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This clip is from the 2002 reunion.
In this one clip you see what made him special.
His laughter / humor and caring...
They are all on display! - Enjoy
When Grsbm went out of business in the early 90's,
most of the alumni were shocked!
I am a 1976 graduate and I too was devastated!
- I wanted my kids to go there.
I kept looking for someone to start something for the alumni?
Cornerstone had an alumni department but it was for all the schools.
Baptist / Grsbm / The seminary / Cornerstone
I was hoping for something, - just for us.
By 1998, with nothing happening I decided to do something.
I was, and still am, a pastor of a church near Ann Arbor.
Grand Rapids was only a two hour drive so...
I headed over to Cornerstone!
I met the Alumni director and built a relationship with him.
My goal was not to compete with the Cornerstone Alumni Department, but to have a place where,
"Grsbm Alumni" would be the focus.
The result - In 1999 the web site was launched...
And the first newsletters were sent out!
In those early years, the project was a one man operation.
- Operating out of my church. (With many drafted helpers!)
It was an exciting time however, as the web site was a flurry of activity with alumni reconnecting and memories shared!
In 2001 - Dave Husby, who had long been a part of the school gave me a call.
He wanted to become a part of the project and - to go BIG
(Dave always thinks like that).
His idea was to have a large reunion, and invite President Miles to be the guest speaker. We formed a committee and began planning.
In 2002 we had our first reunion!
We held it at Calvary church!
Quite poetic since Grsbm began in it's basement!
We had dinner and then a full evening of singing and laughter.
Dr. Miles then gave a stirring sermon where he talked about Grsbm and the impact it had through the years.
Over 900 people attended this event!
That entire sermon is available to watch on You Tube...
Just click on the link below!
Since 2002 the committee has been busy!
We send out several newsletters a year.
And we plan all future reunions!
Since 2002 - We have held one every 2 years!
The format is similar. We meet for dinner and conversation.
Then we hold evening meetings where we sing familiar songs and hear from our old singing groups.
Why do we do this?
We believe that the focus of Grsbm was vital!
And the result of that focus?
Thousands of alumni who have gone into the world and made a difference for the cause of Christ...
We are not naive, we realize our graduates are aging.
And sadly, we have not been able to get many alumni from the 70's & 80's to attend.
As a result - we understand that our next reunion may be the last but...
We still believe in the value of encouraging the alumni!
And keeping the memory and the mission of the school alive.
In 1945 / 1946, Malcolm Cronk, John Miles,
And many others felt the need,
For a Bible Institute located in the Midwest.
That vision led them to start:
The Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music.
Mr. Cronk served as President for 2 years,
And then that job was filled by Dr. Miles.
He would hold that position for more than 35 years.
The 50's were a time of great growth for the school,
With each year bringing more students.
By 1959, they had outgrown the Leonard campus,
And they were looking for another location.
That same year, the Trinity Lutheran Church,
At 110 Crescent became available.
This was a great building and gave the school,
A chapel, a solarium and a educational wing.
By this point in the schools history,
236 students had graduated from the school.
And by 1966, GRSBM had students from:
19 states and 6 countries and yet?
"All marched to the same drumbeat,
And toward the same goal.
That of knowing God,
Of learning & following His word"!
Because of God's blessing, the school once again began to out grow their facilities..
So plans were made to build an addition onto the school. This would be the only building that GRSBM would ever build during its history. The building was 4 stories tall and gave the school - Classroom space, a library and a new dining hall...
Another addition to the school took shape in 1970.
A student by the name of Clair Mc Combs,
A retired Lieutenant Colonel enrolled in the school.
He had been in the military for 20 years!
He had a dream of adding an aviation program to the school.
His dream and prayers came true and an aviation division was added to the school.
12 students were enrolled the first year and throughout it's history...
The GRSBM aviation program sent many to the mission field!
1971 brought about an event, that came to be known as "The Miracle".
For years, the old campus of Calvin college on Franklin street stood empty.
Mr. Miles and others would drive past that school,
And dream about it for the GRSBM campus.
As we learned throughout the schools history...
God does work miracles!
So the campus at 1331 Franklin:
Became the new home of:
The Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music.
This magnificent campus...
Would serve the students for many years.
In fact enrollment swelled so much in the 70's,
That in addition to the Franklin campus;
37 homes in the area were purchased to complete student housing needs.
The 70's were the high point of student numbers...
Over 600 students attended each year.
The 70's and 80's continued to be,
a wonderful mix of:
Music / Sports / Student life.
Memories / Friendships were formed,
That last till today!
By the late 80's, Dr. Miles had retired.
Micky Malaniak, Don Tact, Bob Parks and a host of other colorful characters that made GRSBM unique were gone.
In addition, Satan had done a good job of deceiving an entire genration.
What was the deception?
That job's and money were more important then serving God.
And to get those things you needed a 4 year degree!
Not a diploma from a Bible Institute!
The plan worked!
- It moved Grsbm to the final phase!
The result of all those changes?
The consequences of Satan's deception?
By the start of the 1990 / 1991 school year;
Enrollment estimates were less than 125.
Those factors forced the school,
To make some major decisions.
The Franklin campus was too large to maintain!
Or survive with so few students.
So, the campus was put up for sale.
It was sold to the Grand Rapids Public school system.
