PLNU celebrated 100 years in 2002.
President Brower's Proclamation
Celebrating the Centennial...
Even before becoming president of Point Loma Nazarene University in 1998, I was aware that Isaiah 62 was known as the university chapter. I have read it, heard it and even spoken on it. I knew that Dr. Phineas F. Bresee, Point Loma’s founder, had believed that this portion of Scripture was a promise from God that the college would survive and God would be faithful to it.
A couple of months ago, however, I experienced Isaiah 62 in a new and powerful way and felt it grip my heart and life like never before.
Centennial Coordinator Suzanne Pitts brought an old Bible to my office, one that had been found in the university’s archives. In the Bible was a name: P. F. Bresee.
We began to look through the Bible. In a couple of places, there was a pencil marked verse or a date, but not much else. Then the Bible fell open to Isaiah 62. There on the pages was Bresee’s signature—not in pen or pencil, but in the fingerprints and stains from his hands as he held the Bible and read and reread Isaiah 62.
Bresee, who had begun the college with only $4,000 in pledges and who knew above everyone else how shaky its start was, hadn’t just opened his Bible and picked a chapter to call the university chapter because he thought we needed one. He had prayed over this chapter until his hands had permanently marked the pages.
His signature was a deep and passionate commitment to God that showed itself in love for the Scripture and his willingness to remain faithful through the tough times. Out of that, Bresee believed that God promised that he would watch over and care for the college he loved. The forces against it would not win because God is faithful.
We at Point Loma Nazarene University are included in this same promise today. Isaiah 62 was not just something way back then, it is also for us today.
Which brings us to the question, why do we celebrate the Centennial? It’s expensive and time-consuming to plan and publicize the special events such as the ones you can read about in the Centennial insert in this publication. Why do we bother?
This is why: We are constrained to remember how faithful God is and has been working through people who are committed to serving him. The Centennial is a story about people and the God who has blessed them and brought about the miracle of this university.
As we look forward to the start of the 2001-2002 academic year—the Centennial Celebration year—we need to remember our legacy of faith and sacrifice.
For nearly 100 years, thousands of people have given their lives in service and sacrifice through this place we now call Point Loma Nazarene University. The Centennial is important, not because we survived, but because God has blessed the efforts of people. People, for example, like the women of the Bible College Prayer Circle. In 1897 a group of six women formed a group to pray for the starting of a Bible college that could prepare men and women for Christian service.
Day after day, week after week, these ladies prayed faithfully. Did they know that a century later there would be a beautiful campus by the sea, full of vibrant students and committed faculty and staff? Of course not. But they did know a God who had placed a passion in them to serve him and to follow his call in their lives. In 1902, the Bible College Prayer Circle celebrated when on July 28, the Pacific Bible College, Point Loma’s predecessor, was formed in Los Angeles.
Other examples of such faithfulness abound in the history of this university. But let me ask you this question. One hundred years from now, what is it that you would like others to say about your life, your love for God, and the difference you made for Christ? Each one of us has talents and abilities that God can use. Let me challenge you today to make those completely available and committed to God so that he can also bless you to do his will.
President Bob Brower