September 28, 2021

Faith Baptist Bible College officially turns 100 years old today, September 28, 2021.

Faith was founded as Omaha Bible Institute in Omaha, Nebraska, by William H. Jordan on this date in 1921. Jordan was born in Vinton, Iowa, and attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. As a seminary student, he visited the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, where he heard a message from Moody Bible Institute founder D.L. Moody which inspired him to open a Bible institute of his own someday.

Shortly after the death of Jordan’s wife in 1919, while pastoring in Shenandoah, Iowa, Jordan moved to Omaha, Nebraska, to fulfill his vision of beginning a Bible training school. The first official day of classes at Omaha Bible Institute began at 8:40 a.m. on September 28, 1921. The institute changed its name to Omaha Baptist Bible Institute in 1953 and to Omaha Baptist Bible College in 1960.

The school blossomed in enrollment, eventually outgrowing its available space in Omaha. In 1965, a pivotal moment in the school’s history occurred when a group of pastors in central Iowa recommended the school relocate to Ankeny, Iowa, to be closer to its largest constituency of churches that were supporting the school financially and supplying it with a large number of students on an annual basis.

In 1967, the school officially relocated to Ankeny under the new name of Faith Baptist Bible College. The seminary was added in 1986, and Faith Baptist Theological Seminary is celebrating an achievement of its own this fall as it turns 35 years old.

Internal celebration

Faith will celebrate its 100th birthday on Tuesday, September 28, internally with students, staff, and faculty. The celebration will be held during Faith’s chapel hour which will begin at 8:40 a.m., the same time classwork officially started on the school’s first day in 1921. The chapel hour will include a 100-year reflective video, remarks from Dr. Jim Tillotson (school president), an outdoor aerial group photo in the shape of 100, and a time of refreshments.

Official public celebration

An official public celebration is planned for Friday, October 8, during Faith’s Homecoming Weekend. Events include a men’s soccer game at 1:45 p.m., a volleyball game at 4 p.m., a wide variety of food trucks, inflatable bouncy houses for kids, and an official ceremony and outdoor concert that begins on the Faith lawn at 6 p.m. The evening will conclude with fireworks at approximately 7:30 p.m. More information regarding Faith’s 100-year history can be found here, and more information regarding Faith’s “Celebration of the Century” on October 8 can be found here.

In addition to the school’s celebrations, a new book titled “Rooted in Faith,” which recaps Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary’s entire 100-year history, will be released October 7, 2021. The book will be available for purchase in the Faith Bookstore.