(Webmaster note: To this day...)
( I think that was a horrible idea...)
(But it is only my opinion!)
GRSBM then moved to it's final location.
They leased - Comstock Park High.
The move to a new campus was not enough to keep the school viable so in 1992...
GRSBM closed it's doors,
And merged with Baptist College.
The combined schools would later change their name to Cornerstone University.
The facts will show,
That more than 2,543 students!
Graduated from GRSBM.
In addition, thousands more,
Attended the school in one way or another.
These are just cold facts though...
The real value of the school?
That it touched and changed lives!
And those lives...
Have made a difference for the cause of Christ!
The whole impact of which will not be known...
Until we stand in the presence of the king!
Do you need information about Cornerstone, or are you a Grsbm alumni who needs transcripts?
Click on the link below!
This one is unique because:
It includes a school introduction from John Miles.
Here is one track from the album.
Bob Parks was the music director.
Come Holy Spirit is the title.
I have a copy of the entire album which you can order by clicking on the link below.
This is of course, just the opinion of the webmaster but the world today...
- Desperately needs another Grsbm.
A place with a simple focus...
Prepare students to live for and serve God!
A school filled with unique personalities!
(Listen - I took Micky Malaniak's Biblical Background class.)
(Didn't learn anything about the subject but I saw in action, a man dedicated to rising above life's twists and dedicated to making God #1)
Teachers who care more about the students relationship with God.
Than worried that the student will pass the class and get a degree.
This generation of "believers" is lost!
We need a place where the truth is spoken by men and women who care!
Care deeply that the students will rise up!
Serve their King and push back against Satan.
(Side note - I love this guy)
(He would have made a great Grsbm President)
He wrote and said:
It's interesting to hear these perspectives on GRSBM and Bible education.
As both a former student and faculty member of GRSBM, I've thought much about my experience there from a now 30-year distance. While each of us who attended GRSBM have our own memories and evaluations, there are some things on which I think we would have to agree.
GRSBM was a warm and welcoming place for both kids right out of high school and older adults who were eager for Bible training. It had a vibrant spirit, due in large part to President John Miles, and represented a sincere effort to train men and women for Christian service.
It was accessible and affordable for those of us who didn't have the financial resources for other learning institutions.
We were encouraged during our time there to be servants of Christ and to do whatever we did with a ministering spirit.
Most of us came away from GRSBM having made meaningful Christian friendships, some existing strongly over the years, and many of us with life partners that we met during our time there.
Some of us alumni count GRSBM as our major educational experience after high school and others see it only as the first step in a much longer journey. Many have gone on to effective Christian service in local churches, on the mission field and with Christian organizations following their years at GRSBM.
A number of us found the pursuit of higher education, including degrees, to be needful. Others have not.
Yes, there were some in years past who disparaged education beyond the Bible Institute level, but that was their issue.
The fact is, GRSBM was successful in launching a lot of people into life with an orientation to Christian service.
And that's its legacy.
As one who looks to my GRSBM heritage as a beginning for a lifetime of ministry,
I have to say I don't for a minute regret having made that choice.
( Dr. Babcock - I took several of his classes and his brain was too far ahead of me but..._
(I loved him - His spirit - his sense of humor and his love for the school.)
He wrote in his book:
“The era of the bible institute seems to be vanishing from the religious landscape. The change has been developing over a period of several decades, a change in the American mentality.
Somehow we have allowed ourselves as Christians to become brainwashed into thinking that academic conformity is our ticket to spiritual success, all the while ignoring the obvious failure of the great Educational American Dream.
The truth of the case is probably right down the middle of the road, appropriate college training that meets the standards of society in the work force, but with the inclusion of foundational biblical training that will under gird the Christian individual for any marketplace!
Unless one attends a fundamental, biblical seminary, where he can obtain the sold biblical training that will sustain him in the raging battle of today’s frenzied religious atmosphere?
Without passing judgment on any institution that offers one bible course per semester as a requirement, what, after all, can but one course do to combat the theater-and – circus mentality of today’s religionists?
What I am saying is that there is still a place for a solid biblical approach in the form an institute, whether in a heretofore deprived country…. Or in the midst of a concrete jungle where crime and riot are the menu of the day!
In conclusion, could it be that since the Church at large has erred, has failed its mission to some extent, has blown it, that the Lord in fulfilling His own word has turned from the organized worldly-conformed church with its stage and program, back to the laymen in the marketplace?
I urge and persuade, therefore, that the era of the Bible institute is passé, is not replaced and that in the providence of God, many, like GRSBM have run their race, having impacted little worlds all over our great globe!"
I have many of the old schools albums available on CD.
My favorite and the best copy I have?
Melodic Ministry #5 - I have it ready to go!
Let me know what you are looking for?
If I have it, I'll make a copy and get it to you.
Please include a donation of 5.00 to cover shipping.
I also have a few copies left of Dr. Babcock's book on the school history - available for a donation of 15.00
Also, if you enjoy the site and want to help with the web site costs simply click on the link and you will be able to donate.
As always - Thanks to everyone who has helped through the years.
Registration forms due by September 5th, 2020
Save the date! Lots of changes this year!
Byron Center Bible Church
8855 Byron Center AVE SW, Byron Center MI 4931...
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P.O. Box 322 Jenison, MI 49428