The term “Bible Chair” is an adaption of a term commonly used in colleges and universities. A “chair” can be established in any department to draw students due to the subject matter or the professor teaching in that position. In Texas the Bible Chair is not directly on campus but nearby and funded entirely by churches and individuals.
Students can obtain an associate degree in religion accredited by Amarillo College. Amarillo Bible Chair is the only Chair at Amarillo College that teaches Bible courses for credit toward a religion degree. The academic classes are taught by William Mural Worthey. These students can then transfer to a university and pursue a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in religion.
On Friday, July 23rd, President Russell Lowry-Hart held a virtual town-hall meeting. He reported that even though our community is now under an orange-level threat due to the delta variant of COVID, AC will continue as planned with in-person classes for the Fall semester. Everyone was encouraged to get the vaccine and a mobile unit has been available on campus to provide vaccinations.
Our enrollment continues to improve over last year, and offices will be open on Saturdays to students who work during Monday-Friday workdays. My classes are listed in this report for Fall 1 and Fall 2. Please inform your students at church and youth groups that these opportunities exist for them. Kappa Chi will also be open this Fall for Christian fellowship among our students.
Plans are going forward for a new Bible Chair facility for 2022. Our plans are to begin construction during Spring break in mid-March of next year. If all goes well, we will be completed in time to open for the Fall semester. Of the $392,000 estimated cost, we have raised $275,000. Churches and individuals in our area, New Mexico, Virginia, and Mississippi have given generously toward this effort and the monthly operational costs. We appreciate all of you for your support of this mission effort among young college students. The Bible Chair at AC began in 1972; we hope to open the new building on our 50th anniversary. During the next eight months we need to raise the balance of $117,000. We need your help to reach this goal.
As soon as architectural drawings are completed, I will send a copy to you. Sometime during the Fall, we should have the structural design and layout drawings completed. We appreciate those who have been a part of the planning phase of this effort.
On Monday, July 26, we began our fourth week in our Greek 1 class. The emphasis in the class is on pronunciation and reading the Greek New Testament. They have completed exercises so far in writing, the alphabet, prepositions, and vocabulary. They will gain some experience using the various research books in Greek. This has been a very profitable class; I plan on offering it in the future for both credit and audit.
The Bell Avenue church has regained about 80% of our pre-COVID attendance. Recently, we had two baptisms and others placing membership. The elders of this church oversee our work at the Bible Chair. They provide the leadership in completing the task of providing an adequate building for the Bible Chair to continue to exist at Amarillo College.