What a year 2021 has been. As we enter the final days of our centennial, we praise God for the marvelous works He has done on our campus over the last 12 months as we celebrated our 100th birthday. We thank you for your part in that as well.

What did Christmas look like 100 years ago at our original campus in Omaha on December 25, 1921? Unfortunately, we don’t have any photos or school publications from that first Christmas, only Omaha newspaper archives which give us a small glimpse into life at Omaha Bible Institute on that day.

Christmas fell on a Sunday that year, while bitterly cold temperatures gripped the region for the first time during an abnormally warm winter. On Christmas Eve, temperatures dipped to five-below-zero, only rebounding to about three above on Christmas Day as residents bundled up in their heavy winter coats and scarves to head out for local church services.

 

The news was mostly quiet in the city of just under 200,000 people. The headlines in the Omaha Sunday Bee told of 25 people who were killed in tornadoes which struck Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Local stories were told of family gatherings for plum pudding and mince pies, and of post offices working overtime to deliver mail and packages in time for Christmas Day.

Glances through the rest of the newspaper clippings from the December 25, 1921 issue of the Omaha Sunday Bee show advertisements from J.H. Hansen Cadillac Company, which was promoting its Type 61 Cadillac Touring Car for the attractive price of $3,150, and of The Fairmont Creamery, promoting its original “Eskimo Pies” for 10 cents each. Meanwhile, much of the sports talk around family dinner tables that day was about the bidding war between the Big 10 schools of Michigan, Minnesota, and Northwestern for Notre Dame Coach Knute Rochne to come and lead their football program. Northwestern offered to double his salary to $12,000 per year, but Rochne ultimately refused, stating his allegiance to his current contractual agreement with the Fighting Irish.

The first Christmas publication from Omaha Bible Institute that the school has on record is from 1925. The message The Living Word sent about Christmas then is the same message we emphasize today. Christ came to earth, in the form of a baby, born in a manger. Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. At the end of the cover page the author asked, “Is He Yours? Is the Savior who loves you, yours?”

 

We ask you the same question this Christmas that was asked on our Christmas publication 96 years ago:

“Is He yours?”

Nearly every year we have students that come to our campus and realize they’ve never made that decision to make Him theirs. We have had several of those instances this fall, two as recently as this December. Hear all about those and some of the many things we are thankful for this Christmas in the video message below from our president, Dr. Jim Tillotson.

And from all of us at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary,

Merry Christmas!