Pillsbury Baptist Bible College

Pillsbury sale to again be on ballot in Owatonna - price tag $2,020,000

Pillsbury-Willow Creek combo headed for ballot

The Old Main building on the Pillsbury campus will be renovated to an undetermined extent, estimated to cost around $4.22 million. Paul Erickson, the president of the architectural firm on the project, recommended the school district do something with Old Main now, before it’s too late to salvage it.

The dormitories, two houses and power plant on the campus are planned to be demolished, while the future of Kelly Hall was left undecided.

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"With the failure of the bond referendum on Tuesday night, yet another option for the preservation of the Pillsbury campus has closed."

Voters shoot down Pillsbury purchase
(The facility is the former home of Pillsbury Baptist Bible College)

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True to the End

by Norm Olson
Pillsbury SignDec. 12, 2008, the last day of the semester! The gray skies and beautiful blanket of white snow on the ground, so typical of Minnesota the weeks before Christmas, reminded me of the last day of my first semester 42 years ago. I had spent the afternoon in my dorm room getting ahead on my Scripture verse memorization for Personal Evangelism class. Occasionally I would look out the window for Dad, who would take me home 90 miles away for Christmas break.

Now it is my turn to take someone home for Christmas break—our freshman daughter, Julie. But while I returned to the college after my Christmas break in 1966, Julie will not be returning in 2009, not to the same college.

Today is the end of 52 years for Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, Owatonna, Minn. A bastion of Biblical Christianity since 1957, Pillsbury has been forced to close mostly due to the current economic situation and a less-than-anticipated fall student enrollment. The closing has been a difficult, yes tearful, time for everyone involved—students, faculty, administration, parents, churches, and supporters.

Yesterday, the day before campus closed, I had the opportunity to interview Greg Huffman, president of the college. “All of our hearts are saddened by the events of Pillsbury Baptist Bible College,” Huffman said. “For 52 years we have seen hundreds and hundreds of students leave our halls and go out into the harvest.”

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Reflections upon Hearing the Announcement

In The Nick of TimeWord arrived earlier this week that Pillsbury Baptist Bible College will cease operations in December. This announcement was not entirely unexpected. Nearly two years ago, announcements were made nationwide that if the situation did not improve, Pillsbury would be in jeopardy. Those of us in Minnesota have been watching the slow strangulation of our college ever since.

Pillsbury nearly closed in the mid-1990s when it experienced multiple turnovers of administration and a purge of the faculty. This was not the first controversial period in the history of the college, but it was the one that did the most enduring damage. At that time, the decision was made to try to keep the doors open, and Dr. Bob Crane finally accepted the presidency. Frankly, no one expected it to survive. It is a testimony to Dr. Crane’s leadership and to the faculty’s commitment that it has remained in operation for more than a decade since.

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