On the morning of Friday, October 4, 2019, Gordon College celebrated its 130th Anniversary by telling a different story. Not one of memorable faculty or great leaders, but the story of its students – past, present, and even those to come.
Gordon’s story began on October 2, 1889. The Boston Missionary Training Institute opened its doors to its inaugural class of 16 students. One month after opening, the Record of Christian Work Magazine reported: “Here is offered to men and women alike, a two years’ course of most Scriptural, most practical and most spiritual preparation, and it would be impossible for any honest soul to pass through this course of study without being wonderfully enriched thereby.”
Since then, Gordon students have been making their mark on the world:
Signe Erikson (1927) moved to the Philippines to teach high school girls how to run a Sunday school.
Ken Pike (1933) developed groundbreaking linguistic analysis in spoken language communities in Mexico that would eventually pioneer Bible translation.
Rev. Dr. Arthur Witaker (1955) was commissioned by the NAACP to write the book Anatomy of a Riot after his service as a chaplain in World War II instilled a passion to be an ambassador of reconciliation. He went on to be the first African American to graduate from Harvard Divinity School.
Jean Claude “Clyde” (1957 Barrington) and Lydie Noel (1958 Barrington), both from Haiti, launched a ministry to meet the educational and spiritual needs of women and children in Haiti. Today, it includes a 200-member church, a 300-student Christian school, a medical clinic and several duplex housing units.
Sastra Chim-Cham (1996) investigated human rights abuses for the United Nations.
Julia Spruance (2011) led three determined teenagers with accessibility needs up 19,000 feet to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, enduring mostly sub-zero temperatures, daily elevation gains between 1,000 and 4,000 feet, sleet storms, sunburns, severely chapped lips and the real possibility of altitude sickness and injury.
Gordon’s history runs deep
Gordon graduates can be found all over the world. Through 12 name changes and seven relocations from Boston to the North Shore, the College has been entrusted with ordinary people in the hands of an extraordinary God—young men and women who have been used in situations great and small to advance Kingdom purposes for Christ alone.
Gordon’s story continues today through faithful men and women who combine their faith, intellect, and hearts for service to make a difference in their local communities and around the world.
But Gordon’s story is nowhere near the end. It will continue as the next generation of students committed to lives of service choose Gordon to help them prepare for leadership worldwide.
Gordon’s newest campaign, Faith Rising, is so much more than an initiative to raise $130 million. It is a bold step of faith that allows the College to continue its mission and seek to provide all students with an education that is affordable, adaptable and anchored in Christian community. Most importantly, Faith Rising ensures Gordon is ready for future students.
Learn more about Faith Rising at www.gordon.edu/faithrising.