Click here for the official news release.
Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary began in 1921 when William Jordan opened the Omaha Bible Institute. Dr. Jordan founded the school with a vision to teach the Bible and train people for ministry. The presidents since Dr. Jordan have strengthened that vision. The Faith Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of the new president, Rev. James Tillotson, who is committed to continuing that same vision.
Jim grew up in northern Minnesota, the oldest of four children. His wife, Joan, grew up in southern Wisconsin, the middle of seven children. They met at Northland Baptist Bible College and were married in 1990.
At Northland Jim was greatly influenced by Dr. Les Ollila, the president, and by Dr. Doug McLachlan, the professor of pastoral theology. These men showed Jim balance in the ministry and modeled servant leadership for him. During his days at Northland Jim felt called of God to plant a church in western Canada someday. Jim graduated from Northland in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Pastoral Theology. In 2002 he earned the Master of Ministry degree from Northland. Joan graduated from Northland in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in Secretarial Science.
During his last year in college, Jim and Joan worked in the DeForest Baptist Church, a small church in DeForest, Wisconsin, near Madison. After graduation in 1991, the couple moved to DeForest and Jim became the assistant pastor of the church. They continued to work full-time jobs while serving at the church.
After a year and a half in DeForest, the Lord led the Tillotsons to Independent Baptist Church in Bolingbrook, Illinois, a southwest Chicago suburb, where Jim served as the full-time assistant pastor. After four years the pastor of that church asked Jim if he would be open to succeeding him as the senior pastor when he retired. Jim and Joan still felt the burden for western Canada, so before they made a decision, they made a survey trip through western Canada to determine what God wanted them to do.
On the survey trip Jim met the pastor of Meadowlands Baptist Church, a church of about ten people in Edmonton, Alberta. Because of age and poor health, the pastor needed to retire but he could not find anyone to take the pastorate. He asked Jim if he would consider coming to pastor the church. The Tillotsons prayed for two weeks and knew God was calling them to pastor Meadowlands Baptist Church. They raised enough support for four years and in 1997, just ten months after their visit, they moved to Edmonton.
Jim and Joan began to lead the church in evangelistic outreach and saw God work in amazing ways. In three years they were fully supported by the church. Today around 500 people attend Meadowlands. Through the years Jim has led the church in two multi-million dollar building projects.
During his ministry Jim has led the church in planting three other churches with a fourth church plant set to launch this May. The first three churches are all self-supporting, and the fourth one anticipates being self-supporting immediately. He also helped establish a Christian school and a small Bible college at the church. Jim serves on both the Canadian and U.S.A. councils of Baptist Mid-Missions and on the board of Grand View Camp in Eagar, Arizona.
The Tillotsons have three children: Anne (22), who will remain in Edmonton and complete her education; Tim (19), a sophomore at Maranatha Baptist University, and Beth (16), who will move with her parents to Faith.
Rev. Tillotson brings energy, enthusiasm, and a clear sense of direction for Faith.
I am excited about the opportunity to work with a dedicated and passionate faculty, staff, and board of directors to impact the next generation of servant leaders for the cause of Christ. Having served the last eighteen years as the pastor of Meadowlands Baptist Church and being actively involved in church planting, I have become even more committed to Luke 10:2. The problem is not that the field is too hard or that our world's problems are too big. Jesus said the problem is that the laborers are too few. The solution Jesus gave is to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Please pray for me as I endeavor to be part of this solution by helping train men and women to take the Word to the World.
Rev. Tillotson will assume his presidential duties this summer with an installation service planned for September 17.
The board, administration, faculty, and staff at Faith thank the Lord for leading James Tillotson to Faith to continue the vision that has marked the school for almost 100 years. Please pray for the Tillotsons and Faith in this transition period.
In its May meeting, the Board of Directors took some bold steps to re-energize Faith and move the school forward. The Board authorized six initiatives designed to increase enrollment and provide a better campus experience for students. Among the initiatives are
• New scholarships, especially for those in the pastoral and missions programs
• Additional resources for recruiting students
• Significant campus improvements to enhance the students’ experience at Faith
When students come back on campus this fall, they will see a re-energized Faith.
Look for more announcements in September and in the months to follow.
When you think of Bible and ministry training, think of Faith.
Another semester is in the books. The dorms are empty, the gym is silent, and the normal hustle and bustle of Twigs Coffee Shop has gone completely still. The uncomfortable quiet on campus is a good quiet, though, because it means that our students have left to work, serve, and make an impact in their world. After all, that’s what they’re being trained to do—to take the Word to the World.
