History of BCBC

The Bay Cities Bible College is founded on a rich history of evangelical and biblical scholarship. In 1934, a committed group of men and pastors in Oakland organized the school. These men of the Brethren movement utilized their spiritual heritage to point the College on a nondenominational path of sound doctrine.

A cooperative effort of evangelical believers in the East Bay Evangelistic Union brought together a group of young people who desired to study the Word of God. As a result of this continuing desire for the Word, the Educational Committee of the union unanimously resolved to organize a “Bible Institute with a Faculty organization…” From that decision to organize on October 12, 1936, scattered Bible study classes became an institute whose unchanging purpose has been to educate women and men in the evangelical teaching of the Word of God. In 1938, the school became a nonprofit corporation.

Ivan C. Frickstad was the first president. He was supported by the then prominent East Bay pastors and church leaders who had first hand, personal associations with men of the historic faith, such as R. A. Torrey, Dwight L. Moody and Harry Ironside.  R. A. Graves was pastor of the Fundamental Gospel Center, which became the Westbrae Bible Church in Berkeley.

By the mid 1960’s an effort was underway to initiate an expanded academic curriculum through the efforts of Robert Nellis. Under the presidential leadership of Arnold Owens, the school achieved a college level, degree granting status. When Robert Nellis succeeded to the presidency in the late 1970s, the school was offering a graduate program and independent studies.

Under the leadership of President Nellis, BCBC continued to develop its unique Bible-centered ministry. By maintaining its educational specialization in Bible and doctrine, the College has filled the unique gap between major Bible and Liberal Arts institutions. Students who were led to pursue a Bible and theology education for their ministry multiplied the enrollment as the Lord prospered the school. The College has remained a constant representative of evangelical doctrine and education over the years.

Under the presidential leadership of Dr. Donel Reedus, BCBC passed two state audits and began offering classes in Castro Valley and Santa Rosa.

In April 1998, Brad Chew became president. As the changing needs of a changing student body and community are met, the continued growth and blessing of the Bay Cities Bible College is assured in the history of our future. Maranatha!