‘Tis the season—some say “the season to remember” is here, and the Holidays are upon us. It is important to remember. God made us with the ability to remember and to reason from information remembered. In the long ago God spoke through Moses to tell the people to remember His word (Deut. 6:8-9), and to remember who redeemed them from Egyptian bondage (Deut. 24:18). When the people of God were departing from His way, they were charged to “stand in the ways, and see, ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein”—remember. The thief on the cross asked the Lord to remember him when He comes in His kingdom (Luke 23:42). Remember, reason, and act on those memories. At the close of the year, it seems in a way we’re forced to pause and reflect on the year past.
While we are ending another calendar year 2016, for Tennessee Bible College it is mid-year academically in 2016-2017, and yet we take a moment to remember. This past year (2016) has been another good year given from the bountiful hand of God. The College has enjoyed good days.
The 2016 Spiritual Renewal Lectureship was deemed very successful and helped start the year in a great way. We’re looking forward to the 2017 SRL just around the corner February 24-26. The annual lectureship has been growing in recent years and we’re thankful for all participants. This is an outreach to our community and for the edification of the brotherhood. That’s why we do it, and it’s why we invite all to participate. It’s not for a bragging number that we put on and promote such programs, but rather to reach as many people as possible with the gospel of Christ.
This year has seen continued interest in course work in our on-line campus and in several satellite courses. It is true that on-campus participation has gone down due to the convenience of the online classroom. We are continuing to work on ways to promote more on-campus participation and will continue to do so. I still believe that the best training experience is in a classroom with the exchange of ideas and the challenge and discipline of competition. We solicit your help in this area. In all we served 114 students which is an increase of 15 over last year.
Our Truth Bible Camp was back up in participation in 2016. We are thankful for that and for each one who participated: instructors, counselors and campers. We’re looking forward to that good event again in June 2017. It is truly an exciting event each year, and it looks like we’ll have all our staff back in place for this year’s camp.
The highlight of our work is seeing individuals complete the programs of TBC and go into the field to work. Brother Derrick Stiles of Warren County, Tennessee, completed his work in November earning the Preaching Diploma. We took time at Derrick’s graduation to also recognize the work of his grandaddy, brother Ernest Laws, who has been preaching the gospel of Christ for 70 years! Along with brother Laws we presented the Certificate of Preaching to brother Paul Elam of Manchester, Tennessee recognizing his 50 years of preaching. We had a great time Friday night, November 18, 2016 with a full house here to celebrate the accomplishments of these men.
Now we reflect on how the work is made possible. For 41 years the College has been involved in Christian education. A recent survey revealed that we now have graduated alumni working in 22 states and 6 foreign countries. We have many many more who have studied here and are working in this country and around the world. It is good to remember the accomplishments of the past to encourage us for the future. The years and accomplishments are possible first from the blessings of God. He has richly blessed TBC and has seen us through difficult and joyous times. The Lord has blessed in ways we’ll never understand through His providential care, and I’m very thankful. It is through His blessings that we’ve been able to connect with very dedicated supporters who have shared with us in the Gospel. When one takes time to remember these things, it gives great hope for the future and proves God’s loving care.
The College has many great opportunities ahead. We’re continuing to look for and develop ways of reaching the world with the Gospel and Christian education. We have a seasoned faculty and staff that is second to none. Our leadership is tried and true with many years of on-the-job experience. We’re looking forward to a great year in 2017. You’re invited to participate in all activities. We’re here to help and want to be a resource for Christians and the Lord’s church. Use us! When and where we may help you, we want to do so.
May God bless you with a Happy Holiday season, surrounded by the warmth of loved ones and friends, and a very Happy New Year!