Former Faculty

Ben Lippen School
Alumni Guestbook Entries

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Thank you for visiting our pages. We would love it if you would add your Alumni update to this guestbook we are keeping! Just email Becky Branham Dimon with your name, address, graduation year, city and state, plus all of the family information you want to share.


On September 19th, 2007, Miss Betty Basting went to be with the Lord.

I found this information online:

Betty Basting

DANVERS, IL - Betty M. Basting, 84, of 1015 O'Conor St., LaSalle, formerly of Danvers, died at 4:25 a.m. Wednesday (Sept. 19, 2007) at the Illinois Veterans Home, LaSalle.
Service: There will be no service. Her body was donated to medical science.
Visitation: There will be no visitation.
Memorials: Illinois Veterans Home, 1015 O'Conor St., LaSalle, IL 61301.
Survivors: one nephew, Wilbur (Beverly) Basting, Clinton; and one niece, Judy (Gary) Mohr, Bloomington.

On May 27th, 2007, Bob Hathaway went to be with the Lord. Many of his students, colleagues, family, and friends have posted their memories. Click here.

In March of 1999, Dr. A. C. Fortosis went to be with the Lord. For those who would like to pay tribute to Dr. Fortosis, please post your favorite memory of him through the link above, and I will add it to the separate page for that purpose. The Weeber girls were in attendance at the funeral, and here are some photos of the Fortosis "children" and the Weeber girls. Can you tell which is which?

Some Former Ben Lippen Faculty Kids

Jennifer Early Calvert,Class of Faculty 1982-1985, <> or <>
Concord, NC, USA


Can you add me to your faculty Ben Lippen page? That is such a nice thing you are doing. I was "Miss Early" and I worked at Ben Lippen from 1982-1985.

I want my former students to know that I released a book this past June. Most of them probably have middle school kids now, so I wanted them to know about it.

I wrote a novella that was release this past June for ages 5th grade on up. The title of the book is BFFs: Best Friends Forever.

If I could tell you a little about this book, I would want you to know that I have been a school counselor for over 20 years now. The problem of bullying never seems to go away. For many years, hurting students and their parents would come to me looking for a book to help them deal with the abuse they were receiving. I looked diligently for a book. There were plenty of books describing bullying, but none that offered the victim a means to get out of the toxic relationship.

Since the book I was looking for didn't exist, I decided to write my own. It was released this June. My desire is to help students rebuild their self-image. BFFs is based on a true story of a middle school girl who I coached out of her victim status. The book follows a group of girls and boys through middle school to adulthood. It deals with the typical issues encountered during that age span. The message of the book is that with the help of friends and God, you can weather through anything and come out a more compassionate person. And, bottom line, to truly be successful, Jesus Christ needs to be your best friend.

This is what one of the local columnists said about my book:

Jennifer Calvert's "BFFs" shows a real insider's knowledge of teens and tweens and their behavior, and it's no wonder -- Calvert has years of "on-the-ground" experience as a counselor and teacher at a North Carolina middle school. The book teaches moral and religious lessons without being preachy as we follow the tale of a girl who got picked on constantly in middle school, the friend she made and the two bullies themselves (a pleasant quirk here, that the bullies are not demonized but actually allowed to grow up in the book and change their own ways). It's a quick read, a fun read (easy for kids to get through as well) and one I can't recommend highly enough. Also would be very appropriate for church youth groups looking for something contemporary to study.
--- Scott Fowler, The Charlotte Observer

Thanks for your time. I believe the book can really help young adults who are struggling. And, honestly, it has a message for all ages about what is really important in life.


Jennifer Calvert
Counselor and Coordinator of Character Education
for Cannon's Lower School
"Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education."
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

– Signed on Thursday, November 01, 2007 at 18:17:34 (CDT)

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----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:01 PM
Subject: Bob Hathaway

Hi Becky,

This is Sharon, Bob and Bonnie's daughter. I know Mike attempted to send you an e-mail to a different address earlier today from one of my accounts. Unfortunately, I had server issues and we aren't sure it went through. Please excuse this e-mail if it you did receive the earlier one.

Dad died peacefully earlier this morning (Sunday, May 27) after a battle with Parkinson's Disease. We were wondering if you could send an e-mail to the addresses you have captured of alumni if you have them in an e-mail group.

The funeral is Wednesday, May 30 at Vanderwall Funeral Home in Dayton, Tennessee. Visitation/viewing is Tuesday evening from 6-8 at the same location.

Thank you,


– Signed on Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:01 PM (EDT)

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For those here who might know/remember the Grimm family and Winnie Grimm:

From: Betsy Grimm Tritt
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 6:18 PM
Subject: Winnie Grimm Hummel

Mom was on the staff at BL from 1974-1988. All of her children attended BL.

Martha Grimm Brady - Class of 1963 (
Betsy Grimm Tritt - Class of 1965 (
Steven Grimm - attended 1963-65 (
Katheryn Grimm Morris - Class of 1983 ( - also grew up as a BL staff child.


