Bible College, the operational arm of an independent mission
agency, serves the fundamentalist Christian community in the
strengthening of local churches. Educational programs of the
College promote the development of responsible Christian
character and maturity, and prepare graduates for vocational and
volunteer church-related service. These programs consist of a
carefully balanced and integrated sequence of college-level
courses in Bible and Theology, professional studies, and general
studies, as well as co-curricular opportunities for growth
through devotional activities, practical Christian service, and
active community living. |
Extension services of the College
provide such activities as conferences, retreats and camps which
assist churches and church related groups in achieving their
objectives of evangelism and edification.
Bible College was founded in September of 1950 at the
Independent Baptist Church in Pettus, by Rev. and
Mrs. Lester Pipkin (from Minnesota) and Pastor and Mrs. Robert
Guelich (from Pettus), to begin a Bible training institute for
the youth of the Appalachian Mountains. The Pipkins had earlier
been involved in initiating a Bible institute in Kentucky and
the Guelichs had experienced a productive pastoral ministry
among the mountain people of West Virginia. |
couples shared a vision to train Christian workers and provide
additional services that would encourage and enhance the
planting and growth of dynamic New Testament churches in the
region. Official incorporation occurred in 1954.
During the presidency of Dr. Lester Pipkin, the College was
organized as a faith mission, under the auspices of Appalachian
Bible Fellowship. In addition to providing college classes, ABC
offered children's Bible classes for local public schools, held
Bible camps, conducted area youth rallies and provided Bible
conferences for the community.
Financial policies conformed to the mission concept of
ministry, that of raising support from churches and individuals
to help fund the personnel and ministries of the College.
Identifying itself in 1955 with the National Home Missions
Fellowship, the College today continues that identification
through the Fellowship of Missions (FOM), an organization of
independent, fundamental mission agencies.
The need for a larger and more strategic location prompted
the move to Bradley in 1956. Provision of the 95-acre tract of
land near Beckley was considered a special act of God, having
been retained without indebtedness. At this new campus, academic
programs began to diversify. Area churches welcomed students
needing practical training, enabling ABC to broaden Christian
service opportunities. An evening school for the community was
also initiated at that time.
Important changes came to southern Appalachia in the 1960's
as the Kennedy Presidential Campaign came to West Virginia, resulting in extensive regional studies, increased media
penetration, large investments of federal dollars into local
social programs and construction of new highways. These changes
were instrumental in placing Appalachian Bible College "on the
Capitalizing on Appalachian's strategic location in south
central West Virginia, Alpine Bible Camp, was formed in 1960, located on the interior section of campus. This small camping
ministry has developed over the past 40 years to become Alpine
Ministries, which now includes Alpine Bible Camp, Alpine
Adventures and Alpine Retreats and Conferences.
Alpine campus facilities have enlarged to include a
conference center/dining hall, guest lodge, four Swiss-style
mountain chalets, an outdoor picnic pavilion, small lake, an
outdoor chapel, certified ropes courses, outdoor pool, initiatives and climbing walls. Alpine Ministries annually hosts
over 10, 000 guests utilizing its location near the "Grand Canyon
of the East", the New River Gorge, providing whitewater rafting, climbing and rappelling, caving and more.
Also in 1960, ABC became an associate member of the
Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (AABC) and was granted
membership status in 1967. In 1968, the Board of Education of
the State of West Virginia approved the granting of the Bachelor
of Theology (Th. B. ) degree.
Eight years later in 1976, ABI added a fourth year to the
academic program, becoming Appalachian Bible College, in 1978, a
more accurate reflection of expanded curriculum and academic
programs. Subsequently, the State College and University System
of West Virginia authorized the awarding of the Bachelor of Arts
(B. A. ) degree in Bible/Theology. Appalachian Bible College then
acquired the distinction of being West Virginia's first and only
Bible college approved by the State.
Facilities have been constructed as need has demanded. Pipkin
Hall, the original campus building, is now the administrative
center of campus. DesPlaines Hall women's dormitory was
completed in 1964 and McCarrell Hall men's residence was
dedicated in 1972. Beukema Hall, the first classroom building, was completed in 1975.
Upon the retirement of Founder and first President, Dr.
Lester Pipkin in 1983, Dr. Daniel Anderson was inaugurated as
President of Appalachian Bible College. Under Dr. Anderson's
presidency, the college has steadily expanded it's academic
programs to include a Bible Certificate program, Associate of
Arts degree, Family Counselling, Camping, and Youth Ministries
programs, in addition to Pastoral Studies, Elementary Education, Missions and Music.
Campus facilities have expanded to include Gilmore
Gymnasium/Conference Center in 1990; Appalachian Village (a
24-unit married student housing development) in 1992-93; Alpine
Lodge (an Extension Ministry guest housing and conference
facility) in 1994; a chapel/music complex, Anderson Hall, in
1997; Kennedy and VanPuffelen resident halls in 1998; and the
expansion of the main campus entrance in 1999.
It was also during 1998 that Appalachian Bible College earned
candidacy status for accreditation with The Higher Learning
Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and
Schools (NCA), membership status being granted in 2000.
Dedicated in the Fall of 2002, the Servant Center, a student
center that includes kitchen and dining room, classrooms, student lounge and snack shop, campus post office and bookstore, and clinic and Student Services offices, was occupied and became
the hub of student activity. In 2003, the Elementary Education
program was granted certification by the West Virginia
Department of Education.
Plans are in place for the restoration of Pipkin Hall to
provide for the doubling of Van Puffelen Library. These plans
include addition of learning resource components, such as a
student computer lab, along with administrative office redesign.
|Dormitory Phone System
|USPS Mailing Address
||P. O. Box ABC
Bradley, WV 25818
|Shipping Address (UPS, FedEx, etc. )
||5701 Robert C. Byrd Dr.
Bradley, WV 25818