My Recent Trip to Bennington, Vermont
Last Wednesday through Friday, I visited with President Mark Ballard of the Northeastern Baptist College in Bennington, Vermont. He had invited me to come tour the school and also preach in chapel. I had such a wonderful experience! But it did take I while to get there! I flew from Colorado Springs to Dallas to Chicago to Albany, New York, where I picked up a rental car and drove 50 minutes to get to the campus! Whew!!!
President Ballard founded the college 4 years ago in the most unchurched state in the nation. Because of the liberalism of schools in the Northeast, many churches are either dying or have already closed their doors. Yet, GOD is using students in these churches in a wonderful way to initiate spiritual revitalization in these churches and also plant strong, evangelical churches where there are none.
Northeastern Baptist College truly has a miracle story! GOD has provided them with a large classroom building, a library and cafe, and some dorm rooms (a former motel). I truly enjoyed preaching in chapel (my text was Matthew 28: 18-20), meeting faculty, visiting with students, and touring their facilities. GOD truly is doing a remarkable work there!
Bennington, Vermont is just beyond the border with New York. With a population of 20,000, the community has quite a bit of history within a one hour radius. On Thursday afternoon, President Ballard drove me to Northfield, Massachusetts to visit the birthplace and childhood home of noted 19th century evangelist D. L. Moody. We enjoyed a personal tour of his home, as well as visiting a room filled with Dr. Moody's belongings, including his desk and chair, pulpit, personal letters and pictures, and more. Afterwards, we visited the Mount Herman/Northfield School founded by Dr. Moody. Located on the campus was a church building, which, according to President Ballard, at one time had been pastored by C. I. Schofield.
On Friday morning, I set my alarm really early, and hit the ground "running." I visited the First Church cemetery, which had graves dated 1767, and included the graves of revolutionary war soldiers. I also visited the grave of Poet laureate Robert Frost. Then I visited the statue/monument of Colonel Seth Warner, a soldier who fought in the Revolutionary War. Afterwards, I drove to Williamstown, Massachusetts. I saw a home constructed in 1753, and also took a very quick tour of Williams College. I was looking for and located the "Haystack Monument," the site where 5 students took shelter in a haystack in 1806 during a summer thunderstorm, prayed together, and dedicated their lives to take the gospel overseas. This event signaled the beginning of the modern American Foreign missionary movement. On my way back through Bennington, I stopped to get a few pictures of a beautiful, red painted "Silk Road" Covered Bridge. Then I drove to the airport in Albany, New York, for my flight home.
It was such a joy to represent our church and our denomination at Northeastern Baptist College. Please pray for this wonderful school, and also ask the Father to raise up more financial supporters so the school can continue to move forward.