Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary

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Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary is an unaccredited [2] religious institution for the training of Missionary Baptist pastors and church workers located in Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana.


The institution was launched in 1951 by Leander Louis Clover, a native of Clark County, Arkansas, and then pastor of the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Minden, the sponsoring church of the seminary. Clover was a graduate of Missionary Baptist Seminary founded in Little Rock by the pastor and evangelist Ben M. Bogard of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and the first seminary president J. Louis Guthrie. Clover's seminary began with two students studying from his home.[3]The seminary was incorporated by the state in 1956.[4] The original seminary location was 903 Shreveport Road across the highway from Calvary Church.[5]

The seminary is now located at 102 Seminary Lane off the Homer Road adjacent to the Calvary church sanctuary.[6] It is affiliated with the theologically conservative American Baptist Association, with headquarters at 4605 North State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Texas.[7][8][9]

The seminary offers the bachelor's, master's, and doctor of theology degrees, with Hebrew and Greek. The credentials are fully recognized within the Missionary Baptist denomination.[10][11] LMBIS is unaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and does not seek accreditation by a secular board.[12]

According to the website Cortera, LMBIS has fewer than twenty employees and sales of under $500,000 annually.[6][13] The seminary was previously headed by the long-term president, Donald Marion McCormick (1930-2017) of Minden, a native of Union Parish[25] and a former pastor of Calvary Church.[11] Manta.com estimates the number of LMBIS employees at eleven, but it is unclear if that also includes Calvary Church employees.[11]

The LMBIS faculty and administration are drawn from area churches, who over the years included Roy Edgar Chapman (1932-1994), a native of Hamburg, Arkansas, who in 1962 succeeded the LMBIS dean, A. T. Powers, as the pastor of Eastside Missionary Baptist Church in Minden. Chapman taught Bible analysis and evangelism and served as the LMBIS registrar. Other administrators included the late Dwayne Furlow, pastor of the since disbanded Central Missionary Baptist Church in Shreveport; Irvin Russell Roshto (born 1934), Clover's immediate successor in 1964 as pastor at Calvary Church, and Olen Johnson, the seminary dean during the middle 1960s.[14]

In 1972-1973, LMBIS reported thirty-three regular and twenty-one part-time students.[15]

In 1996, more than two decades after pastor Clover's death, Calvary Church voted to relocate from 1000 Shreveport Road to 1400 Homer Road in east Minden. Construction began late in 2002, and the new facilities, including the adjacent LMBIS building, were dedicated on November 2, 2003.[16]The previous Calvary Church structure at 903 Shreveport Road was sold to an African American congregation, the Good Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church. Its pastor, Terrence A. McCray, Sr., is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and a member of the Black Preaching Network.[17]

Notable alumni

Numerous Missionary Baptist pastors from the Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas region received degrees from LMBIS:

  • Allen Blackford is a member of the faculty of Central Arkansas Baptist Bible Institute in Hensley, Arkansas.[18]
  • Michael Anthony Bright (1947-2010), a Springhill native, was at the time of his death the administrator of the Texarkana Baptist Orphanage.[19]
  • John Cooper is a former sports writer and the pastor of the Stamps-Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Stamps, Arkansas.[20]
  • Jerrell T. Head pastored churches in Texas and worked for a time as a missionary in Mexico before he established a mission in Stonewall in DeSoto Parish.[21]
  • Richard D. Methvin (born 1960), previously from Farmerville in Union Parish, upon graduation from LMBIS in 1998, assumed the pastorate of Eastside Missionary Baptist Church in Minden. Originally a mission established in 1955 by Calvary Church, Eastside unveiled a $2.3 million sanctuary early in 2008 to replace a previous main building constructed in 1965.[1]. Methvin resigned in 2018 from the Eastside pastorate and was succeeded by Chet Johnson. Methvin is now the pastor of Bistineau Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in south Webster Parish.
  • Joe Morell, a missionary to Lithuania and the Baltic States, formerly was the pastor of Greenacres Missionary Baptist Church in Bossier City, Louisiana.[10]
  • Bryan Sellers, a 2000 graduate of LMBIS originally from Ruston, Louisiana, is the pastor of the Valleylandmark Missionary Baptist Church in Spokane, Washington.[22]
  • Jimmy G. Tharpe (1930-2008), the founder of Louisiana Baptist University in Shreveport[23], was among the first two LMBIS graduates, having been instructed in pastor Clover's home.[24]

See also

Evil Spirits: Intellectualism and Logic

The Church: Her Origin, Purpose, Doctrine, and History