The term "Bible Chair" is an adaption of a term used in any college or university where a private endowment pays the salary for a professor. The teacher works for the school, but is paid by the endowment.
When describing a Bible Chair, the endowment pays for both the teacher and the building where the classes are offered. Then, the building is also used as a student center where the students can rest, play and study the Bible.
This Bible Chair was the brain-child of Gordon Downing, long time director of the Bible Chair at WT, and was initially financed and overseen by the San Jacinto congregation. Established in 1972, Gordon directed it for four years. Dean Morgan came and stayed until 1981. A man named Wayne Wilks followed Dean but had a very short tenure; and Jerry Klein was the director from the fall of 1982 until 1995. Wyatt Fenno, Mark Johnson, Bobby Boaldin and Frank Bellizzi followed. When the San Jacinto congregation decided that they could no longer oversee the work, the elders at Comanche Trail accepted the oversight on the condition that Jerry Klein would be the director--and he returned to work here full-time beginning in the fall of 2013 through the Spring 2017 semester. Bell Avenue church of Christ became the overseeing congregation in January of 2017. Mural Worthey took over as Director in July 2017.
I made a report and presented the morning message at the Church of Christ at The Colonies on Sunday, September 20. They had about 360 in attendance before the virus and even now about 200 assemble on Sundays for worship. I appreciate The Colonies for their regular support of the Bible Chair and for providing food for our students over the years.
One of their elders, Ken McLaughlin, and his daughter, Kimberly Black, have developed plans for the expansion of the Bible Chair facility. I was able to show these to the church there in my report. It is helpful to have definite plans on the drawing board for churches to see. Thank you, Ken and Kimberly.
You are probably aware that for years we had two Bible Chairs serving students at AC. At the end of Fall 1, October 15, the Bible Chair of the Southwest, financially supported by an area Christian church, will be closing due to the loss of financial support. I just concluded a meeting on Tuesday with five faculty members to discuss the effects of their closure and how it will affect Amarillo Bible Chair.
We will continue to operate a degree program in religion at Amarillo College. This has a long and rich history with Amarillo College being the first state community college to offer a religion program. We trust that Amarillo Bible Chair will continue for many years to influence students for Christ at AC.
If you desire for me to fill the pulpit or teach a class in your assembly, just let me know. (804-852-0515, cell)