New Prayer Center Brings College Together
Faculty and students alike at Trinity Bible College and Graduate School (TBC) in Ellendale, North Dakota, are excited about the completion and dedication of their new $2.5 million, 12,000-square foot prayer center on campus — for both spiritual and practical reasons.
Made possible through the full donation by alumnus Reuben Liechty and his wife, Clarice, the prayer center has already become a focal point of prayer on campus.
“The dream for the chapel portion of the facility,” explains Ian O’Brien, executive vice-president at TBC, “is that it would help renew a focus on missions, be a place where students are drawn more and more to the pursuit of God, and are called to serve, within the United States or internationally. And we’ve seen that already happening!”
Viewed as a retreat for students and faculty to access throughout the day to seek God’s face, the chapel also plays host to devotional groups and special focuses, such as a 24-hour prayer event. “When we were in the chapel for the 24-hour prayer for Northern Europe and South America,” O’Brien recalls, “it struck me . . . ‘Wow, the students praying with me, God may be talking to them right now, telling them that’s where I want you to go!’”
The newly dedicated facility, which took about 18 months to complete, includes two large classrooms, a conference room, the prayer chapel that seats 70, a kitchen, bathroom facilities, and a large atrium with an indoor waterfall. O’Brien says that one of the classrooms was dedicated to Herman G. Johnson, the first superintendent of the North Dakota district; the other to Gwendolyn Ruth Liechty, the daughter of Reuben and Clarice, who passed away at a young age.
“The dedication of the Prayer and Teaching Center was spectacular,” states AG General Treasurer Doug Clay who attended the event. “It is a beautiful structure that will serve a vital role in the training of ministers and missionaries.”
However, what perhaps every student and guest readily appreciates — or will soon come to appreciate — is that the prayer chapel corridors connect all the campus buildings together, with the exception of the dormitories.
“Once students enter the facilities, they are immediately connected to all the other buildings on campus,” says Jordy Nunez, vice president of college relations. “They are connected to the cafeteria, the fieldhouse, Block Memorial Chapel, the Student Life Center, the Prayer Chapel — everything — so no one has to go outside to get to another building, which proves to be very important in winter as it gets down to 30 below here.”