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  • Paige Patterson

I Watched a Miracle



October 17, 2020, will not be quickly erased from memory. Place: Vermont. Event: Covid-19 delayed graduation. Graduates: Nine young people from New England and several other states. Institution: The fifth graduating class of the freshly minted Northeastern Baptist College under the creative and able directorship of President Mark Ballard, PhD.


Essentially, there are four possible four-year degrees. Baccalaureates in Business Administration, Christian Counseling, Christian Education, and Biblical Studies. All students must complete at least a minor in Bible. Upon completion of a class regimen of 120 to 128 hours, every student must successfully demonstrate his grasp of the field of learning he has pursued with a Field Oral Examination, which, in the case of the Biblical Studies students, includes reading and translating from both Hebrew and Greek from a passage randomly selected by his professors. Small wonder that this upstart college has already caught the eye and imagination of educators across the nation. In the era of diminution of degree hours and demand for competence, Northeastern is cutting another direction! And I have not even broached the subject of the students’ volunteer labor throughout New England communities.


While surveying these Northeastern students, I was carefully searching for victims. But I was only able to find servants. After hearing the stories of the graduates, I became aware that in another location, these young people might well have identified themselves as victims. Circumstances leading to “victimology” were not absent, but the mentality is foreign in this operation. Their professors teach for paltry wages, and most raise their own salaries! Yet I do not think that I ever attempted conversations with competent academes who were so ebulliently happy and so rigorously committed to the task.


Trustee chairman Phil Waldrep and his fellow trustees obviously missed an important email. The email I have in mind is the one that informed us that New England was hostile territory for evangelicals. Any “Bible thumpers” who attempted residency in this beautiful land of moose and variegated kaleidoscopic leaves in verdant forests would surely depart for the safe haven of the old South or Southwest. Trustees, faculty, staff, and students were born to serve. Business graduates want to establish businesses in New England based on biblical commitments of justice and kindness. Fervently, they hope to lead friends to the Savior and to make enough profit to provide support for Northeastern.


Counselors and educators recognize the social desperation of the hour and anticipate the opportunity to strengthen families in the great Northeast. They are also committed to the unfashionable thesis that legal and illegal pharmacology, abetted by alcohol, does not of necessity have to truncate the lives of so many youth or terminate that life in a tragic suicide.

Theology students are headed into the churches of New England. The once productive land that gave Baptists the New Hampshire Confession of Faith will flourish yet again. Pastors preaching biblically-based messages on Sunday are watching with interest as parishioners apply those biblical principles to life and relationships Monday through Saturday.


Do you wish to turn the year of Covid-19 into a year of joy? Plan now for next October-November and take a five-day vacation in Vermont to see the splendor of fall in frolic! Visit Northeastern Baptist College’s thriving library and inspiring chapel! Place this energetic new school adhering to the life and principles of Christ high on your list of objects for which to pray and ask God to do the unthinkable. “Dear Lord, please keep Northeastern faithful to the Bible and to Christ.”


Second, would you drop a note or send an email or text to the unselfish, sacrificially-minded trustees? Here are eleven remarkable women and men who believed this would be a reality when nobody dared venture a hopeful slogan. They desire our prayers—and our thanksgiving.[1]


A visionary prophet was not supposed to arise in our day. But the mantle of Elijah/Elisha has encompassed the shoulders of Dr. Mark Ballard. If only 1,000 of us will send $100 each to Northeastern Baptist College (Institutional Advancement, PO Box 4600, Bennington, VT 05201), we can liberate Mark Ballard to turn his primary focus to the building of the spiritual and academic program, and we can provide a substantive beginning for the budget for the coming year. I have already sent a check from Dorothy and me, and including support from nine friends who would like to help but cannot right this moment. Will you join hands with me and let’s surprise the world!

Northeastern Bible College Alma Mater

Lyrics by Mark H. Ballard

Music by Matthew & Marie Hasty

Chorus

From the heart of the Northeast,

For the hearts of the world,

We will train for the glory of His name.

We will train the mind, we will train the heart,

We will train to persevere, with Christ leading the way,

We will not fear.

Verse One

From the heart of the Northeast,

For the hearts of the world,

We will train the mind to understand,

The Bible’s truth as best we can.

‘Till scholars we are, we will not rest,

Because the Lord deserves our very best.

Verse Two

From the heart of the Northeast,

for the hearts of the world,

We will train our hearts to care for souls,

For we have heard our Shepherd’s call,

For the Gospel we will give our all.

As shepherds we will lead and feed his sheep.

Verse Three

From the heart of the Northeast,

For the hearts of the world,

We will persevere as soldiers,

To the right or left we will not veer.

We will not run, we will not quit,

For with Christ’s strength and armor we are fit.

Northeastern Bible College Mission:

To impact the Northeast, the United States, and the World by training students to have the Mind of a Scholar, the Heart of a Shepherd, and the Perseverance of a Soldier through the provision of a college education with a biblical foundation and a distinctive blend of academic excellence and practical mentoring.




[1]Trustees:Phil Waldrep (Board Chair), Doug Echols (Board Vice Chair), Ron Poitras (Board Secretary), Stephen Carter, Darryl Craft, Candi Finch, Ray Jones, Raja Kandanada, Randy Knepper, Ellen McLean, and Ron Smith (Trustee Emeritus). See https://nebcvt.org/about/leadership/board-of-trustees/

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