Winifred Webb Buchanan was born October 9, 1922 in Charlottesville, Virginia to the late William James and Bessie Garland Dinwiddie Buchanan. She grew up in the Waynesboro area with older siblings Bill, Lilie, and Agnes. She was graduated from Waynesboro High School, and The King�s College in Newcastle, Delaware, which later moved to Briarcliff Manor, NY. Later in life, she earned her Masters in elementary education from Florida State University, and her Masters in library science from The University of South Carolina.

Mrs. Hummel went to be with the Lord on March 3, 2007 at Penney Farms Retirement Center, Penney Farms, FL, where she lived with her second husband Carl Hummel. They were married in April of 1989.

Services were held at Penney Farms on Wednesday, March 7, 2007.

And at a later date, graveside services will be held in Waynesboro, VA.

Winifred was married to the late Reverend Albert Charles Grimm in June 1945. They are survived by four children: Martha and her husband Ronald Brady of Hanna City, IL; Betsy and her husband David Tritt of Bel Air, MD; Steven and his wife Patricia (Baer) of Harrisburg,PA; and Katheryn and her husband John Morris of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. They also have 7 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

The Grimms were active in Christian work in Minnesota, New York, and Florida. He founded Bethany Christian School in Ft. Lauderdale in 1954, where they worked until December of 1959, when they became missionaries to San Jose, Costa Rica, where they served until 1970. Rev. Grimm was on the staff of First Presbyterian Church of Plantation, FL, at the time of his death in November 1973.

Mrs. Hummel is survived by her husband, children, 7 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren, 3 nephews, and 4 nieces.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Penney Farms Pavilion in Mrs. Hummel�s name or to:

The Winnie Grimm Hummel Memorial Fund
c/o LAM
P. O. Box 52-7900
Miami, Florida 33152-7900

Please include a separate note designating �In memory of Winnie Grimm Hummel�

These donations will be used for a project in Costa Rica to make church buildings handicapped accessible. The government there has imposed new building codes that require such access to church buildings. Funding will help churches in poverty areas make required improvements.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to:

Mr. Hummel
P.O. Box 836
Penney Farms, FL 32079

or to Mrs. Hummel�s daughters:

Mrs. Ronald Brady
12913 West Court Street
Hanna City, IL 61536-9788


Mrs. David Tritt
702 Macroom Court
Bel Air, MD 21014.

----- Original Message -----
From: Kathy Morris
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 1:58 PM

Kathy Grimm Morris
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Class of 1983

Thanks so much to the many BL friends who have written us with condolences. My mom, Winnie Grimm Hummel, passed away on the 3rd of March.

She worked at Ben Lippen during the 70's and 80's as librarian. We moved there just after my father died in 1973. Our Ben Lippen years were very good ones in many ways and we made many good friends there during my growing up years. What some of our friends from that era may not remember is that my siblings also attended Ben Lippen in the mid/late-60s. Some of you may remember Martha, Betsy and Steve Grimm. Steve's wife is Patty Baer, who has several siblings who attended Ben Lippen as well.

Our family had a very special week together last week as we celebrated my mom's life. Once again, thank you very much for all your kind thoughts and wishes. We are planning a graveside service for relatives and friends who were not able to make it to her memorial service in Florida. It is tentatively planned for May and will take place in Waynesboro, VA, where my mother was from.

– Signed on Sunday, March 11, 2007 6:18 PM (EDT)

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Bob Weeber, Class of Faculty 1954/55 through 1995/96 <>
Columbia, SC, USA

Hi, Becky - From Bob and Dorothy Weeber:

Greetings and thanks soooo much for what you are contributing to inspiring these contacts with the 'ole great Ben Lippen Family - the "On The Mountain" family. It was great getting that forward from Billy Townsend! I sent it to A C McWilliams and we both have exchanged emails with Bill. How meaningful to learn of the Lord's direction for him and his big family. Keep up the good work. I hope many more learn of what you are doing and join in to share their own journies. What a great group of wonderful "kids" attended BL "On The Mountain" and what great and sometimes difficult times we shared as the Lord graciously taught us all so much about Himself and ourselves as He was molding us for the specific future He had for each of us.

Just a few catch-ups on Dorothy and me and our five. We (Dot and I) did move with the school in '88 and the Lord led us to a small three bedroom house which has nicely met our needs, located about ten minutes from the campus. After 41 years ( 33 "On The Mountain" and 8 in Columbia ) we "retired" in '96. Can't stay away from campus. Am out there for ball games, committee meetings faculty get-togethers and are learning to put up with those little aches and pains that show up at 79 and 77! The Lord continues to bless the school and the faculty's prayers and vision to see the students come to know Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior and Lord in a real personal experience, much as He did "On The Mountain." Can you imagine 950 students ( K4-12 ) with a Faculty-Staff of 90? and the Lord's provision of meeting the financial needs. It's different but wonderful.

An update on our family: Judy and John Dahl live in Denver where she is a massage therapist and also really enjoys teaching water aerobics to senior citizens; John and Juliette with son John Gabriel are still in the banking business in Paris, France: Joy's latest is a PhD from NCSU in the special field of "Disability Identity Development" and is on the faculty at the UNC Pembrook, NC.; Jeanne and Tom Jones live in Richmonad, VA. and she is involved with Insurance Sales. They have a daughter Alex, a high school senior, and Janice and Howard Steensma live in Hastings, MI with Brittany, a high school senior and Josh a middle schooler. Keep up the great job you're doing for the Alums. Homecoming is just about 4 weeks away. Looking forward to seeing a lot of our "Mountain" grads there. Cordially, in our wonderful Lord, Bob, for Dorothy, too.

– Signed on Tuesday, October 4, 2005 12:32 PM

--- Previous Entry ---

Personal greetings from way back in '74! Must have been about our Joy's time-think she was '73. I get quite a few e-mails from BL grads asking for addresses etc. from grads, faculty etc. and recently got one from Susan Gordon Williams who mentioned the great job you have been doing in keeping BL "on line." I don't have a computer as such, only a "MailSation" sender and receiver, which our kids gave us as one of their gifts at out 50th in '51. I have had a great time with it corresponding with BL grads and faculty all over the world.

Susan sent some of your text regarding the new owner of our old Asheville campus. Isn't it exciting what is happening? We have retained Dr. Becker as our dentist since moving to Columbia so make regular trips to Asheville for dental care. When we learned of the new owner of the campus and that he has employed Dave Payne, BL '83 as his Attorney, I contacted Dave, learned more about the owner, Reese Lasher, and ended up being invited by Reese to drop in to see him on our next visit to Asheville.

Had a great hour with Reese, a very warm, personable, outgoing gentleman with a great warm spirit in wanting to know all he can about the history of the property and about Ben Lippen. It was great to get a look at the detailed drawings of how they hope to develop the entire 137 acres, removing the girls dorm and most of the old faculty houses, plotting off lots for individual dwellings at those locations with beautiful views of the mountain ranges, etc.. condos and apartments etc. His ideas include setting aside some area/stucture ? as a memorial monument to the history of Ben Lippen. It's all very sketchy and indefinite at this point but the potential sounds like something we who have such fond memories of the place are excited about. Who knows, maybe some of our grads who have the means may be some of those who will want to take advantage of retiring there!!??

And I learned from David that Reese is very open and welcomes grads to visit the property and even have class gatherings there. Dave's class of '83 is planning an all-day 20th reunion on the campus on June 21. It does sound like a remarkable turn of events for our dear Mountain of Trust that has seen such turbulent times since the school moved to Columbia.

I didn't plan to say all of this when I started, but not knowing how much you already knew, I got carried away. Hope no offence. A personal note: after 41 years they finally let me "graduate" in '96. I'm back on campus two or three times a week, involved in various ways. Looking forward to Candlelight Testimonies this Thursday night (remember?) and Graduation Fri. AM. 82 grads this year. Keep up your good work in stimulating interest among the Alum.

Cordially, Bob
I'll catch you up on our kids some other time.

– Signed on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 22:17:30 (EDT)

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Nell Harden, Class of Faculty 1968/69 through 1987/88 <>
Asheville, NC, USA

Dear Becky,

What a delight to hear from you and to see your smiling face. You still look like a sweet little school girl; could that be a recent picture? I am blessed to have contact with Ben Lippen graduates fairly often, both by e-mail and through class reunions held in the Asheville area. Last fall the class of '83 met at Ridgecrest and the class of '87 at a lodge out beyond Weaverville.

Eileen had told me about your web site, and I had tried--rather unsuccessfully--to make connections. A young visitor who was here recently helped me to make contact, but I still did not find the "news" that Eileen had spoken of. Although I enjoy using the computer for both e-mail and word processing, that is the extent of my usage and knowledge.

I am thankful to say that I am in good health for a woman of 78 and am still very active. It is true that I grunt every time I stand or sit--or make other moves. When Eileen was here with her two children a few years ago, little Jon (about nine years old then) asked his mother why I made "that noise" every time I stood up. That has furnished me with many chuckles--and even an occasional guffaw. I have told many other residents of Givens Estates about that, and they, too, have appreciated the humor.

Shortly after moving to Givens Estates in December 1989, I learned to play the autoharp. Since that time I have found great joy in playing with the campus dulcimer group, consisting of about two dozen players. In addition, I play with a dulcimer trio (two dulcimers and the autoharp) and do some solo playing. The large group is too big to play off campus very much, so most of our programs are given here. But the smaller group often plays at churches (mostly for retirees), at nursing homes, schools, etc. That occupies much of my time: on Tuesday afternoons the trio practices; on Wednesday mornings the large group practices. On Saturday mornings the trio plays at our nursing home here on campus. We also play there two Monday afternoons a month. We play in our assisted living section two Thursday afternoons a month.

