The Founding of the Faith Tabernacle Bible School
The Faith Tabernacle Bible School was originated in September 1973 by the late Kathaleen Johnson of Chandler, Texas. Miss Johnson was born and reared in Athens, Texas where she resided for 18 years until she moved to Chandler. Miss Johnson loved children and she was always trying to find something to do with them. The vision of the Bible School came to her one night while she was reading her Bible in her room. Since she had always loved working with children in the church, the idea of the Bible School came to her mind, and she shared this with her housemother, Mae Frances Davis. Mrs. Davis also thought that this would be a great idea because there were so many things in the Bible that the children needed to know.
Later, Miss Johnson presented this idea to her Pastor, Elder J. D. Hamilton. It was certainly well with him because he said to her, "It is the Lord, this is the answer to my prayer for someone to take up time with the children." From this point on the church was in the process of being remodeled, so the children were called together one day after school in the yard of Emmer (Lady) Jones, and the children were divided in groups according to their ages. The first classes were held in the saints homes until the church was completed. The classes were held each Saturday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. There were a total of 72 students in 1973. The first teachers were: Jeanette Butler and Alvin Butler (primary), James Larry Nolen and Ocie Dell Johnson (intermediate), and Miss Johnson (juniors).
In 1974, the school began to grow and there was a total of87 students, and the first exercise commencement was held August 2, 1974. During the commencement exercise, the classes made presentations of what they had learned during the Bible School year. The Bible School term lasted six weeks each year, and the school colors were navy blue and white. This next school session brought in two new teachers, Arlene Johnson who assisted with the primary class, and Edna Sullivan who worked with the junior class. From this commencement exercise the Bible School grew and grew.
In 1975 there were a total of97 students at the headquarters church alone. During this year, a sister church was added to the Bible School department, the Faith Tabernacle Church of Cameron, Texas with Alma O. Bigelow as president, which increased the total to 115 students. Also added at this time was another sister church, Faith Tabernacle of Lufkin, with Sandra Crosby serving as the president.
The years 1977 to 1979 brought the latest additions to the Bible School department which included Longview, Doris Caraway, president; Temple, Sharon Jones, president, and San Antonio with Janette Bedford, president. With these additions the Faith Tabernacle Bible School had over 200 students. We salute you Miss Kathaleen Johnson for your masterpiece!