"The Old Man's Dream Lives On"
By Jim Orrick, 1989
The Lexington Baptist College is an out-growth of the Monday Night Bible Class that was started many years ago by Brother Clarence Walker. This class was for the purpose of teaching the Bible to all who were interested in studying the Scriptures that they might better serve the Lord. For years the class met each Monday night for three hours and Brother Walker taught them the Bible, book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse. A number of young men who studied in this class went on to become successful pastors, two of whom are Brother Ross Range and Brother Lloyd Mahanes.
In 1950 the Lord visited Ashland AvenueBaptist Church with a gracious revival. Not only were souls saved, but a number of young men surrendered to preach, and a number of young women surrendered to full time special service wherever the Lord might lead.
Soon after this revival Brother Walker announced the beginning of The Lexington Baptist Bible Institute. The school opened its first semester Monday, October 2, 1950. Thirteen students enrolled for classes. The purpose of the Bible Institute was to help those who did not have the requirements needed to enter a college or seminary. However, because many of those enrolling or seeking information about the school did have the qualifications for college work, the trustees of the institute applied for a change of the charter in 1952, creating The Lexington Baptist College, offering the A. B. degree in Bible and general religious studies. Brother George T. Moody, who worked with Brother Walker at Ashland Avenue, gave valuable assistance to him in laying the groundwork for the school. He also has the distinction of serving as the school's first dean and registrar.
Besides Brother Walker and Brother Moody, Brother Lloyd Mahanes, who had grown up in Ashland Avenue under the influence of Brother Walker, also helped as the head of the night classes. The school's first full time professor was Brother B. H. Kazee who joined the faculty in 1952 as professor of Old Testament. Brother W. B. Casey, pastor of Chevy Chase Baptist Church in Lexington, became professor of New Testament. Brother Rosco Brong joined the faculity in 1952 as professor of ancient languages. In 1954 Brother Brong became the dean of the school, a position he faithfully filled until his retirement in June, 1979.
The first graduation class was in 1953 when six students graduated from the Bible Institute. They were: Denzel Alexander, Charles Weaver, Ed Barnett, Richard Conley, Ed Dubuc and Fred Neikirk. In 1954 Brother Denzel Alexander became the first graduate of The Lexington Baptist College. The school's first honorary degree was granted to Brother Walker on May 26, 1959.
In 1966, after a pastorage of 50 years at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church and 16 years as president of Lexington Baptist College and Institute, Brother Walker resigned. A few months later Brother Ross Range became the pastor of Ashland Avenue and president of the school. Both the church and the school have been blessed under his leadership.
Although the enrollment of the school has never been large, through the years it has continued to hold to the truth, refusing to compromise in order to gain favor with the world or with denominational liberals. After almost 40 years of existence, the school continues to be what Brother Walker wanted it to be, "A place where the Bible is taught." May God's blessings continue to be on Lex ington Baptist College. May she GO AND GROW AND GLOW until Jesus comes.
[From The Alumnus, "The Printed Voice of Lexington Baptist College" — Fall, 1989. This document was provided by Kenneth and Wanda Robbins White. The title is added. The picture is from AAB paper, August 18, 1972. — Jim Duvall]
Kentucky Baptist History
Baptist History Homepage