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Tag: Midwestern Baptist College Reunion

Why We Won’t Be Attending the Midwestern Baptist College Reunion

polly bruce gerencser cranbrook gardens bloomfield hills michigan 1978
Polly and Bruce Gerencser, Cranbrook Gardens, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Spring 1978, two months before our wedding.

My partner, Polly, and I met at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan in the fall of 1976. Midwestern was an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution started in 1954 by Dr. Tom Malone. Malone was the pastor of a nearby megachurch, Emmanuel Baptist Church. Today, Malone is dead, Emmanuel is shuttered, and Midwestern exists in name only at Shalom Baptist Church in Orion, Michigan. Never a big college, Midwestern reached an enrollment of 400 or so in the 1970s. Best I can tell, Midwestern no longer offers in-person classes, but does offer distance learning.

Midwestern graduates and attendees will gather in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for an all-year reunion this November. While Polly and I would love to attend, my health precludes me from attending. But, that’s not the only reason we won’t be in attendance. While we would love to see our classmates, we don’t have much in common with them. Perhaps the following graphic will emphasize the point I’m trying to make:

midwestern reunion

As you can see, while we would enjoy reconnecting with former classmates, Polly and I live in a completely different world from them. Most of them, all these years later, are still committed to and connected with Baptist Fundamentalism. More than a few people who will be in attendance have, at times, read this site. I still have their “loving” emails. (And yes, I have received kind, thoughtful emails from former Midwestern students too.) I am well-known in that corner of the IFB world, so many attendees know I have written extensively about Midwestern and its cultic tendencies. Spending three days with people who consider me the enemy or a tool of Satan is not my idea of a good time. (The Midwestern Baptist College Preacher Who Became an Atheist.)

Polly and I have many fond memories from our days at Midwestern. However, there is so much water under the proverbial bridge, that “fond memories” are not enough to entice us to attend the Midwestern Reunion. We look forward to seeing photos of the reunion on Midwestern’s alumni page.

Other Posts About Midwestern Baptist College

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser