By Missionary Frank Denisi | July 2, 2020 | @frankdenisi
The leading lady in Christian Education has recently passed away and entered into heaven, and what a glorious legacy for the Lord she leaves behind. It is hard to put into words how important she was to Christian education, both in the home-school sector and the private school sector. I of course don’t know the percentage of pastors, missionaries and ministry workers all over the world who were influenced by her educational mind, but the percentage would be high. There is probably no other lady in Christian Education who has been more influential than she was. If you have heard of A Beka Books from Pensacola Christian College, or A Beka DVD Academy, then you have heard of the beloved Mrs. Horton. To the audience in the Philippines who may not have heard of her name, let me if I may, share some things to you that you may not know. For surely these would be a challenge to the ladies and Christian education personnel in particular, to do be better and do more the Lord and the in the ministry he has entrusted to you. Though I am at all an expert on her life, I can tell you how as an Alumnus of Pensacola Christian College she has influenced me. My perspective as missionary will not be at all unique either, as many ministry workers all over the world can echo what I will say.
She was a Great Bible Woman and a Lady Theologian.
She was the epitome of what we call in the Philippines a “Bible woman”. I recall countless times as I myself was schooled under the A Beka Curriculum, going to college at PCC, and working for A Beka Books, seeing her name as the editor for countless books. These books were not limited to Math, English and History. She was also a writer and author of countless Bible curriculum books.
She rarely spoke publicly, but most of her work was done in a complementary role to her husband, Dr. Arlin Horton. They were not just pioneer’s of Christian Education, but also the liberal arts Independent Baptist College ministry movement as well. Their ministry was unique and strong testimony of how God uses an individual who is yields himself and dedicates himself to the work of the Lord.
She was a Proponent of Open Enrollment for Christian Schools.
I remember clearly at PCC the theme that, “God has not called us to be keepers of the aquarium, but he has called us to be fishers of men.” The heart of Horton’s in regards to Christian education reverberated throughout all teachings at the college. Through her influence, I too believe that Christian education must be open enrolment to be Biblical, and that it can, and must be used as a tool for evangelism. All education courses at PCC were always geared towards this theme, and I, now as a Missionary now on the foreign field, thank the Lord for it. Since the opening of our Christian school in 2014, we have seen seven families saved and Baptized as a result of the open enrollment. That is dozens of souls added to the Kingdom! I can trace this blessing back to Mrs. Horton.
She loved the old King James Bible.
One thing that you will never see in any of the A Beka Book Curriculum is the use of modern translations. The Horton’s stood for the King James Version, though often misunderstood in their stance, they continued to stand, and even until this day, it is the only Bible version used in the curriculum. As student, I remember the required seminars for “Why We Use the KJV”, and the wonderful Bible manuscripts room, which was an amazing collection on the PCC campus of old Bibles, and Textus Receptus manuscripts throughout church history. This was all because of the Horton’s love for the King James Bible. Today, I am now privileged to be teaching a T.R. perspective of why we as Americans use the KJV to national pastors all over the Philippines. I can trace this back to the Horton’s.
She Loved Missions & Training the Next Generation
I remember as student how we had a bi-annual missions conference at the Campus Church. As foreign students and as Missionary Kids we were given the priority to join in the “March of Nations”. I don’t know if it still being done today, but I remember marching in to the Crown Centre with the orchestra playing missions song arrangements, and seeing, literally every single college administrator with a smile from ear-to-ear. I realized in that moment, even in my young age, that this is why they do what they do. They want to see Christ exalted among the nations, they want to see young people from PCC get called into the mission field, and they simply wanted to be part of it. They felt privileged to help us young people along the way. The Horton’s smiles said all that. They really did.
She will not be around to see the huge push for homeschooling now to due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she already laid the groundwork. Her legacy will continue to shine. I wonder if there are more Bible woman out there who are only one decision of surrender away from being what created them to be, serving in that complementary role to a godly husband, and leaving a lasting legacy for the Lord. We know for sure, that she heard those precious words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Is there a girl reading this can be a lady theologian? Is there a girl leading that can be a leading voice in Christian education? I know there is, because I have seen it with my eyes.
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