About The Name Change
Why the Name Change?
The Pinecrest property in Salisbury Center, New York originally opened in 1921 as a state-run tuberculosis sanatorium, named Pine Crest for the surrounding woods. The name was also used for a Bible institute which later operated on the campus. When Pinecrest Bible Training Center was founded in 1968, the school assumed the same name originally given by the state of New York. Of course, Pinecrest is much more than a name; it is the people whose lives God has transformed, and we value the rich spiritual heritage of our past 42 years. However, God has recently impressed on us that He would like to name the school—not after a government institution, but after the cry in His heart for intimacy with His people.
God put the name “Bethany” on our hearts, and we believe it best expresses our desire to be a habitation for God—both individually and corporately as a school. In the Bible, Bethany was a place Jesus loved to visit. He was welcomed there by His friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and it was at Bethany that Mary sat at Jesus’ feet in devotion and anointed His feet in adoration and worship. In the same way, we want our school to be a place where God loves to come and where He is given free reign to accomplish the purposes of His heart.
Has the vision changed?
Our vision is the same as when we opened in 1968: that the Lord could have a place where He could come and be Lord and to prepare students to live in intimate fellowship with Him. We have always been and will always be a “School of the Spirit.”One of our earliest promotional brochures for the school says, “Our goal and purpose is to be what He would have us be; to cultivate in the young people at Pinecrest a living, vital relationship with their Lord.” That purpose has not changed. In fact, we believe that this vision, which was birthed in God’s heart over 40 years ago, is becoming increasingly relevant and needed for our day. Another early brochure says of the bride in the Song of Solomon: “No longer was she satisfied with a knowledge of things about God; she desired intimate knowledge of God Himself. An intense reduction of all her ambitions, dreams and desires brought her to a singleness of vision and purpose. We believe this is the desire of the heart of God for His people everywhere today—to know Him!" This is still God’s desire: that His people would know Him. We want to respond—to allow God to so establish His heart in us that our very lives will echo the cry of His heart for our generation.
We are wholly committed to fulfilling God’s purpose for this school as a place where students of all ages, nationalities, and callings can come apart to encounter God and be transformed in His presence. We have great anticipation for what God has in store for us, and we hope you can share in God’s continuing purpose for our school—first as Pinecrest, and now as Bethany Bible Training Center.