The session will go through June 14 and conclude with the annual Heritage Day celebration and commencement.
States represented include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The school officially opened Sunday night with a welcome by BTI Director Ray Dupree and Zion Hill’s pastor, Harvey Andes. Chris Clarkson, overseer for The Church of God in Florida and Georgia, preached the opening message, “Blessed Art Thou.”
James Cox, overseer of the Tennessee churches, is serving as principal of the school, and deans are Jim and Georgia Williams of Gastonia, N.C. The school offers three terms and an expanded program in pastoral development after graduation from the three terms.
One of the most outstanding features of the school is the “Creator of All Things” class taught of Bishop Stephen Smith, general overseer of the church. Using lesson materials, video presentations and personal research, Smith addresses the questions and controversy concerning the theory of evolution which is prevalent in many educational and religious circles. This class is open to the public and begins each day at 8:30 a.m. You do not have to be a registered student to attend the class.
The public is also welcome to attend the morning devotions at 8 led by Allene Cox. For their convenience, breakfast and lunch for the students and staff are provided in the The Church of God, Zion Hill’s fellowship hall each day.
The evening services on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the two weeks are open to the public.
The classes alternate in planning and participating with singing and preaching. Friday and Saturday services begin at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. During the last week of classes, a baptismal service will be held and Communion and Feet-washing will be observed, also open to the public.
One of the BTI teachers, Betty Bishop of Alabama will be the guest speaker at 11 a.m. Sunday at The Church of God, Southside, 1213 Chippewa Ave., Cleveland, at the invitation of Pastor E. Roger Ammons.
Ammons, who serves as world evangelism director for the church, is also teaching at the school. Bishop is the general women’s auxiliary director.
Since Sunday is Children’s Day in the United States, special recognition will be given to children in attendance at Southside during the Sunday school hour. Shanna Weekes, Spanish translator for The Church of God and secretary at the church’s general headquarters, will be in charge of the program.
Sunday night service will be at 6 at the Zion Hill church on Tilley Road, just off Urbane Road (past the Perry Stone complex).