Essay / Misc.

Biola's Founders

Biola Downtown Jesus Saves The Summer ’07 issue of Biola Connections is out, and it includes an article I wrote about the founders of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.

Biola’s origins could not be more the stuff of legend if we had been founded by John Henry, Paul Bunyan and a blue ox named Babe. With giant steps, the founders of Biola walked out of the age of the Civil War, strode across the continent and laid deep foundations in a new city at the edge of the world.

They were very deliberate in choosing an urban setting on the Pacific Rim. The Panama Canal was about to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific (1904-1914), and a giant aqueduct (1908-1913) was about to supply the new city with water. Crowds would be coming, and those crowds would need the gospel. Biola’s founders worried that the churches in Los Angeles were not prepared to meet the spiritual needs of the explosive urban growth. They wrote, “The Church needs Sunday School teachers, helpers, evangelists, and leaders who know the Bible …” and it was in order to train those leaders that the Bible Institute of Los Angeles was founded.

Read it all here.

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