Back to NewsSeptember 28, 2010
Bible College News: New El. Ed. Building
The dedication of Barker Hall, the newly renovated Elementary Education Building appropriately took place Tuesday afternoon, September 28, 2010. As Dr. Bethel, Vice President for Academics, read Psalm 78 the hearts of those in attendance could reflect on the value of educating young lives. Although the building appears small in size its capability to impact thousands of lives through the training of Christian educators was fully recognized during the dedication ceremony. The testimonies of Dr. Cora Burch, the current Chair of the El. Ed. Major, Dr. Jerry Fisher, Executive Director of WV Christian Education Association, and Mrs. Lisa Hedrick, Teacher Quality Coordinator for WV Department of Education, all recounted ABC’s commitment as a Bible College to “educate and equip servants” and that this building was one of many that served as a tool to enhance the quality of student training.
The new building is a gateway for technology as El. Ed. students continue to learn with cutting-edge technology like the Smart Projector. As Mrs. Hedrick noted, “Rather than clumping three hours of technology requirements together like most colleges and universities, ABC has integrated those hours throughout the four year program so students learn how to teach using technology with a method."
Long before technology in 1979 that Dr. Bev Bolles led Appalachian Bible College in the founding of the new Elementary Education program. Through her leadership the program blossomed and over the years she labored diligently to lay a firm foundation for her sucessors. It was not until 1995 that Dr. Cora Burch accepted the responsibility of guiding the El. Ed. program
Dr. Burch has made a significant impact in the lives of countless students in her own classroom and the classrooms of those her students have entered. In 2000, she led the program in a 3 year process for WV State Licensing approval. Upon receiving this approved status through the state of WV, El. Ed. students from ABC could now serve in the Christian school or public school system. It was another step in opening the doors for our students to take the Gospel into the harvest fields of the world. Since 1979 there have been 169 graduates from the program.
Dr. Fisher’s involvement validated his words that he believes our students are trained to have, “Christ in heart, Bible in hand, and dedicated to service that pays eternal dividends.”
The building was dedicated in honor of the late Brenda Barker (2005) and husband Dr. T.R. Barker who manifested the same passion and love for children that inspired Dr. Bev Bolles and continues to inspire Dr. Cora Burch. Brenda served for over 40 years as a teacher in Boone County, WV, received the “Teacher of the Year” award in 1987, and served in her local church by teaching young girls for over 30 years. She was once described by her principal as “one of the best teachers a principal could hope for; demanding, loyal, professional, and she maintained high moral standards.”
Dr. Barker is currently the longest serving board member of ABC and has graciously been the provider of dental care for the missionary staff members and their families for many years. He and his wife, Jackie, still reside in Boone County and continue to serve at Bible Baptist Church in Danville, WV. This dedication is a small token of our appreciation to the Barker’s faithfulness to God’s work and the ministry of Appalachian Bible College.