CBC Faculty Story
My CBC story began in November 1974. In April, seven months earlier, God added me to His forever family. My conversion experience was dramatic and transformational. God began leading me toward a commitment to ministry only three months later. I announced my call to ministry at my home church in Prescott, AR on a Sunday morning in early November. That afternoon I drove to North Little Rock to announce my call to my new church family. The response to my announcement was amazing. Several individuals exclaimed, “We wondered why it was taking you so long to realize God was calling you into the ministry.” That confirmation certainly strengthened my faith and commitment. My church endorsed my call by giving me a license to ministry that very month.
At the time, I was a Business major at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. Having received a full-tuition scholarship, I was certain that was where the Lord wanted me. After making a commitment to ministry, I knew I would need training from some other institution. I consulted two pastors and both, without any hesitation, recommended CBC. After praying about the matter, I had peace about transferring to CBC for the spring semester. I made a commitment to attend CBC without ever visiting the campus.
My first impression of CBC was formed after meeting two faculty members at the BMAA Missions Symposium in Little Rock the first week in December. Jim Courtney, the Head of the Music Department, brought an application for admission to the Missions Symposium in Little Rock. After meeting him, I knew I had made the right decision. The next evening I returned my completed application to Dr. Harold Cooper. At the time, I had no way of knowing what an impact that man would have on my life and ministry. After meeting those men, I could not wait to get on campus and begin classes.
During Christmas break, I drove to Conway to check out my new college. My first impression of the campus was not positive. Having attended a college with 11,000 students, I realized it was going to be quite an adjustment to go to a college with only 200 students. My Western Civilization Class at UALR had over 400 students in it! I graduated from a small high school of 400 students and was now going to a college half that size! I was afraid my high school friends would be unimpressed and make fun of me for attending such a small college.
My concerns were alleviated the night I moved into the dorm. I arrived late on a Sunday night because I had preached in south Arkansas that morning and evening. Jim Courtney was the dorm parent and took me to my room. The door was already unlocked and I opened it to find my roommate and several other guys waiting to meet me. With their help, everything was unloaded and in my room in a matter of minutes. We spent the next four hours sharing our conversion experiences. It was great to hear others testify to how God had called them to ministry. After my roommate chased everyone out of the room, we prayed together and collapsed into a deep sleep. Before dosing off, I thanked God for all of my new friends. I made more friends in one night than I made at UALR over an entire semester.
Registration was the next morning. Before the day was over, I knew half of the students. I knew them all after only one week. I began to see one of the distinct advantages of a small school.
It would be hard to say which meant the most to me – the students or the faculty. It was refreshing to go to class with students that knew and loved the Lord. I learned much about the Christian life and ministry from them. Their knowledge, commitment, and zeal challenged me to grow. God used them to grow my understanding and commitment.
The administrators and instructors were amazing. The instructors took a personal interest in me. They cared about my life as well as academics. They learned my name and actually spoke to me in the hallways and on campus. Some invited me into their offices for get-acquainted visits. All of the administrators and instructors made me feel welcome. They made me feel like part of a special family. Many students have called this the “CBC Experience.”
The instructors made the Bible come to life. CBC laid a solid foundation for my growing faith. Learning Scripture transformed my life and equipped me for ministry. Majoring in Bible and minoring in Religious Education provided practical knowledge that prepared me for seminary and ministry. I use things I learned at CBC every day of my life.
That was then, I must say a word about CBC as it is today. Now I am a faculty member. I have the privilege of helping the Bible come to life to a new generation of students. I have the privilege of helping ministry students gain knowledge and skills that will equip them for a lifetime of ministry.
Forty years have passed since I was a student. The mission of the institution and the personal touch remains the same. The Administration, faculty, and staff do care about the students. Many refreshing changes have taken place. The facilities have improved exponentially. Dozens of new degree programs have been added. The student population has increased by 400% since my time on campus.
CBC was great then. It is better now. The best is yet to come.
Dr. Martin Jameson