–Summer of 2000
A Monument to Christ’s Willingness to Answer Prayer
In the late 1800’s, Martin Wells Knapp, Methodist evangelist and founding editor of God’s Revivalist, felt that God was going to use him for more that just the publishing work in which he was then engaged. His diary entry for July 17, 1890, reads as follows:
A training school for gospel workers is on my heart and in my head. It seems as if God put it there. I agreed tonight that if He will give me the building for the Home, to use it for His glory and to put this or a similar statement on it: “This building is a monument of the power and willingness of the loving Christ to answer prayer.”
That prayer became a reality in 1900 when Knapp bought property at 1810 Young Street, Cincinnati. The red-brick mansion, which is still the administration center for GBS, was filled to capacity when classes began on September 27. Few if any could have envisioned what God would do on this campus in the century ahead. God’s Bible School and Missionary Training Home was to give life to a number of notable religious organizations, provide a home for the Revivalist Press, host one of the largest camp meetings in the Midwest, and send a steady line of courageous and dedicated graduates to so many places at home and abroad that the alumni motto would become “The Sun Never Sets on the Graduates of God’s Bible School.”
Throughout this century on the Hilltop, GBS and God’s Revivalist have been united in a happy marriage which has blessed the world. Knapp founded the periodical twelve years before the school and used the former to create the latter. Probably there would be no GBS without the Revivalist; and probably there would be no Revivalist now without GBS. Both are the result of Knapp’s genius and sacrifice, and both still bear his imprint. Together they have made the Mount of Blessings the vital holiness center which it has been and which it still remains. In God’s kindly providence, they will continue to do the same in the years before us.
It is therefore appropriate that this special commemorative issue for the GBS Centenary appear in the very pages which helped give birth to the school one hundred years ago. Obviously we have encapsulated the century past with only the briefest summary. We hope our readers will seek more exhaustive treatment in the two official histories now in preparation—one a rich pictorial presentation with accompanying verbal vignettes; and the other, a scholarly, interpretive narrative.
The history of this venerated institution has demonstrated that Knapp’s prayer has been answered again and again. After a century on its Mt. Auburn campus, God’s Bible School still remains a “monument of the power and willingness of the loving Christ to answer prayer.”