On Friday mornings I help to prepare the Sunday bulletins at Arden Presbyterian Church; I also proofread the church newsletter that goes out once a month, and do some "book reviews" for that document. (I use quotation marks because I do not always read the books thoroughly. My eyesight is rather poor.) During 2002 I had surgery four times: two cataract removals with lens implants, one arthroscopic knee surgery, and one plastic surgery on my nose to remove skin cancer. (I've had a number of skin cancers removed, but this is the first time it was done by plastic surgery.) Now I am facing a kind of heart surgery on March 7. It is called catheter ablation, if that means anything to you. As the cardiologist explained it to me, the upper part of my heart is not speaking properly to the lower part of my heart: it gives the wrong electrical impulses causing my heart to race--and sometimes causing me to pass out--or nearly so. This surgery is to find the cells causing the problem and kill them.

Becky, please give my love to Margaret. I was talking about you girls just recently, when I met a new nurse ot our health care center (euphemism for nursing home). Her married name is Branham.

Do feel free to edit this rather long account of my life since Ben Lippen and to greet all the graduates from my era. I would love to hear from them.

Do ask them, please, to use bold type if they write, because it is hard for me to read anything less.

Much love,
Nell Harden

– Signed on Friday, January 24, 2003 at 09:11:28 (EDT)

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Eileen McCloy Fritz, Class of Faculty 1968-76 <>
Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

We celebrate with you the coming of the Savior King we so desperately needed! We hope you and yours are in good health physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually!

We have enjoyed this past year as Lauren and Jon and moving rapid-fire through the high school and college years. Jon is now a Sophomore, with another soccer season behind. He brings that same intense defensive skill to the basketball court for the Berean Academy Lions. His team will be enjoying their own brand new gym beginning in January when we move from a rental to our new campus. What an amazing provision of the Lord! He is doing very well in a school where A�s have been so very hard to come by! He is officially a Class Rep on Student Government and unofficially the social event organizer for friends at school and church. Jon gets rave reviews for his work in the church nursery, especially with active little boys. He sometimes fancies that he owns a black Saturn that happens to have my name on its title!

Lauren sings and laughs her way along through her college years. She and her friends at Covenant College have formed their own version of the Inklings (a la C. S. Lewis), finding great satisfaction in reading and discussing essay three afternoons a week in the Great Hall. Somehow she seems to manage sleep and study, but it�s a wonder! She is home for Christmas now, putting in some time working at Panera Bread as she did this summer. It�s bit harder and less fun to make a buck here than on Lookout Mountain, GA, near campus where she has four jobs to help cover the cost of a private Christian college tuition. The missions trip she took to Mexico over spring break with her chapter of Reformed University was a wonderful and profitable cross-cultural ministry experience.

Eileen no longer claims that she has �retired to Florida� since beginning as a Guidance Counselor at Berean Academy. She loves the school the staff, and the work, except for the tedious details and technical parts involving grades and transcripts. A new office awaits her in January, but it might be just as cramped, fortunately with pleasant colleagues! Learning this new job and creating a new department under a visionary Headmaster allows her the satisfaction of teamwork, the freedom of independence, and the opportunity for creativity which makes her happy! The pay is part-time; hopefully, sometime soon, the hours will be also! Eileen continues to be involved at church as a regular greeter and Welcome Lunch Invitations Coordinator. She helps with Rhyme and Rhythm for pre-schoolers on Wednesday nights.

Freddy has been watching the candidate for the US Presidential race closely, developing a soft spot for a Baptist, expecting that his dual citizenship will be a reality by election time. He has also been chipping away on his doctoral dissertation on application in preaching from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, MO. He has completed one chapter, and by Eileen�s count, has read at least 10,000 pages. When he gets focused and accelerated, someone seems to need a pastor for a lingering terminal illness, or a funeral. He is loved and appreciated for his faithful support of his people in times of struggle and crisis, and would never default on pastoral care even for a dissertation deadline. We are all thankful that he has another unexpected extension until May. We would all love to fly to St. Louis for a graduation in May! He is getting great feed-back from his sermon series on Romans. If you want to hear them, chick out the audio a version or download a hard copy by first visiting our church web-site at

May the stunning ways of the Sovereign Lord in providing a Substitute-Savior to save is from our sins be clearer than ever as we celebrate the birth of this Savior-King together!

Our love,
Freddy & Eileen, Lauren and Jon

– Signed on December 25, 2007 (EDT)

----- Previous Entry from State College, PA-----

This wonderful web site you created, Becky, certainly redeems you for the last car decorating prank you and Janet Brown pulled just before you left campus after a Homecoming weekend! I'll stop plotting paybacks now!

I came to BL just after graduating from CBC in 1968. I was Junior Girls' Counselor for eight years. I came with youthful energy, but not a lot of wisdom. I fear that by the time I got a bit wiser, I had lost most of my energy!

The Ben Lippen family with our sweet and bittersweet memories, is a special part of my life experience. I will always be grateful to the Lord for those years. His grace at every point in my life is certainly worth celebrating!

I went on to take an MA in Counseling Psychology at Trinity Evangelical School in Deerfield, IL. For the first three years I was a counseling dean for women at Moody, and studied part-time. I graduated form Trinity in 1981. Being in Chicago was like a big reunion time since there were so many BL and CBC types there.

