History of EBBI
The story of EBBI began more than sixty years ago when leading fundamental Baptist pastors disassociated themselves from the Maritime United Baptist Convention over concerns about doctrinal infidelity. As they began to lay the foundations for what became the independent Baptist movement within Atlantic Canada, they expressed the need for a post-secondary school that would prepare passionate servant leaders for churches sharing their convictions. While many of these bold leaders are already with the Lord, their initiatives in church planting and development have laid a foundation for what the Lord is doing today.
In early 2001, Maritime pastors of various independent, fundamental Baptist churches met in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to consider the challenge of Christian education in Canada. Pastor Friesen, along with the deacons and trustees of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Moncton, New Brunswick, then undertook the responsibility of launching Emmanuel Baptist Bible Institute in the fall of 2001.
The structure of EBBI developed because of two fundamental convictions. The first was a commitment to the priority of the local church. For this reason, the school was established as a ministry of the Emmanuel Baptist Church. That church is responsible to oversee the doctrinal integrity of the school, as well as to approve policies governing its growth. A second commitment was to the value of a team effort. For this reason, Pastors from independent fundamental Baptist churches of the Maritimes serve in a supportive ministry as teachers and advisors. Church members are also invited to participate in a variety of ways.
The leadership of EBBI was initially in the hands of Pastor Friesen alone. Knowing that the school did not have resources to pay a full-time administrator, the Lord filled the need in December 2003 when Rev. John Dannenberg transferred to Canada from missionary service in Africa. A year later the Lord led a third person to join the team when missionary Jim Storey transferred from Scotland to become a teacher and traveling representative for EBBI. From 2009-2016, Rev. Rob Moody, a missionary with GFA, held the administrator’s position at the school. Rev. Joel Eastwood then became the administrator of EBBI from 2016-2018. In December of 2017 Rev. Joel Eastwood accepted the position to become the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church.
Today, Rev. Joel Eastwood (pictured above on the left) is the President of EBBI, and the pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church. The school’s administrator is David Freeman (pictured above on the right), who accepted the position in the summer of 2018.
The EBBI campus is located in the facilities of Emmanuel Baptist Church, and is a ministry of that local church. We pray that God will continue to help the Bible Institute to grow, so that we might reach the Canadian Maritimes (and beyond) for the Lord Jesus Christ.