Why GLCC? Over a generation ago, men and women of God were deeply concerned with the lack of vitality and the shrinking numbers of Christian Churches/Churches of Christ in Michigan. Their concern led to plans for founding Great Lakes Bible College, which came into being in 1949 at Rock Lake, near Vestaburg, Michigan. Twelve students were enrolled during the first year and their classes convened in the log cabin of Ralph R. Woodard, the first President of the College.
If my memory serves me correctly, church leaders back in 1949 saw the need to keep potential key leaders for Michigan churches in Michigan to study and be trained for ministry. Students were committing their lives to full-time Christian service at Rock Lake and the question arose: Who was going to to train them? Students were going south to be trained at sister colleges but were not coming back to Michigan but staying down there and filling the needs of the churches there. So, to have a Bible College in Michigan that would train future leaders and keep them in our state, was the vision.
Training ministers for churches is still at the core of what we do. In our day it has expanded, though, to equipping Christian leaders for many different capacities. We train missionaries, youth ministers, counselors, musicians to name a few. In 1949 some of those positions were not available as full-time positions. Now, churches are staffed with all kinds of positions that need a Bible College education.
Why GLCC today? Because the need is still prevalent. We need preachers and church leaders for all kinds of positions in the church. We also need Christian leaders for the secular arena as well. There are so many Christian non-profits that need good Christian leadership. There are schools that need good Christian teachers. There are companies that need good servant-leaders at the helm.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in 1949 to hear the conversation of those whose vision was to start a Bible College in Michigan. I'm here over 65 years later (not as a fly!) reaping the benefit of that vision and seeing the impact of having a Christian College in Michigan. In fact, I was one of those who committed to full-time Christian service at Rock Lake as a young man and then went off to Great Lakes to be trained for ministry.
VP of Institutional Advancement