About Appalachian Bible College

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ABI Established

Appalachian Bible Institute was founded in September, 1950 at the Independent Baptist Church in Pettus, West Virginia, by Rev. & Mrs. Lester Pipkin (from Minnesota) and Pastor & Mrs. Robert Guelich (from Pettus). The school started as a Bible training institute for the youth of the Appalachian Mountains.

1950
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Officially Incorporated

1954
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A Faith Mission

Organized as a faith mission under the auspices of Appalachian Bible Fellowship, ABI identified itself with the National Home Missions Fellowship, an organization of independent, fundamental mission agencies, which is today known as the Fellowship of Missions.

1955
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Move to Beckley

The school moved to a 95-acre tract of land near Beckley, West Virginia. This was considered a special act of God, since the land was retained without indebtedness.

1956
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1960s Alpine & Accreditation

The Kennedy Presidential Campaign brought positive changes to the area, which helped place the school on the map. This was a decade of tremendous expansion as a school to train servants for God's service, summer camps for children and Bible conferences for adults were all put into place.

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Alpine is Born

Beginning with Bible camps, Alpine Ministries has flourished to serve thousands each year through Adventures, Bible Camps, Retreats, and Outdoor Education.

1960
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Des Plaines Hall (Women's Residence) Completed

1964
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Accreditation

ABI became an associate member of the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges, which is today known as The Association for Biblical Higher Education.

1967
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Bachelor of Theology

The Board of Education of the State of West Virginia approved the granting of the Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.) degree.

1968
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1970s From Institute to College

The school's mission remained the same but as more and more students chose the four-year degree program, the new name provided a more accurate description of the school.

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McCarrell Hall (Men's Residence) Completed

1972
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Beukema Hall Completed, The First Classroom Building

1975
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Name Change

The school changed its name to Appalachian Bible College, a more accurate reflection of the expanded curriculum and academic programs.

1978
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State Approval

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 becomes West Virginia's first and only Bible College approved by the State.

1978
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1980s A Season of Transition

The founder retired, a new president was inaugurated, new staff members were hired and the students were offered new opportunities.

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Presidential Inauguration

Founder and first President Dr. Lester Pipkin retired after 33 years, and Dr. Daniel Anderson became President of Appalachian Bible College.

1983
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Academic Additions

New academic programs were introduced: a Bible Certificate program, Associate of Arts degree, Family Counseling, Camping, and Youth Ministries programs, in addition to Pastoral Studies, Elementary Education, Missions and Music.

1980s
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Around the World

The Jubilate Handbell Choir enjoyed their first foreign venture traveling throughout the mission fields of Europe.

1986
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1990s Continued Growth

The school was blessed with many financial gifts during this decade, which funded numerous campus improvements.

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Gilmore Gymnasium & Conference Center Completed

1990
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Appalachian Village Completed

The Village is a 24-unit married student housing development on campus.

1993
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Alpine Lodge Completed

1994
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Anderson Hall Completed

1997
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Additional Residence Halls

Kennedy and Van Puffelen residence halls were built in 1998 and the expansion of the main campus entrance happened the following year.

1998
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2000s Campus Renovations

Ongoing renovations continued to change the look of the campus yet the founding purpose remains our passion …Because Life is for Service.

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Regional Accreditation

The college received accreditation status with The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

2000
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Servant Center Completed

The hub of student activity, this building includes kitchen, dining room, classrooms, student lounge, snack shop, campus post office, bookstore, clinic and Student Services offices.

2002
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State Certification

The Elementary Education program was certified by the West Virginia Department of Education.

2003
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50 Years in Beckley

2006
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Pipkin Hall Renovation

Renovations to Pipkin Hall doubled the size of the Van Puffelen Library and made additional resources available to students.

2006
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25 Year Celebration

The Board of ABC recognized Dr. and Mrs. Anderson's 25 years of faithful service as President and President's Wife.

2008
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Hoops Hall Completed

2009
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2010s Blessings

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Barker Hall Completed

2010
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New Furniture in Residence Halls

2011
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Welker Pavilion Completed

2014