I was 39 and still in the Chicago area counseling I met Freddy, a 29 year old South African ultra-marathon runner who had come to study at Trinity. It was love at first sight and we were married four months later in December, 1985.

Freddy and I moved to the Pittsburgh area where he was Associate Pastor at the Chippewa Evangelical Free Church where we really enjoyed our first five years in the pastorate.

We had a "miracle birth" when I was 42. Lauren is almost 13! We had a "miracle adoption" when I was 45. Jon is now 10. For ten years Freddy has pastored Oakwood Presbyterian Church here in Central PA, and loves the pastorate. (He's preaching his way through Romans, an old favorite of mine!) Besides my involvement in church and maintaining a small counseling practice on the side, I have been homeschooling for the last two years. So while my siblings and friends are sending their grandchildren home after a fun, but exhausting visit, I'm still helping my homeschool kids with their studies! My kids play with kids of former BL students who live here in State College - Bob Major, Steve Jackson, and Ken Nafziger. Yes, I'm a "soccer mom." It's hard for my husband and kids to imagine that I ever was a soccer coach! I can't believe it myself most of the time!

We visit "Auntie Nell" Harden almost once a year near Asheville. This year was special because I timed our visit to be a the picnic part of the reunion that Judy Lubkemann organized for the "girls" in the class of '71!

– Signed on Saturday, August 18, 2001 at 16:55:28 (EDT)
– Updatd on December 25, 2007 (EDT)

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Pam Herrington, Class of faculty 1982-88 <>
Lufkin, TX, USA

dear friends,
i just wanted everyone to know that about 2 weeks ago i had the opportunity to be back in asheville and catch up with darcy duin and her parents, christy sloan and her parents, deb and david steele and mary (adams) lowe. we had a wonderful visit. darcy and her 2 year old Cole are living in asheville and darcy is an engineer for a company there. she is doing well. christy, as many of you know has Lou Gerhig's disease and is not well, physically, but otherwise she is doing remarkably well and was an encouragement to all of us as we visited with her. She is a living example of "in all things we are Victorious"...pray for her as she continues to live for Him. david and deb steele are a precious couple who are doing well in a computer business called and have offices in Indiana and Savannah, Ga. Mary is living in Due West, SC and she and her husband work at Erskine College there.. It was amazing to all of us how we just seemed to reconnect with no awkwardness at all. we just seemed to pick up right where we left off 14 years ago.... thanks for this site where we can keep each other informed as to how things are going with each other.

– Updated on Sunday, July 28, 2002 at 10:22:16 (EDT)

Previous Entry:

well, i cant believe it has been 5 years since i visited this site, but it has been and i am glad to be catching up on some old friends... like cliff white.
i am no longer coaching here in lufkin, but have since started teaching ap government and am loving it. our football team won the state championship of texas this fall and it was an absolutely fabulous time:) my dad died last may and so this year has been somewhat difficult, but God has been strong on my behalf. i am thankful to have my mom living here in lufkin as well so that we can be together and support each other.
love to hear from any of you guys out there:)

– Signed on Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Original Entry:

Lufkin, TX., USA

Hi! i was really excited when David Steele (86) put me on to this page on the web. I left BL when the school moved to Columbia and went to LA. and got a master's degree in P.E., then moved to Lufkin TX and have been here ever since. In 1992 i had a bout with cancer (breast), but am fully recovered and in fact, just had my 5 year check-up. All is well. I would love to hear from any of the students that were at BL during 1982-88. It was good to find out already from reading the guestbook where some of you are. I am teaching government at Lufkin High School and have been coaching Volleyball and Basketball for the past 8 years. It is a real mission field, the public school, but i love it and will probably be here for a while.

– Signed on Thursday, June 19, 1997 at 11:37:51 (EDT)

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Sherry Long, Class of Faculty: 1971-2001 <>
Eldorado, OK, USA

This journey called life has some surprise turns. Thirty years at Ben Lippen for me meant thirty years of neat opportunities to teach many really special students. I made my move back to Oklahoma to be near my parents in Oklahoma where the winds still sweep down the plains. This school year of 2001-2002 I taught biology classes at Western Oklahoma State College in Altus, Oklahoma. I learned many valuable lessons as a teacher in this year, especially the importance of encouraging words to college students. This next school year I have accepted a position of teaching science at Lawton Christian School in Lawton, Oklahoma. I am looking forward to teaching biology, chemistry, and physics there. I would love to hear from some of you out there. The last three years that I taught at Ben Lippen, I had the opportunity of teaching children of my former BL students. Now that is one way of measuring time.

– Signed on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 at 17:47:01 (EDT)

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Jane Schum, Class of (Kid) 42-47 <>
Arabi, GA, USA


I have a new address for Mom and Dad (Henry and Ruby Schum):

Magnolia Manor Retirement Center
2001 South Lee Street
Americus, Georgia 31709

Mother was moved to the Alzheimer's unit 1/16/02, separating this loving couple after 58 years of marriage. Dad now has Parkinson's Disease, but is responding to medication.

I would like to correspond with people who remember them. Thank you again for printing their story on your site.

