In this case, my case…It was a particularly cold and sunny day…
When, I had finally decided that I wanted to go to some sort of generic liberal arts/bible college… I had prayed, specifically, that I wanted to know God’s word, and this one day I spent all afternoon writing to a dozen or more colleges. That night, I go with my friends, acquaintences really, to a local bible study in Framingham, the town where I lived. They, in turn, had been invited by another, retired lady. Well, here was this guy, Pastor Stevens preaching, not in a house in someone’s living room, but in an auditorium with about 50-70 people in attendance. It was a little more than your average neighborhood-three-people-and-a-youth-pastor and it was… incredible. He could quote the stuff off the top of his head verbatim (or so I thought – sometimes he gets it right and sometimes, not so much – but I digress )
It was pretty cool.
I got invited to the after-fellowship deal.. cool – hit a neighbors house… grab some fellowship and chips… but the neighbor was in Lowell, MA. We dropped off my friends.. acquaintances really… and the old lady and I headed north on I-495.
“The Band was out”… well, there wasn’t a band, but the microphones sure did appear. Pastor started talking and there must have been four or five people recording this guy. This is 1972? 73? We had a fellowship, folks sitting around, drinking coffee… about 20 or so people. then some of the regulars, kids like me… some a bit older, I was 19… they start telling me about the signs, the raising of the dead… oh.. and they have a bible college. Seems my prayers were, indeed, Answered.
Well, I’ll just have to check this out.
“You could come back with us.”
“Woolwich-Wiscasset… Maine. You could stay in the dorm in Bath overnight and see the school tomorrow.”
“Yeah, I guess I could… check it out.”
So I hopped in a station wagon driven by Lou K. Sr. (Louie and Phil were still in high school, and junior high I think), his wife Miriam, and 3 or 4 other people and away we went.
I stayed that night in the boys dorm over Chute’s Bakery. It was inhabited by the likes of Joel and Steve, Jim F. might have been there, Marty O. was I think… all long haired hippie types. I felt at home, it all looked cool, a little loose and plenty of excitement.
It was late when we bunked but we were up bright and early the next morning. “You can eat downstairs you want. Poppa Chute will run you a tab and you can pay him when you get some money.”
Yes, indeed, it WAS true. The Bakery was just up the hill from the Iron Works and around the corner from the church where services were held. It had a few booths or tables and with a smile and generous attitude, Poppa Chute whipped us up whatever we wanted. Eggs, bacon, texas toast… his place was some of the best eatin’ I’ve ever had. And just the pleasure of the people who really seemed to care about you. They were a giving bunch of people as I’d ever seen.
We hopped in a car after breakfast and headed for the school. I’m thinking something like 3 or 4 buildings with lots of classrooms, a campus with trees and walkways… a real school atmosphere. We pull up into a large parking lot where a big church is on one side and a small office building on the other. “Well, we can’t use the church on account of it’s been gutted by fire. A guy was mad that his wife was coming to church, so he set it on fire.”
“Oh, yeah, bummer.”
“So we have classes in the basement of the office.”
I can’t remember the name of the first class of the morning. It was “Corporate Body” or some regular TBS doctrinal stuff. The class was taught by Stevens usually, only he was away and Dean Dan taught in his place.
Dave and Sandy B. were there, Bobby O. Steve Q., Joy O., I think.. Mosher, and Norwood, he might have been there too… Lisa and Tom WAY before they got married. All in all it was about 20-25 people. I think Lou K. Sr attended too. It was the second semester of Bible college, the thing was just starting up.
After the second or third class I went up and saw the Dean. He was in this tiny office with the paneled walls.
“I really think I’d like to come to school.”
Well, he showed me the paperwork, and told me I could sign up today and pay it off in time when I got work and had some money. Until then I was welcome to stay at the dorm and eat at the Chute’s Bakery as well.
“Welcome to Northeast School of the Bible.”