A local Bible college has expanded making it possible for students to take classes from the comforts of their home.
The North Carolina Theological Seminary — Harnett location in Erwin celebrated its ninth anniversary and the addition of online classes with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house. Online classes will be available this fall and registration is currently underway.
Founded in 2009 by President Dr. Curtis L. Prichard, the theological seminary is located at 104 E. H St.
The noon celebration included a welcome by Erwin Area Chamber of Commerce President Tom Backus. Dr. Freddie Herring gave the invocation and chamber administrator Carla Blackmon recognized chamber and town officials.
“Curtis, we’re very proud of you,” said Erwin Mayor Patsy Carson during her remarks. “You’re a great addition to the Town of Erwin.
“Everyone said when the mill closed down this town would dry up, but we’re still here,” she added. “People like you is what makes this town.”
“To God be the glory,” said Dr. Prichard, “we have advanced to a whole new level.”
Dr. Prichard said now the school will be able to reach more people. “A classroom without walls,” he said.
During the program, Dr. Prichard recognized the late Kiki Chance Turner “for her dedicated support toward the college.” He presented her family with a plaque in her recognition.
Ms. Turner was part of the first class of students to graduate in 2010 with an associate of theology degree. “She had a fight in her to do more,” Dr. Prichard said. “She wanted to get her doctorate degree. She went on to be with the Lord before she was able to finish her degree.”
Dr. Prichard took a moment to remember his wife, Veronica, on their fourth anniversary and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.
The program was followed by a ribbon cutting and refreshments.
How It Began
After joining Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Clinton, the pastor there invited Dr. Prichard to sit in on the college of theology program. He did and later received his associate, bachelor, master and doctoral degrees in theology in four years. After graduating from the North Carolina College of Theology, Dr. Prichard was told he was qualified to have his own campus. He said yes to the call and started planning for the fall semester.
The school started having classes in the Prichard’s Tax Service office until it outgrew the building. In 2010, Dr. Prichard’s late wife, Dr. Deborah Prichard, was the new professor for the associate program. She died in 2011 after a brief illness. The school continues to thrive and Dr. Prichard moved to a larger building in downtown Erwin.
“The school expanded to serve Havelock, N.C., and Morehead City, N.C.,” said Dr. Prichard “and we give God all the praise for his favor upon the school.”