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Page 8 text:
lt was the early 1930's and the Great Depression stood
ready to engulf Kansas City and all of America. Most
considered it an unlikely, even foolish, time for anyone to
consider new projects requiring financial support. Yet the
four men meeting at the doctor's home shared a common
concern. There was no Bible school to be found within 500
miles of Kansas City. Missouri. The burden had been the
focal point of much prayer for many months. even years.
Following considerable discussion, each of the four pro-
duced a one dollar bill from his pocket and laid it on the
table around which the group sat. The men shared a faith
and expectation that God would multiply and bless the
investment represented by those four one dollar bills. So
began the Kansas City Bible Institute.
The quartet consisted of three Kansas Citians -- Dr.
Walter L. Wilson. Rev. David B. Bulkley. and Rev. R. Fuller
Jaudon - plus Dr. D. J. Rolls of New Zealand. Dr. Wilson
was named president and Dr. Rolls was installed as dean
of the new school.
On Tuesday morning. September 7. 1932, the doors of
Kansas City Bible Institute were opened to six full-time day
students. But evening studies offered a greater attraction
and night school students swelled the total enrollment to
96 that first year. The KCBI campus consisted of a beauti-
ful old mansion located at 426 Gladstone Boulevard.
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Season 1932! -ZH
The Gladstone campus as it appeared the 1933-34 school
The school then moved in August. 1934. to a temporary
The Gladstone campus as it appears today.
The more "permanent" location at 75th and State Llne.
campus in the annex building of Southeast Presbyterian
Church at 36th and Indiana. That fall Dr. F. William May
accepted the presidency of KCBI, thereby permitting Dr.
Wilson to return to his extensive Bible conference ministry.
The year 1935 spawned not only a new location. but a
new name as well. ln the spring. Institute became College
and by August. downtown Kansas City had become cam-
pus site number three. The Grand Avenue Temple Building
at Ninth Street and Grand Avenue provided office and
Dr. Wilson returned to the presidency of the college in
1938 when Dr. May resigned to answer God's call to a new
ministry. The Keith and Perry Building at Ninth and Walnut
became home for KCBC in 1939. and it remained the
college's home for five years. Then came the decision for
the college to go west -- one block. Campus number five
was in the Ridge Building at 913 Main Street.
But in 1945 the suburban community of Prairie Village,
just across the state line in Kansas. offered something
downtown Kansas City. Missouri. had failed to provide -- a
long-awaited "permanent" campus. The former site of the
Pembroke School for Boys at 75th Street and State Line
Road became the sixth campus in the school's brief histo-
ry. The four-plus acres with three large buildings. a sunken
garden, and huge shade trees was undoubtedly a welcome
sight following a decade in downtown office buildings.
Bible instruction continued at the State Line location for
the next twenty-one years.
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