Dr. James B. Keiller
“No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah, for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.”
This verse in Isaiah 62:4 refers to a prophetic promise made to Israel. Beulah Heights was the name given to the campground and Bible Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, where Rev. Paul and Rev. Dr. Hattie Barth ministered. Around 1904 Hattie Barth’s mother, Mrs. Elizabeth A. Sexton (1852-1924), had opened a Divine Healing Home on the faith line here under the name Hephzibah (i.e. delight) Home, at Beulah (i.e. married) Heights. This place was to become the new home of Beulah Heights Bible Institute in 1918. In order to understand the background of this place we need to know a bit more about the initiators of this institution.
Hattie Barth’s mother, “Mother Sexton” had embraced divine healing when she was about thirty-nine (39) years old and her first wonderful prayer of faith answered was when she prayed for her 15-year old daughter Hattie. She laid her hands on her head and instantly and miraculously Hattie was healed of pneumonia. In 1907 Mrs. Sexton heard of a great revival at Azusa Street, Los Angeles, California. She was eager to go herself, but could not afford the travel expenses. That year Gaston Barnibus Cashwell (1860-1916), known as the “Apostle of Pentecost to the South,” started to tour the southeastern states to proclaim the Pentecostal message about the necessity to be baptized in the Holy Spirit including the initial evidence of “speaking in tongues.” Cashwell had visited the Azusa Street revival himself in November 1906. After the Lord had healed him from his “racial prejudices” he was prayed over by William Seymour and he received the blessing he was longing for. Through Cashwell and his followers, Mrs. Sexton received a “marvelous baptism” and spoke in a number of different languages. In October 1907, Cashwell started a publication in Atlanta, Georgia called “The Bridegroom’s Messenger.” The periodical was created to spread the full gospel of salvation, sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, the Lord’s coming and missions over the country. Mrs. Sexton was the associate editor of “The Bridegroom’s Messenger” and took over as editor after Cashwell stepped down in 1908 to devote all his time to evangelistic ministry. She would do so for the next sixteen (16) years and passed the torch shortly before her death on to her daughter Hattie, who in turn edited it until her death in 1956. The Bridegroom’s Messenger became the mouthpiece for Pentecostalism in the Southeast; and, this magazine is currently still published today. (Mrs. Hattie M. Barth, Mother Sexton Called Home, The Bridegroom’s Messenger Vol.17/249, January and February 1924, p. 1.)
Approximately four score and twenty years will have passed (July 29, 1918 to July 29, 2018), and we will be celebrating Beulah Heights University Centennial. Beulah Heights Bible Institute (now Beulah Heights University) was birthed when, and I quote, at “a meeting of friends and those interested in Beulah Heights convened in the Kellogg Home for prayer and conference for the development of the work. The Lord gathered together in His own way the prophetic number, 21; and, He was present in a mark way.” It was at this organizational meeting that “it was moved and seconded that the name of this organization should be, BEULAH HEIGHTS BIBLE INSTITUTE.” (Taken from the original Minutes of July 29, 1918).
Beulah Heights Bible Institute (Beulah Heights University) was established as a “missionary sending” institution, and no doubt, had never envisioned that Beulah Heights University would now have extension’s (teaching Sites) in several global locations; and, that we also remain true to our original mission as a “missionary sending) organization. We direct your attention to our university website to view messages from a number of our graduates who are ministering in churches and other Christian institution around the world.
The record shows that Dr. W.H. Holbrook, a medical doctor, was elected as the first of eight Presidents who have served (and are serving) BHBI/BHU during its 100 year history. The institution was founded during a revival that sparked a Holy Spirit renewal that swept through the Church world of the early 20th century. Out of this revival sprang an institution that has been sustained by the Holy Spirit igniting a passionate desire to serve the Church by being a beacon of light to a Global community. Graduates and former students of BHBI/BHU are serving the Lord and preaching His gospel to a world who desperately needs to hear this Message. The sun never sets but that a BHBI/BHU graduate is (24/7) preaching the message of hope and serving His Lord somewhere in our Global universe.
The founders of the school (Rev. Paul and Dr. Hattie Barth) as well as other early faculty members and supporters of the institution (by their own account), forfeited the experience of having children in order to devote their lives and resources to fulfilling the vision and mission of Beulah Heights University; and, to prepare men and women to fulfill the Great Commission by taking the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ to a dying world was their passion.
We kindly invite you to celebrate with us if you are a BHU graduate, student, former student (or potential future student), God’s unmeasured grace that is so evident as it rests upon an institution whose influence spans the Globe.