BENNINGTON, Vt. (BP) — Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary worked with Northeastern Baptist College during the first half of August to pack up a 2,200-volume collection of music references, antique hymnals and books on music from the seminary’s Mill Valley campus in California and deliver it safely to Vermont at NEBC’s Hogue Library in Bennington.
“At creation God gave us the gift of music,” said James Mancuso, NEBC vice president of library services. “Through this donation, He’s given us the gift of music books.”
This gift is a milestone in NEBC’s budding music program. “We are excited to support Northeastern Baptist College as they expand their training opportunities for worship leaders in the Northeast,” Golden Gate Seminary President Jeff Iorg said.
The seminary posted information on a Christian librarian email list earlier this year concerning the available Mill Valley campus music collection. With the seminary having phased out its music program and preparing to move to a new location, Mancuso saw the opportunity as God’s provision. Plans were made for Mancuso to fly out and arrange the transfer. After a safe journey, NEBC students began unpacking and shelving the collection inside a special music room in the library.
Golden Gate Seminary’s director of library services, Robert (Bob) Phillips, was delighted about the collection’s donation to NEBC, saying, “The 40 years of effort by Golden Gate librarians and faculty to assemble and preserve these books have now been reinvested in Northeastern Baptist College.”
The Golden Gate Seminary collection will be enhanced by another donation scheduled to arrive in October. An Oklahoma church team from Tulsa, who worked on construction projects for NEBC in the past, will be sending a 1,700-item music collection. Between these two donations, NEBC’s Hogue Library now can offer substantial resources to students enrolled in the college’s music program.
“It fulfills a great need that we would not have been able to meet on our own,” Matt Hasty, adjunct professor of music at NEBC, noted.
The resources are even more important as the need for musicians grows, NEBC President Mark Ballard said.
“Even though Northeastern Baptist College is located in the least-churched state in America, God is at work, people are being saved and churches are being planted,” Ballard said. “With every new church plant, the need for musicians grows. As our students train to serve in music ministry, they also serve the churches and church plants in the Northeast. What a blessing to have Golden Gate join us in impacting the Northeast with this wonderful gift.”
NEBC’s bachelor of arts in music ministry is designed to give students a solid biblical and musical foundation for ministry. Students are educated in music, music theory and biblical studies while applying what they are learning throughout each semester. Though students choose from concentrations in voice, keyboarding or guitar, they receive training in all three areas, along with regular practice through chapel and local church music ministries, resulting in well-rounded musicians.
Among the next steps for NEBC’s music program will be the acquisition of recently published books on music and a subscription to an audio database, with the college trusting God to provide for these needs as well.
“It must surely be providential,” Phillips said, “that this collection … would again support new Baptist work outside the South.”
Northeastern Baptist College, with an enrollment of 59 students, achieved Vermont accreditation and degree-granting authority from the State Board of Education in September 2014. NEBC is on the Web at www.nebcvt.org.