'LIGHT AND HEAT" - Noel Brooks

“Light and Heat”: The Christianview Bible College in Canada (1970- )
                In 1972, Noel Brooks refers to one of his personal heroes in an article about the first year of the new college in Canada.
                “One of the best biographies of John Wesley is entitled The Burning Heart. Another biographer described Wesley as The Knight of the Burning Heart. Whenever we think of Wesley this is how we conceive him: as a man ablaze with sustained passion to evangelize the lost and spread “scriptural holiness throughout the land…He earnestly desired that his preachers be men and women of burning heart and enlightened mind. “Oh for light as well as heat!...There is a great need of this combination of heat and light in the Christian world…”[1]
                In about 1968, while still recuperating from his severe exhaustion and ulcers, Brooks was wrestling with the reoccurring suggestions of friends that he look at teaching in North American Bible colleges. Soon he was approached about the dream of a college envisioned for Canada and if he would consider being president. “From the moment I read the letter I felt intuitively that this was the reason for the Divine dealings with my soul in recent months. Here was a place of need in the Pentecostal Holiness Church, perhaps, I could fill. A pioneer field of this nature held many formidable giants, but the Divine call is never divorced from the Divine enabling.”[2]  Noel Brooks was an excellent choice as he was himself a blend of the heat and light Wesley had declared to be so vital to a minister of the Gospel.
                In 1970, the Ontario conference of the Pentecostal Holiness Church appointed a committee, under the leadership of Rev. Philip King, to investigate and make preliminary plans for a Bible college. On December 5, 1970, the plans were approved with King elected chairman and Brooks selected as the first president.
                The simple first yearbook of the institution was edited by instructor Laura Justice and included motto of the school: “Living to learn, learning to serve, and Serving to save.”  The home of the institution, Christianview Bible College, was in the Evangelistic Centre, 22 York Mills Road, Willowdale, a suburb just outside of Toronto.  Classes began on September 7, 1971 with a student body of a little over a dozen students from Nova Scotia and Ontario.  The governing board was comprised of R.L. Mosely (Chair), Gordon McDonald, Noel Brooks, Hazel Yeatman, Jack Booth, Ed Butler, and Bill Kirkwood.  The faculty was comprised of Brooks (B.D., D.D.), Laura Justice (Th.B., B.A.). That first year the ‘Christianview Bible College Student Society’ president was Marshall Caldwell, Marcia Wenzell (Secretary) and John McPhail (Treasurer).  Housing was made possible through the genoristy of local people: Irene McGillicuddy, Rev. and Mrs. R.L. Mosely, and Mr. and Mrs. Harold Woods.
Brooks writing in a memoir of that first term noted:

Every true work of God is a venture of faith. God has so planned it. Though the wisdom and power to create are His alone, He has so ordered it that man becomes God’s co-builder through faith. We are justified by faith. We are sanctified through faith. We are filled with the Holy Spirit through faith. We are healed through faith. We become effective witnesses and workers for God through faith. We play a part in God’s redemptive programme in our world through faith. Faith is not the efficient cause of these things. God, in His grace, wisdom, and power is the only efficient cause of human faith. But faith, which is itself a gift of God, becomes the appropriating and co-operating power by which a man lays hold of the will of God and thus becomes a “worker together with God” (II Corinthians 6.1).

Whatever we undertake for God must be, from first to last, a venture of faith.  If ever we arrive at a place where we imagine that we no longer have to “live by faith”, whether it be in things spiritual or things material, we are out of the Divine order. In the things of God it must be a venture of faith from start to finish. Christian history is a graveyard of causes and institutions which began as ventures of faith but lapsed into unbelieving fleshly works.

Christianview Bible College is in the very early days of faith venturing. Believing that we are moving in the will of God in establishing a Pentecostal Holiness school in Canada, we are looking to God for the faith to work with Him, and venture for Him, and pay the price that all such venturing inevitably involves.

“All who are associated with us must make this venture of faith. The whole Pentecostal Holiness Church of Canada has had to make this venture. The Governing Board has had t make it. The President and his wife have had to make it. The members of the faculty have had to make it. Every student who comes to us has to make it.  Every person who stands behind us in prayer and financial help has to make it.

By faith we are all venturing with God. May out faith not falter or fail. It will not as we exercise it. Faith only fails as it is unexercised.  As we use it, God strengthens and re-enforces it. Thus, vision through venture becomes achievement.”[3]

[1] Brooks, Noel. “First Year at Christianview Bible College.” Advocate (May 6, 1972): 7.
[2] Brooks, Noel. “Canadian Breakthrough Christianview Bible College.” Advocate (Aug 14, 1971):6-7; also typed manuscript of the same title, Noel Brooks Collection, Southwestern Christian University Library Archives.
[3] The Herald: Christianview Bible College Yearbook. 1971-1972.; 24 page stapled booklet with images.


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