Jane Schum (formerly Jane Schum McGahee)

– Signed on Thursday, February 07, 2002 at 18:45:41 (EST)

Click here for a recent photo of Henry and Ruby Schum.

Henry and Ruby Stegall Schum, Faculty Members from 1942-1947, email c/o daughter, <Jane Schum>
East Ridge / Chattanooga, TN, USA

Henry S. Schum, of Altoona, Pennsylvania, attended Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tennessee, graduating in 1940. That summer, he had a radio program in Sheffield, Alabama, visited every home in town, handing out tracts and preaching the gospel. After visiting home for the Fall, he returned to the South where he traveled as an evangelist holding Youth Revivals. Hearing of his work, Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. asked him to be a field representative for the Young People's Fellowship Clubs, heading up the clubs for Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, as well as the evangelist for their campaigns and youth revivals.

Henry first learned about Ben Lippen School through his college roommate, Glenn Orr. Glenn and his sister had attended several of the summer conferences. Later, in his travels with the clubs, Henry was often in the Asheville, North Carolina area, where he met Jerry Gerow, a teacher at Ben Lippen.

In the summer of 1942, Henry was invited to go 'possum hunting on Ben Lippen mountain with John Dunlap, a Baptist minister in Asheville, and Jerry Gerow. A few days later, J. G. Williams, Headmaster of Ben Lippen, contacted Henry, offering him a position as a teacher at the school. He accepted the position for the Fall term of 1942, which had an enrollment of approximately 50 students, all boys.

An ordained Baptist minister when he joined the faculty of Ben Lippen, Henry took on the duties of Chaplain, Athletic Director, and in the next five years taught Bible, Spelling, Medieval History, Spanish, and English Composition. He was also in charge of activities on Friday night and Saturday. He remembers planning activities for 26 straight weeks, with no repeats in programming.

Henry also pastored several small churches in the area including Bethel and Inanda Baptist. After much prayer, he changed his denomination to Southern Presbyterian, becoming pastor of the Dooly Springs Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Mission in Weaverville. Gas was rationed during those years, so he walked to his pastorates, Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night, miles in the dark, returning to a long climb up the mountain back to Ben Lippen.

These were World War Two years. Because of rationing, the school board decided to have a livestock program to help provide food for the school. Henry was placed in charge of the livestock program, as well as the Victory Gardens, and helped with the Marching to Victory Program. That first year, their excellent school band, under the direction of Lewis Pund, visited many schools in the Asheville area, presenting a musical program which included a sermon by Henry Schum.

Several kinds of livestock, including goats, chickens and cows, were kept on the mountain for the school, but the most notable were the hogs. Henry supervised the boys in the care, feeding, and slaughtering of the animals. The hogs were chosen because almost all of a hog can be eaten or used in some way. He likes to recall the time when the kitchen staff served boiled hogs' ears for supper one night, wet and rubbery, flopping in the serving bowls. Needless to say, none of the ears were eaten!

The dedication of the hog pen, which Henry and the boys built from pine poles, was a big night at Ben Lippen. Dr. Robert C. McQuilkin, President of Columbia Bible College, as well as the entire Board were there to hear a trumpet concert, and to laugh at a humorous skit of the story of "The Three Pigs" performed by some of the students. Of course, the "brick house" the wolf could not blow down was the new hog pen.

Some of the faculty during these years were George Hayward, C. A. Crisp, science teacher Arnold Scorza, coach Pat Patterson, William Venable, Neils Larson, Dwight Chapin, Austin Higgins, William Wright, and Ruth Skofield. Miss Florence Lovelady from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, served Ben Lippen for many years as secretary and bookkeeper. Miss Lovelady is fondly remembered by all who knew her.

On August 27, 1943, Henry married Ruby Stegall of Charlotte, North Carolina. The Schums lived in an apartment on the second floor at the end of the South Wing of the Main Lodge. The faculty wives helped where they could, and Ruby, an expert typist became the typing teacher. On December 28, 1944, their first child, Jane Marie, was born. Jane was the first baby born to faculty at Ben Lippen, and she joined in immediately in the activities of the school. When she was only 6 weeks old, she went on a camping trip with the boys to Mountain Meadows Inn, Northeast of Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The boys were coached in proper etiquette and encouraged to bring dates to school functions. Ruby recalls one very shy boy who was being pushed to get a date for the Halloween party of 1945. He had to bring a girl, so he asked Aunt Ruby if he could bring 10-month-old Jane. The baby was dressed in an appropriate costume and her "date" picked her up and took her to the party, being careful to bring her home early.

In 1946, Ruby's parents, G. W. and Ethel Stegall, moved to Ben Lippen. Mr. Stegall was a contractor with a business in Charlotte. But he closed his business at the insistence of Dr. McQuilkin, to make major repairs to deteriorating buildings, including Houston Hall. He then built the bookstore, the gym, and the apartment house across from Houston Hall, where they lived on the first floor.

