Thursday, November 15, 2007

This Thanksgiving marks 85 years since the Students League of Many Nations was started

The picture above is from the 1934 Theologue

On Thanksgiving Day 1922 the Freshman class at Practical Bible Training School put on a presentation of all the different ethnic groups represented in the class.

With improvised costumes they presented an unusual, international flavored program to the school body on Thanksgiving Day. Rev. Davis seized upon this as a unique means of sowing the gospel and of advertising the school. (Dr. Barackman's History of PBTS)

On the afternoon of December 10, 1922 another program was created from the 17 nationalities took part and this program was repeat on January 21, 1923 in the Goodwill theater in Johnson City. A new organization at PBTS was born.

The Senior class of PBTS that same year created the name “The Theologue” for the school yearbook following in the footsteps of the previous class who started the yearbook in the first place. The class of 1923 also gave the school, the School Bell.

In May of 1923, Dr. H. H. Wagner gave them the name, “Students League of Many Nations.” On their first southern trip they were received by President Calvin Coolidge at the White House on February 2, 1925.[1] By 1927 the League had held their services in 28 states to almost a million people

In 1927 the League became two Leagues: The Junior League and the Senior League. The Senior League traveled around the country during the school year and they had their own teachers on the bus. The Junior League only ministered during the summer and weekends and still attended classes on the campus.

All 48 states (since Alaska and Hawaii were not states yet) and Mexico and Canada were reached with the League. PBTS was known far and wide because of the influence of the League.

Dr. and Mrs. M. C. Patterson were the League's dedicated directors from 1927 until 1958, when the organization was terminated.

Today though the League does not exist in person the influence still exists. Under the current administration of Dr. George Miller III the school has returned to what the League was all about: sharing Christ to our multi-ethnic world, by using multi-ethnic students.

[1] 1926 Theologue, p. 66.

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