The Historyof Baptist College of Ministry
Vision and Beginnings
In the early 1990's, surveying the changing tides of fundamental Christianity, the late Dr. Wayne Van Gelderen, Sr. expressed a burden for a new fundamental seminary that would train faith-filled leaders for the local church through the local church. His son, Pastor Wayne Van Gelderen, Jr., pastor of Falls Baptist Church in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, shared his burden, but had no desire to delve in to such a major undertaking personally. However, God had other plans. As time passed and the need became more apparent for the young people of their own church, the Lord convinced Pastor Van Gelderen and the leadership of Falls Baptist Church that He intended to use their church to start not only this envisioned seminary, but a college to prepare the future seminarians too. In the summer of 1998, they presented the need and burden to the people of Falls Baptist who, with an overwhelming vote of support and commitment, embraced the vision for a new ministry training school based in their church—Baptist College of Ministry.
The Preliminary Year
The Early Years
During the 1999-2000 inaugural year, twenty-four students were enrolled, some coming from as far away as Florida and Rhode Island. In the college’s third year, thirty-nine students dedicated themselves to train for the ministry at BCM, with four students receiving their baccalaureate degrees in May of 2001 at the school’s first commencement service. The Fall of 2001 marked the addition of seminary and graduate degree programs, and the first seminary graduates were awarded degrees in May of 2003.
As God continued to bless, the student body of BCM steadily grew. With this growth came the desperate need for dedicated classroom and housing facilities. This inescapable need led the college into a journey of faith, prayer, and miraculous provision. God provided a much-needed coach bus in direct answer to prayer, encouraging the administration and student body that He is still able to do the impossible. Over the next several years, the student body saw good hand of God at work, answering prayer, and bringing the miracle of the Heritage Center into reality. This building includes dormitory housing, classroom space, a snack shop, library, and practice room complex. The Heritage Center stand today as a monument, reminding all those who were a part of the journey that we serve the God of the impossible.
After 20 Years
The need of the world is great. The power of God has not diminished. This is no time to relax. It is time to press forward by the grace of God, and reach our world with the life-changing message of Jesus!