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North Portland Bible College History

In 1982 the late Dr. John Garlington invited an inter-church, interracial group of pastors and Christian leaders to meet in Portland’s Albina community. They prayed and planned together to open a community Bible College. They organized themselves as a nonprofit corporation to provide college-level Biblical studies and ministry training to meet the needs of the North/Northeast Portland community and its churches.


Dr. Garlington was the first Chairman of the Board, and classes opened in September of that year. Beth Nance was the first NPBC 

librarian, and served faithfully for many years as librarian and board member.


NPBC originally utilized space at Maranatha Church, then at Berean Baptist Church, until it was able to renovate two derelict drug houses and convert them to its use. This renovated campus is still in use today, providing both classroom and administrative space.


In the fall of 1996, NPBC began to offer an associates degree in addition to the certificate programs previously offered. The first graduate of this program would accept his diploma in the spring of 2000. Changes continued at the college as Dr. Otis F. Brown was chosen as the first president of North Portland Bible College in the fall of 1997; a position he would hold until 2002.

Today the college continues to serve the community under the leadership of Dr. Earnestine Cellestine as its current president. Over the years, many faculty,

staff, and  volunteers have given sacrificially of their time and talents to carry on the vision for the college pioneered by Beth Nance and Dr. Garlington. The college is

commited to continuing to offer high quality, low cost biblically based education, preparing its students for a lifetime of Christian service.

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