I was wrong again
Only too well I recall saying to Dr. Mark Ballard, “No, you cannot build a new Christian College in southern Vermont. Do not even try. As gifted as you are, this is impossible!” Now, I have returned about ten years later from Northeastern Baptist College in Bennington, Vermont. Incredible!
Every morning for a week I enjoyed breakfast with a different student. Bright, extraordinarily well tutored, enthusiastic, young men of remarkable integrity, and soul-winners everyone! They carry on lively conversations about their insights in biblical languages, discuss insights into contemporary theology, and spar with the best on the ethical questions of the era.
As if that were not enough, this semester alone students and highly qualified faculty have led more than five hundred men and women to Christ during this school year.
Last night, the school sponsored a game banquet and was long suffering enough to have skeptic Patterson to speak. Forty-seven men received Christ as Savior in Bennington, Vermont. There hasn’t been that much excitement in Bennington since the Green Mountain Boys fought in the Revolutionary War.
Is my face red? Yes, delightfully embarrassed I am. Maybe when I get to heaven I will not have to constantly be chiming, “I was wrong.” Oh yes, the professors and Ballard haven’t been paid about half the time. What sacrifices all have made along with their families! But they are about the happiest faculty I ever beheld anywhere. Students have come from more than twenty states and literally from all over the world.
Would you join me in expressing thanksgiving to God for raising up an evangelical college in New England? Would you pray that this dedicated faculty and staff will never have to go home to their families again confessing that there is no paycheck this month?
Would you pray with me that God would honor all those times when President Ballard says to a student, “Son, I know you have not a cent to your name. God has called you to preach; so come on and God will provide.” After all, President Ballard himself, the ninth child of a poor Colorado family, became a church planter and now a college president, having penned a fascinating dissertation on the preaching of D.L. Moody of Northfield, Massachusetts, only a few miles from Bennington.
Yes, I was wrong again. I just temporarily forgot how much God enjoys doing the inconceivable. Once again, I found myself watching Jesus take a few loaves and some small fish and feed a multitude. Oh the wealth of the riches and blessings of God! May we do our part to join hands with God in what He is doing at Northeastern Baptist College in New England.
Paige Patterson , President
Sandy Creek Foundation