The Schum family had lived for two summers at Lippen Lodge on the top of the mountain. Rather primitive, the lodge was used for missionary training for college and seminary men. So, Henry purchased a small piece of land down the hill, next to the gym, where he and Mr. Stegall built a small house. They lived in the South Wing during the school year, and then moved to the little house for the summer. On February 4, 1947, their second daughter, Ruby Jay, was born, joining the growing community at Ben Lippen. Ruby Jay was delivered by Dr. L. Nelson Bell, father-in-law of Dr. Billy Graham. Dr. Bell enjoyed an active practice in Asheville at that time, which included several of the faculty at the school.

Mr. Schum, who was called "Uncle Hank" by the students, recalls many stories of the days on Ben Lippen School campus. For instance, he used to go bear hunting on a Harley 45 motorcycle. He would leave campus early in the morning, join other hunters in Weaverville, hunt for bear in the woods, and then ride back to Ben Lippen at dawn, arriving just in time for class at 8 a.m.

The Schum family stayed at Ben Lippen through the school year of 1947, moving that Winter to Atlanta, Georgia. There, Henry enrolled in Columbia Theological Seminary and received his Bachelor of Divinity degree. On November 18, 1949 their last daughter Mary Frances was born. Her long battle with cancer and subsequent death on February 27, 1996 was a time of great heartache and sorrow for the family, but they rest in the promise of joining her someday in Glory.

As an ordained Presbyterian minister, Henry served the Lord in pastorates in Atlanta; Highland, Kentucky (4 churches and 4 out-posts); Charlotte, North Carolina; Johnson City, Tennessee; Swannanoa, North Carolina; Macon, Georgia; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. As an evangelist, he and Ruby traveled the United States from 1966 to 1971 with Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship, and then four years on his own. He has also authored a book, You Can Teach Effectively, a study guide, A Practical Guide for Family Worship and Christian Growth, and a children's cartoon story book which he also illustrated called Exploring the Bible Way.

Henry included in his ministry 30 years of television work as "Uncle Hank" illustrating and telling Bible stories, the weekly 15-minute programs being carried on cable and in several countries. Ruby served as program director, secretary and treasurer of the Uncle Hank Evangelistic Association. She also made, produced, directed, and performed spiritual lessons with puppets. Henry was able to use his talents in art and music to reach thousands of homes with the gospel. Their summer vacations were spent in beach ministries on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

His travels include ministry in Australia, Uganda, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico, and India, and as a tour guide in travels to Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, and Israel.

In 1980, while in Macon, Georgia, Henry earned his Doctorate of Ministries degree from Luther Rice Seminary in Jacksonville, Florida, at age 63. He and Dr. G. Allen Fleece, past President of Columbia Bible College, served the First Presbyterian Church in Macon together under the senior pastorship of Dr. Jim Baird.

Some of his most important work involves church planting. While in Macon, he had much to do with planting 12 churches for the Middle Georgia Presbytery. After moving back to the Chattanooga area, he participated in planting 14 churches for the Tennessee Valley Presbytery.

Dr. and Mrs. Schum have spent their lives learning, preaching, and teaching, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ at every opportunity, and with their daily lives. They now make their home in the East Ridge/Chattanooga area, where Henry is associate pastor of the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga. Henry continues to preach, often illustrating his sermons with charcoal drawings. He started playing his accordion in 1947, and is using it now in his church and in nursing homes and events in the Chattanooga area. In addition to the two daughters, they have two sons-in-law and two grandsons.

Their lives together began at Ben Lippen School in Asheville, North Carolina, a time they fondly remember. They are 83 years of age, recently celebrated their 57th Wedding Anniversary, and are still witnessing for Christ, reminding us to keep looking up, Jesus is coming soon. "Even so, come Lord Jesus."

– Signed on Tuesday, September 19, 2000 at 23:52:51 (EST)

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Jim Johnson, Class of Faculty 1975-76 & 1976-77 <>
Winston-Salem, NC, USA

What a great web site - what a blessing. Thank you for taking time to bring everyone together.

– Signed on Wednesday, February 06, 2002 at 13:16:35 (EST)

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Ben Merritt, Faculty Member, 1996-1998, Alumni Class of 1991 <> or <>
Ft. Mill / South Carolina, USA

Well I have been in school for what seems like forever. I thank God for the opportunity I had 1996-1998 to teach at Ben Lippen and give a bit back to a very special place. I am now an athletic trainer and teacher (tea ching Sports Medicine) at Ft. Mill High School here in old South Carolina (you knew I could never leave). Nice to be working at the best public school in the state. I miss you guys and really hope to see a bunch of you at homecoming.

– Signed on Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 17:50:35 (EDT)

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Cliff White, Faculty Member, 1984 - 2009 <>
Columbia, SC, USA

Thanks, Becky, for providing such a great service for people to stay in touch. I'm still teaching here at BL and excited about seeing Jesus alive and well and still working here on the new campus. And for those interested, Torchlight continues to shine the light. God is good.
Cliff White

-------------- Original Entry --------------

Hello to everyone! Little did I think that I would be here at BL for so long! After four years on the old campus in Asheville, I believed it was God's will to move down to Columbia for the transition. I'm still transitioning! :-)

I'm still teaching math, taking over the reigns from Bob Hathaway (now retired) as math department chair, and I'm finishing up (soon I hope) the Algebra II text I'm writing. Algebra I is already done, and a few homeschoolers in SC are using it (as well as all the Algebra I students at BL). I'm thankful to be at a place like BL where I'm allowed to use my God-given creativity.

