–Summer of 2000
It’s Time to Come Home
Over the past five years of my presidency, a number of alumni have sought to reconnect with their alma mater. They have written, e-mailed, or just dropped a word to the right person letting me know of their interest in getting in touch with the school. A typical conversation will go something like this: “I haven’t been back on campus since I left twenty-five years ago. I’ve occasionally driven by just to take a look, but I couldn’t get up the courage to stop.” As the conversation winds down, usually this statement will be made: “You know, maybe it’s time I came back home.”
GBS has always has a diverse alumni within the various traditions of Methodism. Students have left these halls and gone in a number of directions to take up the work of spreading the gospel. Our graduates have served in every branch of the holiness movement and nearly every missionary-sending agency within the Methodist/holiness tradition. There are others who have become doctors, lawyers, financiers, executive within major corporations, and those who have taken up blue-collar jobs. Because of this tremendous diversity, some alumni feel a little uneasy about returning to campus. For most, it has been simply a matter o flossing contact and never taking the time to initiate or reestablish a relationship with the school. There are few who, because of a bad experience, do not want to reopen the pain that they have put behind them. Others feel that since they no longer share some of the same distinctives, they will not be welcomed. Then there is the final group who have lost their way spiritually and feel ashamed to return.
There is one thing that all of them would agree upon. Namely, that their days at GBS molded them forever. There is something about the time that was spent here that they cannot get away from. It always surfaces as a very warm and precious memory. Their mind at one point or another will always bring them back to the Hilltop. They have deep spiritual roots that lie embedded in events that happened while they were here. These grounds are precious, and hold a lot of memories for those of us who are GBS alumni.
Those who have made the initiative to reconnect, or those who have let us know how to reconnect with them, have unanimously found one thing—a very warm welcome awaiting them! This September 27th, 2000, God’s Bible School and College will celebrate its centennial anniversary. This will be one of the most historical moments in the life of this institution and the holiness movement. As a fellow alumnus and as president, my words to all of our alumni scattered across the world are simply this, “Wherever you are, wherever you have gone, whatever you have become, it’s time to come back home.”