October 28, 2009: After a month of praying and struggling over God’s call to launch Northeastern Baptist College, Pastor Mark Ballard, along with Cindy and Ben, and Harvey and Sherrill Coberley, drove to Northfield, MA. On the way, Mark shared with his sister and brother-in-law that God was calling them to start a Baptist college that would spiritually impact the Northeast by training students to have the Mind of a Scholar, the Heart of a Shepherd, and the Perseverance of a Soldier. Their goal in Northfield was to pray at D. L. Moody gravesite, asking the Lord to establish and use the new school.
Upon arrival, Mark realized his struggle was not over. He took Ben for a walk, and left the others at the gravesite. Soon they found and sat on a park bench. Mark began to pray. He knew the way would be difficult and the resources few. He struggled over how he would care for his wife and son. Yet, the call was strong; it was undeniable. Sitting on a bench with Ben, Pastor Ballard fully surrendered to God’s call. He and Ben rejoined the others. After their prayer time, Ballard looked up and said, “Well, let’s go start a college!”
President Ballard dedicated the next two months to seeking God’s specific direction. He gathered a prayer team of twelve men—The Determined Dozen. Through the season of prayer and planning, President Ballard outlined a “Twenty-Eight-Year Strategic Plan” broken into four, 7-year seasons.
- Firming the Foundation For The Future | October 28, 2009 – October 27, 2016
- Forming The Framework For The Future | October 28, 2016 – October 27, 2023
- Furnishing The Facility For The Future | October 28, 2023 – October 27, 2030
- Passing The Baton To The Future | October 28, 2030 – October 27, 2037
The first seven years were Phase 1: Firming the Foundation. We passed ten major milestones from the summer of 2010 through August 2017. Phase 2: Forming the Framework for the Future, began with the 2017-18 school year.