Although part of the church building was destroyed by April’s severe weather, nothing hindered the preparations for the annual Bible school.
Finding housing for the 115 students proved difficult, since motels had to cancel reservations in order to take care of tornado victims. But the church knew that first priority needed to be for the area residents who had suffered such losses. And everyone who came from some 19 states found a place to stay.
Breakfast and lunch were provided each day for the students.
Courses and workshops were offered to first-, second- and third-term students, along with Leadership & Pastoral Development classes for those who had graduated previously.
The Rev. Ray Dupree of Nashville is the BTI director. The Rev. James Cox of Cleveland is the school principal and Jim Williams of Gastonia, N.C., serves as dean. The school has 29 people on staff.
Thirty-one students will be graduating Saturday in the closing ceremonies. Heritage Day will also be celebrated.
This BTI session was marked by a large increase in young people attending — some returning from previous years and some first-timers.
The public is invited to attend the evening service today at 7 p.m. and the graduation ceremonies which will be held Saturday at 2 p.m.