MID-ATLANTIC CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY– It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of the founder and first president of Mid-Atlantic Christian University, George W. BonDurant. He went home to be with the Heavenly Father on July 11, 2017 at the age of 101.
President BonDurant was a leader in the Restoration Movement in the 20th century, a movement that saw believers and preachers from various denominational backgrounds seek unity by looking to the New Testament for guidance in matters of doctrine and spiritual disciplines.
He grew up in Mt. Rainer, Maryland, the son of William W. and Helen Lawrence BonDurant, who were committed leaders in the Restoration Movement. BonDurant received a four year scholarship to Columbia University but his mother, concerned about his faith in a hostile atmosphere, sent him to Erieside Christian Service Camp. After one year at Columbia University he transferred to the Cincinnati Bible Seminary. There he met and married Sarah Lou Presley. Together, George and Sarah reopened Atlanta Christian College (now Point University), where he served as president. In 1947 BonDurant came to eastern North Carolina as an evangelist for the Roanoke District Churches of Christ, the strongest concentration of New Testament churches on the east coast.
Upon arriving in North Carolina he quickly realized the need for a preacher-training school since many of the churches of Christ had only half- or quarter-time preaching. To meet that need, Mr. BonDurant founded Roanoke Bible College (now Mid-Atlantic Christian University) in 1948 and served as the president until 1986. Students admired and respected this great Bible teacher and affectionately referred to him as “Mr. B.”
Under his leadership, Mid-Atlantic Christian University received its first accreditation in 1979 from the American Association of Bible Colleges (now Association of Biblical Higher Education). Enrollment at Mid-Atlantic Christian University grew significantly during his term. Several buildings were constructed and historical homes along Poindexter Street were renovated. On December 2, 2009, he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue for his work at the university and his contributions to the state.
President BonDurant had a passion for proclaiming the gospel and reaching the lost. For years he taught all week, preached every weekend, and taught extension classes or seminars in churches during the week. He helped to establish several congregations, often taking students with him to learn the work of church planting. Mr. B served as a professor and president of the college from 1948 until 1986.
He extended his influence through three weeks of Christian camp for youth, Camp Roanoke, which operated on the college campus from 1953 to 1981. God permitted him 64 years of active ministry. Well into his retirement years, he preached for a small rural church and had a prison ministry at the Maple Prison Unit, where his students knew him simply as “George.”
Today his influence lives on in the thousands who have attended MACU and who serve in 48 states, 1 territory, and 26 different countries. His footprint will be forever remembered on the campus of Mid-Atlantic Christian University. Well done, good and faithful servant.
His wife of 66 years, and co-founder of the university, Sarah Presley BonDurant, preceded him in death. “Mr. B,” as he is fondly known, is survived by their only child, S. Elizabeth BonDurant.
Funeral arrangements are pending. The family and university will announce details in the coming days.