Isabelle Kniebes (Coloma, Michigan)
Where are you going? I’m going on Baptist Mid-Mission’s Germany Trek program, spending 6 weeks working with missionaries in the cities of Landshut, Nuremberg, Erlangen, Ingolstadt, Munich, and Mainz, Germany.
In what types of ministries will you be involved? I will be helping with church planting, observing different stages of ministry in Germany, and simply being an encouragement (and an extra set of hands) to the different missionaries all over the state of Bavaria.
What excites you most about this? This trip is really exciting for me because it will be a huge eye-opener in reaching the lost! As Americans, we sometimes tend to do things the way we’ve always done them. But we need to look at the world around us and be open to trying new ways to reach the lost. Working side-by-side with missionaries, I get to experience firsthand just how they’re doing that.
Jed Nissen (Hampton, Nebraska)
Where are you going? I will be serving at Grand View Camp in Eagar, Arizona.
In what types of ministries will you be involved? I will be counseling junior and senior high kids. I’ll also be involved in some outreach ministries, helping with music, teaching Sunday school, and possibly some preaching in the area churches.
What excites you the most about this? The thing that excites me the most about these ministries is seeing God work in the lives of teenagers. Camp is an amazing time for people to come to know the Lord or to rededicate themselves to Him, and that’s what I want to see happen! I want to see people reaching the unreachable, loving the unlovable, and teaching them to go out and do the same.
Nathan Wood (Swan Lake, Montana)
Where are you going? I am traveling with 5 other students on Faith’s Team Impact. We'll be serving in camps in Kansas, Colorado, Montana, and Idaho.
In what types of ministries will you be involved? I’ll be involved in all aspects of summer camp. From activities to meals to cabin time and chapel sessions, I will be spending quite a bit of time with teenagers each week, and I hope to be an encouragement and help to them spiritually and also on a personal and practical level as well. Connecting with the camp staff will also be a part of our ministry. Whether it’s helping with an odd job or maintenance work, I want to be an encouragement and an extra set of hands to them. As a team, we’ve spent the past semester preparing a variety of skits to be a part of our ministry. Some of them are funny but many of them have a specific message and a spiritual emphasis.
What excites you the most about this? For starters, I get to travel with an amazing group of friends who have truly been a blessing to me. We’ve spent the last semester preparing for this ministry together, and it’s been exciting to get to know them on a more personal level. It will be really awesome to meet new people at camp each week as well, and I am excited to see the friendships God will help me cultivate this summer. I am not necessarily excited for trials and challenges, but I know they will come this summer and I’m excited for the final product that God will work in me—turning the struggles into pearls for His glory. I’m excited to grow in faith and maturity.
Caleb Lobb (Aurora, Minnesota)
Where are you going? I’m headed to Palmer, Alaska, to work with Pioneer Peak Baptist Church and Pastor Aron Schrepfer.
In what types of ministries will you be involved? I will spend the majority of my time serving in the church—preaching, teaching Sunday school and VBS, leading music, outreach and visitation. I will also have the opportunity to preach at camp while I am there.
What excites you the most about this? I’m mostly excited to learn new ministry skills, serve in a new culture, and preach on several occasions.
Michelle Bjokne (Cottage Grove, Minnesota)
Where are you going? I’m on Faith’s Contender camp team, and along with 5 other Faith students I will spend my summer at the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp in Ventura, Iowa.
In what types of ministries will you be involved? I have the wonderful opportunity of building relationships with staff and campers. Our team will be performing some fun skits and skits that share the Gospel of Jesus Christ very clearly. During the junior high and senior high weeks, I will help counsel different groups of girls. During the five family camps, I will have the chance to teach the 4- and 5-year-olds. It will be a blast!
What excites you most about this? There are many things that I am looking forward to at IRBC, but most of all I am excited to have the opportunity to invest in peoples’ lives and point them to Christ.
Paul Lobb, a former Faith board member and friend of the school, went to be with the Lord on April 16. Read More
Regular Baptist Books has released Dependence in the Wilderness by Dr. Jeff Newman, professor of Biblical Counseling at Faith. This book draws from Psalm 63 to give hope and encouragement for those who are suffering. Read More
The goal of the Search Committee has been to find a highly qualified and dedicated man of vision who can lead Faith onward and forward. We are convinced we have found that man in Rev. James R. Tillotson who has accepted our unanimous invitation to be the next president of FBBC&TS. Read More