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.
In this report I am sharing a letter and an email from one of my students in philosophy. He is an exceptional student with a keen mind. He wrote:
Dear Professor Worthey,
My name is Biak Nung, and I’m in your 12:30pm - 1:45pm Philosophy class. I’m writing to
introduce myself to you. I’m a 20 year-old college freshman majoring in Legal Studies and
am thrilled to be taking your class. I believe philosophy will serve me well in the legal field.
I’m an immigrant from Chin State, Burma (Myanmar). And I am the oldest of three kids in
my family. This month, my family is in the process of buying a house. As you may know about
immigrant families - my parents don’t speak English. So I am responsible for taking care of
the house buying process. I have been very occupied lately with mortgage loans and all the
rest (especially because we didn’t use a real estate agent). And since my father got the
stroke and is disabled - I have been head of the household for my family for 5 years now. I
feel I had to share this with you - as I failed to completely focus on your class the last 4
days. We were moving into the new house and I was overtaken with everything going on.
But I am working to get back on my feet. I have been watching the class recordings and I’m
just now starting to buy the textbooks for your class. I will reach out often with questions;
I hope you understand. Thank you for reading, and I hope to become a better student and
philosopher as this class progresses. . .
Hello Professor Worthey, this is Biak. I hope this email finds you in good health. I am
writing to see if you will be available for dialogue in the near future. I feel as though this
semester went by too fast. I was starting to get really interested in Philosophy and
Religion. A conversation and some advice about life and school would be of great value to me.
I would truly appreciate a dialogue with you when available.
Later, Biak and I had a conversation on Zoom that lasted one and half hours. He asked good
biblical questions. I wrote a letter of recommendation for him for a job on campus tutoring
other students. These are the kinds of opportunities we have on campus at AC to teach and
influence students. Thank you for providing me these opportunities.
Here is the link for messages on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/amarillocollegebiblechair