My Eulogy for Magnolia Bible College

It is my understanding that my undergraduate alma mater, Magnolia Bible College located in the quaint central Mississippi town of Kosciusko, will shutter up the class rooms at the end of this year. Finances or lack thereof and an ever dwindling student population- are the cited reasons.

This breaks my heart.

I arrived at MBC when it was a fresh but fledgling school- started with the noble goal of “Mission Mississippi.”  The idea was to train people to serve as full-time ministers,  preachers and workers to strengthen Mississippi Churches of Christ. I do believe with God’s help this mission was accomplished. MBC has now provided preachers and workers for the Magnolia State (and beyond) for over thirty years.  Churches have been planted and strengthened all throughout the state as a result of the work of MBC students, teachers and graduates.

MBC has always been a small college. If I am not mistaken it is actually the smallest school accredited by SACS. It has remained small largely because of its singular purpose. The only degrees offered are in Bible and theology.

For me personally MBC was a gift from God. It provided me a wonderful education, offered me all kinds of practical ministry and preaching experience and has given me many of my closet and lifelong friends.

The most significant lesson MBC taught me was to take a balanced approach to study and ministry. MBC also provided me the foundation and tools to respect the Word of God while approaching it and studying it for myself- with few preconceived ideas. This has kept my study fresh all through the years and I am ever grateful to those at MBC who taught this to me.

But I am really saddened to know the doors will close after thirty-three years. I have incredible memories of wonderful times as a student and  later as Admission’s Director.

I came to know Christ in a much fuller sense at MBC. I captured a passion for preaching and ministry there. MBC is family and I am already mourning her loss.


20 Responses to My Eulogy for Magnolia Bible College

  1. Tim McCarter says:

    Amen, brother. Amen.

  2. I did not know this but am saddened to hear it.

  3. gkirkendall says:

    Your sentiments are shared by many, including me.

  4. dholman says:

    We’ll miss it around here.

  5. Rodney Livingston says:

    Same feelings here. I spent almost 1/2 of my life to this point at that place. Once as a child and then as a student. I echo the feelings you have!

  6. Darin says:

    Sad but I can understand. It would seem difficult if your only alumni are preachers. They are not typically walking around with large endowments waiting to happen.

  7. Eddie Lewis says:

    I was not a student at MBC, but I have meet many of it’s wonderful graduates and have a great appreciation for their work and love for God. The influence of the college will be missed in Mississippi and around the world.

  8. As a native Mississippian (from Meridian) I’m saddened to hear of MBC’s closing. And I can identify with your feelings – as a grad and faculty member of White’s Ferry Road School of Preaching, I watched as that wonderful school also closed.
    I’m not sure what has happened, but we have lost some valuable treasures as a brotherhood.
    One quick piece of advice, if you don’t mind. Encourage all the alumni begin now to organize themselves keep up with each other. We waited too long, and the school didn’t keep up with the alumni, so we’ve lost touch with most of the grads.

  9. Still looking forward to what might be next.

  10. A. L. Franks says:


    Really appreciate your thoughts and your comments. Yes, we all will sorely miss MBC; however, together, we can continue to thank God for the good which has been done.

    Al Franks

  11. lesjr says:

    She will be missed and more so because it didn’t have to happen… My memories as a student and the friendships still treasured are precious indeed!

  12. Rick Benson says:

    MBC will always be close to my heart. It was at MBC that I was converted and saved. I arrived there and spent 7 ( yes to get a 4 yr degree) of the best years of my life there. When I arrived I could not spell “Gospel Preacher” now I am are one!!! Seriously, though Danny you and all the faculty really made a big difference in my life. I don’t believe the churches in Ms. realize what they have lost.

  13. Otis says:

    Ditto Danny! I still remember the call that you were coming to take me to visit Magnloia Bible College. It was there I met Ray Pasuer, John Dobbs, and Cecil May Jr. I received an education which was of the same quality I would have gotten anywhere else. I believe it was better in many ways.
    Yes, the news has saddened so many but there are other doors that are still waiting to be opened.

