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Zion Students Break Stereotypes with Love

A conservative, Assemblies of God-endorsed school moving into a predominately liberal New England area is enough to raise apprehension and tension between both parties. However, since Zion Bible College (AG) moved its campus to Haverhill, Massachusetts, the result has proved to be mutually beneficial. In September 2007, Hobby Lobby founder David Green purchased an 18-acre, multi-million dollar campus in Haverhill and donated it to Zion Bible College. Now, just over a year later, Zion Bible is fully moved in from the old campus in Barrington, Rhode Island. According to Charles Crabtree, college president, renovations have been completed on five of the major buildings on campus and refurbishing is set to begin on 160 dormitory rooms in about three weeks. And even before the dust has cleared, and while the new sign is still being built, the student body is not wasting any time building relationships with their new community. They are sharing the love of Christ to those around them through open friendship and a willingness to help. Crabtree says of the students' impact on the Haverhill area, "Our young people are just living out Jesus instead of being confrontational." While Crabtree mentions there has been some street witnessing, the majority of students are simply lending a helping hand to those in need. "We already have students working with chaplains, pregnancy centers and performing other volunteer services throughout the community." The presence of the college has also brought new life to the city, evidenced by community reactions. A local newspaper reported that Zion students have brought business to restaurants and other shops in the Haverhill area. Zion has proved to be a good community neighbor by helping the economy, and by students and faculty demonstrating what the local newspaper described as an attitude of "friendship and compassion, not judgment." To view pictures of Zion's campus and learn more about the school, go to http://zbc.edu/index2.html.

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