me. I have been so blessed to see how God is working. One boy was saved and baptized in April. In the early summer, two of the girls who were saved got baptized. During summer camp, two girls got saved, and I will be able to baptize one of them later this month. I am now able to disciple them and point them all to the Lord.
God is on the move in each of the youth’s hearts doing far more than I can list here. One example is how God worked in a group of them through their witness in school. They have been public about their faith in school. For that they have faced persecution, even from their teacher. They wanted to stand strong for God and not back down from their faith. They learned that they had to show love to their teacher, and they did just that. They even began praying for her together. They were able to see their own hearts change through the whole situation. I believe through this they learned more about Jesus and His love.
Tyler and the young man baptized in April
Many more stories flood my mind as I think of the ways God is at work. I wish I could tell all of them. It has been a joy serving as a youth pastor. I have been challenged in many ways and have learned a lot. This experience is one I will cherish forever. I am super excited to see how God will continue to work in the youth group. I am privileged to serve the Most High God in such a capacity. Glory be to Him!
My first interaction with NEBC began last fall when I participated in their Early Scholars Program. This opportunity allowed me and many other students to take dual credit college courses while in high school. Through this program I was able to enroll in six different courses, including English courses, Biblical studies, and Business Management courses. I enjoyed being a part of small classes where I could get to know each student under the teaching of personable and effective professors that make a connection with each student.
However, these classes did not just further my education, they also affected my spiritual growth. This past spring I took Dr. Wright’s Personal Evangelism class, and it has literally changed my life! Every day he challenged us students to step out of our comfort zones and spread the good news of Christ to anyone and everyone we met. Dr. Wright prepared us to effectively share the gospel message to people with different backgrounds and personal views about God. Because of this course and Dr. Wright’s wisdom, I began to share with others about Christ with a boldness that I never had before.
Emily with her parents at her High school graduation.
During this time at NEBC, I felt at home. The professors genuinely cared about my personal goals and worked hard to teach and equip me with the knowledge I needed to pursue what God called me to do. I have heard many students describe NEBC as one big family, and it really is!
Since 9th grade I have been looking and praying for God to show me which college to attend. I wanted to be a part of a college that was Christ-centered and allowed me to stay in the area to remain involved in my church where I lead worship. God answered my prayers by showing me that NEBC was the college for me. Not only does NEBC offer the opportunity for an exceptional education, but its low cost tuition and ministry opportunities also aligned with my personal goals.
My mother, Beth Jones, has been working at the college since the beginning, and through her I have been able to see how God’s hand directed each step NEBC took as it began and grew. I have personally been able to see and experience the strong need for God in the Bennington community and Vermont. However, I have also seen the incredible impact NEBC has already made in the short time it has existed. I want to be a part of what God is doing at NEBC!
Emily in class as an Early Scholar at NEBC.
Spending my entire education as a student of Grace Christian School, located on the first and second floor of NEBC’s building, has given me the unique experience of watching the college grow. As the time grew closer to my high school graduation, it became apparent that God was calling me to this college. I am excited to join the NEBC family and continue my education and spiritual journey here!
I have decided to pursue both my passion for music and my interest in business during my time at NEBC. I will be majoring in Business Administration along with classes in Music Ministry. As my first days of college grow closer, I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” God has shown me that His plan for me is to attend NEBC and to grow closer to Him through the new experiences I will have here!