Our Story | IBCS

Our Story

The challenges are great. God is good. We must contend. — Dr. Jerry C. Tetreau

The Story of IBCS

International Baptist College (IBC) opened its doors on September 8, 1981, but the college began several years earlier in the heart of its founder, Dr. James Singleton. Dr. Singleton and his family came to the Valley of the Sun in 1969. Soon, he had begun and organized an independent, soul-winning church named Tri-City Baptist Church.


A Burden for Christian Education

Early in the 1970s, Dr. Singleton became aware of the negative direction of public education in America and as a result established Tri-City Christian Academy. With a growing church and an alternative to elementary and secondary public education also growing, the next phase was about to begin.

As Dr. Singleton became more acquainted with the West, he began to realize that there were very few places to train young men and women for the gospel ministries of church planting, evangelism, missions, and Christian education. His heart became more and more burdened for the establishment of a school that would uniquely meet the needs of the West, yet become international in scope and ministry.


Establishing the College

Late in 1979, Dr. Singleton enlisted the help of Dr. Jerry Tetreau, administrator of Tri-City Christian Academy, to begin the initial steps necessary in establishing a Bible college as a ministry of Tri-City Baptist Church. In October of 1980, with many hours of prayer and planning behind it, Tri-City Baptist Church voted to organize International Baptist College. Classes began in the fall of 1981 with fifteen full-time students.

The class of 1983 became the first IBC graduating class with two Associate of Arts degrees! In 1985 the first four-year class commencement was held, awarding one Associate of Arts degree and seven Bachelor of Arts degrees. In 1986, the graduate program began, offering a Master of Education degree and a Master of Ministry degree. The Doctor of Ministry was added in 1987, and the Master of Divinity was added in 1991.


Blessings Abound

For years the college was able to complete every school year in the black financially. In addition, in October 1994, the Transnational Association of Christian Schools and Colleges granted International Baptist College the Candidacy level of accreditation, at which time, Dr. Jerry Tetreau became president. IBC achieved TRACS-accredited status on September 20, 2000!

Following fifty years of service in Christian ministry, with thirty of those years at Tri-City Baptist Church, Pastor James Singleton yielded the pastorate of the church to co-pastor Dr. Michael Sproul. On Friday, July 13, 2001, Pastor Singleton passed from earth to Heaven. God is to be praised for the godly heritage that Pastor Singleton passed on to many lives.


New Beginnings

On October 13, 2002, the church voted to sell the Tempe property and to relocate the church, college, and other ministries to Chandler, Arizona. On July 13, 2005, construction began on Singleton Hall, the first college residence hall on the property. The opening service for Tri-City Baptist Church was held on August 23, 2009, and IBC opened the 2009–2010 school year on the new property.


Continued Growth

In May of 2007, Dr. Jerry Tetreau became the Chancellor of IBC and David Brock became the third president of IBC. The combined vision of Dr. Singleton, Dr. Sproul, and Dr. Tetreau continued to expand under Dr. Brock’s leadership. In the fall of 2008, IBC added a third undergraduate major: the Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Church Music. In the fall of 2009, IBC began to use conferencing technology to teach classes simultaneously on campus and in other states. Two years later, IBC added sites in California, New Mexico, and Colorado. 

IBCS expanded the college complex in the spring of 2011 by adding the Re:vive Student Center, the Heritage Chapel, the Stanley L. Bushey Administrative wing, and four classrooms. The Kay Downs Sproul Media Center, named in honor of TBC’s first librarian, was added to the complex and officially opened on May 6, 2012.


Carrying the Legacy

In December 2012, Dr. Brock began a new phase of ministry, and Dr. Larry Ball stepped in as interim president. Then in July 2014, Dr. Ken Endean took the reigns of the college and worked tirelessly until IBCS again became debt-free. In 2019 Pastor Mike Sproul moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as the Command Chaplain of the U.S. Air National Guard, and the church asked Dr. Ken Endean to become the third pastor of TBC, which left the presidency of IBCS vacant once again. So on February 23, 2020, TBC held an installation ceremony officially naming Pastor Nathan Mestler as the fifth president of IBCS. 

We are excited to see what the Lord will continue to do through IBCS as the school continues to mentor God-fearing leaders for Fundamental Baptist churches in the West and the world.

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