  14. dannydodd says:

    Thanks for the sentiments everyone. Maybe we should all plan a gathering in Kosy before things shut down to celebrate the school.

    Some of you mentioned names. Wow. Just too many to name for me since I go back to almost the beginning, but I will give “props” (as they say) to Bill Lambert (now a retired Harding prof). He was a major influence in my formative years there.

  15. Bill Lambert says:

    I truly grieve that MBC is closing. Wish I had done more to keep her alive. I feel that we helped provide the church some very good servants–preachers and others too. Those were great days for me when I served as founding dean, Bible teacher, VP of academic affairs, and interim president.

    I still wish we could have added other programs to prepare people in many professions for effective service to God. Also wish we would have pursued cooperative programs so students interested in other professions could have gotten their Bible at MBC and other programs at nearby institutions.

    Though we grieve over MBC closing, let’s try to rejoice and thank God for the good He helped us to accomplish. I remember with great joy you and others like you who were students during my work at MBC–and I rejoice and give thanks for the good work so many of you alumni are doing today. I am glad to be named as one who influenced you. I am thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of MBC.

    I cannot adequately express my gratitude and admiration for the hard work and long hours Cecil May, Jr. and other great men invested to keep MBC going for so long. I thank God for the faithful churches and dedicated Christians who so often prayed, worked, and wrote big checks when I had the responsibility of bringing MBC out of bankruptcy. I truly saw God’s providence work to keep MBC going in some of those difficult years thirty years ago. Sorry for taking so much space, but it is hard to feel that I have adequately disclose my feelings.

  16. J D says:

    Rick says, “I don’t believe the churches in MS realize what they have lost.”

    Very good point Rick. In fact the churches in Mississippi didn’t even have a notice that this was being discussed, no chance to raise up and save the institution, no opportunity to voice their support. The latest Magnolia Messenger didn’t mention the closing – which lets me know that this was not a long term discussion – but a quick execution by a board that was conflicted, out of touch with contemporary Christianity, and too much allegiance to another Christian institution.

    Indeed, the churches in MS do not realize what they have lost. Their investment in MBC over the past three decades was ignored and snubbed.

  17. J D says:

    Since I can’t edit… My point about the Magnolia Messenger not mentioning the closing of MBC is that this decision was unknown to the editor (a board member) at press time. Not a slam on the MM, just a note of the timing of things. I believe if Al Franks had known what was coming, an appeal would have been made to the readers of the MM to save MBC. This would be consistent with similar appeals to save churches that were in trouble.

  18. dannydodd says:

    Ditto to all you said John!

  19. Beverly E. Johnson says:

    Nostalgia will not erase that degeneration and decay had set in. Good hearted people supporting the college with hard earned dollars were taken for a ride, supporting an overpaid, in some cases grossly featherbedding staff, earning many times above the normative salaries for comparably educated persons in Mississippi. Protecting one’s own paycheck $$ devolved into spinelessness and unwillingness to speak the truth. Incompetent persons were kept on payroll as “charity.” In my opinion, the entire college was grossly out of touch with economic reality, and was insular, arrogant, and internally self aggrandizing. People who should have and could have spoken up when occasions called for it, sat back in temerity and in silence. Sic transit gloria mundi.

  20. Harold Letson says:

    I apologize for such a late entry (the last one nearly five years ago) but I just now found the blog and felt the need to reply. It was in last few days in May 1983 that I enrolled in my first classes at MBC. I was still in the Air Force at Columbus and drove the 90 miles South for the Summer semester classes. It was only a week later that I left the Air Force and moved to Kosciusko on Madison Street into the coldest house in Mississippi 😉 We met the Otis Foster family that had moved in about the same time we did. His family was instantly popular amongst the single preaching students because of his three beautiful teenage daughters. We lived in Kosiusko for a year. My soul was like a sponge as I soaked up classes under Brothers May, Paseur, Northern, Lipe, Taylor, and Poore. John Dobbs, Glen Jarrett and I started a jail ministry as our community service project that is still active.

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