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Timeline tracks histories of Evangel, CBC, seminary

August 22, 2013 | Paul K. Logsdon

Sometimes looking back at history can help create the future.

That’s the idea behind a timeline put together as part of the consolidation process of Evangel University, Central Bible College, and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

“We needed to visually represent our common heritage,” said Jim Williams, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “Collectively, we have 190 years of higher education history, all based right here in Springfield.”


Robert T. Schlipp — a 1997 Evangel graduate — played the popular children’s crusader Bible Man for several years, performing on a dozen videos and in hundreds of live appearances. He now works with The Billy Graham organization.

Officials for the schools developed the timeline in July, marking various key events and milestones.

“As it came together, we found a number of places where the faculty, staff and students interacted in meaningful ways,” said Williams.

For example, from 1958-1963, Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft was president of both Evangel and Central Bible.

As the P.R. department prepared to take the timeline to the AG’s bi-annual conference, held last week in Orlando, Fla., the decision was made to make it interactive.

A simple headline was added: “You are in the story: Tell us where.”

At the conference, people were handed a Sharpie and invited to add their names to the timeline, with fun facts such as, “met my future wife, 1977,” and “first football coach.”

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft signed in memory of his father. Current students signed, eager to be part of the ongoing story of the combined institutions.

Denny Duron

Denny Duron, Evangel’s first football coach (1977-1982), was happy to sign the timeline next to the photo of his first team. He is now pastor of Shreveport and Northpoint Community Churches (Louisiana). He is also the father of singer Dez Duron.

“It allowed for great interaction, and for those who had a connection to any of the three schools, to make their mark on our future,” said Williams. “After all, the University is not buildings and programs — it’s the students, the faculty, the people who make up its history.”

Plans are being made to display the timeline in Evangel’s administration building this fall.

Evangel is a national university of arts, sciences and professions, drawing students from all 50 states and abroad. In the consolidated university, AGTS will maintain its brand identity, but become “embedded” within Evangel. CBC will be represented in Evangel’s new School of Theology and Church Ministries.

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