Faith Baptist Bible College Announces Plans to Celebrate a Century of God’s Faithfulness
ANKENY, Iowa—Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa, will turn 100 years old at 8:40 a.m. on September 28, 2021. In preparation for this historic event, the college is planning a yearlong celebration, beginning January 1, 2021. A schedule of events can be found on the school’s new web page at faith.edu/faith100. More details will be added and announced in the months ahead.
Faith’s campus will transform over the next 16 weeks to reflect the significance of the 100th anniversary. Banners will be raised, a mural reflecting the school’s history will be installed, and the dedication of “Centennial Atrium” in the Nettleton Center is being planned. The yearlong celebration’s pinnacle is scheduled for October 8 and 9, 2021, during Homecoming Weekend. In addition, a commemorative 72-page Centennial Edition magazine is scheduled to arrive in the mailboxes of alumni and friends in the next two months.
Faith was originally founded as Omaha Bible Institute in Omaha, Nebraska, by Dr. William H. Jordan. As a seminary student in Chicago in 1893, Jordan was inspired by D.L. Moody during his speech at the Chicago World’s Fair to one day begin a Bible institute. Jordan went on to pastor several churches in Iowa and Illinois, eventually settling in Shenandoah, Iowa, where his wife passed away after 25 years of marriage. As a widower, Dr. Jordan decided to move to Omaha, Nebraska, and fulfill his lifelong goal of beginning a school to train men and women for Christian ministry.
Dr. Jordan opened the doors to Omaha Bible Institute (OBI) in 1921. OBI changed its name to Omaha Baptist Bible Institute in 1953, and later became Omaha Baptist Bible College in 1960. Its new identity as a Baptist Bible college led to record enrollments during the 1950s and 1960s, growing from 81 students in 1951 to 240 students by 1964. Despite the school’s purchases of additional buildings and property, it soon outgrew the Omaha location.
In 1964, Pastor John Polson of Ankeny Baptist Church proposed to the college to move its campus to a plot of land in Ankeny, Iowa. This location, according to Polson, would better serve the large constituency of Iowa students that were attending Omaha and the churches in Iowa that were supplying most of those students. The vote to move the campus from Omaha to Ankeny was finalized on April 16, 1965, and the campus moved two years later.
Since its relocation to Ankeny, the school has continued to expand its campus footprint with new building projects and has steadily increased the number of degrees and courses it offers. In 1986, Faith Baptist Theological Seminary began after a merger with Denver Baptist Bible College. The seminary will celebrate 35 years in 2021.
As Faith approaches its 100th year as an institution, it cordially invites all of its friends, alumni, staff, faculty, students, and the entire Ankeny community to celebrate with us as we reflect on a century of God’s faithfulness and press on toward the next 100 years. Watch for future announcements at faith.edu.