Homecoming 2009 at Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the college during the week of October 21-24.
The college was originally chartered in 1939 under the name Eastern Bible Institute (EBI) on the campgrounds of Maranatha Park in Green Lane, Pennsylvania. Although the chartering date of 1939 has always been used to benchmark the institution's history, the earliest of the Bible Institutes that merged to form EBI dates back to 1912.
The precursor institution of EBI that met on the Green Lane campgrounds was Maranatha Summer Bible School. It was founded by Rev. J. Roswell and Alice Reynolds Flower during J. Roswell's term as district superintendent of the then Eastern District, comprised of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York churches.
However, day-to-day leadership of the school is credited to Alice, or "Mother Flower," as she was affectionately known. EBI was the expression of the Flowers' vision for a Pentecostal training venue serving young people on the East Coast.
During Homecoming Chapel this year, to honor the founders of what is now Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC), the main campus chapel will be dedicated as the J. Roswell and Alice Reynolds Flower Chapel on Friday, October 23.
In anticipation of the renaming, major chapel renovations were undertaken this summer as a result of a generous gift. Upgrades included new sound and lighting infrastructure as well as the installation of state-of-the-art recording and broadcasting equipment. Rev. David Flower, son of the founders, will be the special Homecoming Chapel speaker.
James Bradford, general treasurer for the Assemblies of God, will be on hand to bring greetings from the General Council and to convey a generous gift from the General Council toward completing the Flower Chapel renovations.
For more information concerning the renaming of the VFCC chapel or to support the renovation initiative, see http://www.vfcc.edu.