Of the faculty from the old campus, Les Lehman, Elaine Lindsey, Sherry Long, and myself are the only ones left. However, Keiichi Naruke (now married with two kids, who teaches ESL to international students at BL, and who is my neighbor here in House 1B), Mike Schreck (Middle School computers), Dick Houser (Guidance), and Nicole Lassiter (Spanish) are alumni who have come back to serve here.

For those of you who wonder whether the new campus has the same "heart" as the old, much of the old still remains. The emphasis on Jesus first, missions, and the importance of relationships between faculty and students is still here. Pray that the "heart" of BL will not be lost as things continue to grow here.

Torchlight is still going by God's grace. We've put out seven projects in these past sixteen years (available on CD). This year we are primarily a praise band equipped with synthesizer, piano, electric guitar, bass, acoustic guitar, and drums. We are jamming for Jesus! And for the first time I can remember, we are having "all praise" chapels at BL, chapels where we do nothing but praise the Lord. We've had five this year. Long time coming. Torchlight is facilitating the praise for those chapels.

Good things are happening here. I do miss the old campus, its beauty and the community with students and faculty there. But I'm pressing on ahead to make a difference for Jesus on this new campus. Every day is a mission. Life continues to be an exciting adventure. For those of you who had a good experience at BL (or even those who didn't), please pray for us here on the new campus. You know what the battles are like. And pray that God will bring the right people to teach and administrate here. It's people, not programs, that make the difference.

Thanks, Becky, for allowing the connections made in those old days in Asheville and in the new days down here in Columbia to continue.

Sincerely in Jesus,

Cliff White

– Updated on Saturday, October 07, 2000 at 23:44:09 (EDT)
– Originally Signed on Wednesday, April 19, 2000 at 10:27:23 (EDT)

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In Memory of Randy Ash, Faculty Member, 1984-85

Dear Becky,
My name is Michael Davis. I attended Ben Lippen for two years in '84 and '85. I have written an entry in your guestbook already, and I thank you for the opportunity you have given former students to update their classmates on their lives after BLS. This letter is not about me, but I would greatly appreciate the entry of it in your guestbook on behalf of a former faculty member during the years the campus was in Asheville. NC.

When I came to Ben Lippen I was scared, lonely, and had "issues" in my life. I met Randy Ash who became not only an authority figure, but a friend and a mentor. He was able to take me and so many others and point them in the right direction. Many students knew that he was born with and grew up with many medical problems and physical ailments. He was a man who had both hips replaced and biked across the US for rehab. After I left BLS, I continued my friendship with him. We both struggled in our lives spiritually and often fell to the temptations the world had to offer. During the past 15 years we both kept in touch to encourage each other and at times he was the only person I knew I could turn to to lift me up. His life after BLS was not easy. He continued to have physical problems, and his many surgeries and bone replacements cost well into the millions of dollars. His life's passion was to help those struggling with addictions. He worked diligently as a counselor to street children and was a regular counselor and sponsor at AA and NA meetings. Needless to say, He changed the lives of everyone he met.

On September 24, 1999, Randy was doing what he loved . . . helping people. As he often did, he took someone into his home who needed help to give them shelter from the world and a friend to talk to. He was found shortly thereafter as a victim of the person he reached his hand out to. Randy Ash went to be with the Lord that day, but the memories he left with the hundreds and maybe thousands of people he touched will live on forever. The card from his memorial service had these verses, words he would have spoken himself:

I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one,
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

Randall W. Ash
Born: October 14,1955
Laid to Rest: September 24, 1999

– Signed on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 at 23:27:00 (EDT) by
Michael Davis

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Jack Layman, Faculty Member, 1956-58; Headmaster, 1971-83 <> or <>
columbia, sc 29230, USA

Hi Becky, Have avoided your site because, to me, YOU (and the other BL students) are still a precocious 17-18 year old; I just cannot think of you as a woman in her..., late 40s!

[Editorial Correction: I am NOT in my LATE 40s - just turned 44 on Groundhog's Day, thank you very much. (grin) - Becky Branham Dimon]

Still teaching at Columbia International U., including a course strikingly similar to Senior Social Studies, and doing a lot of travel. Leslie (Physical Therapist, Joshua Tree, CA) and Susan (about to return to Tajikistan, where she operates an English language school) were born while we were at BLS in the 50s. Betsy and Sara have logged into the net; Jim Barnes (adopted nephew) is in Boston; Katie, Christy and Johnny have also been noted on this site. My years as headmaster were hard ones for both Liz and myself--there were parts I liked (teaching, sports, student life, etc.), but administrative details and the necessity to be The Father, responsible for the behavior, safety and development of 200+ hormone-laden teenagers was wearing. I was always tense until the last athletics/mall, etc. bus chugged up the hill; never wanted to call parents to announce a pregnancy; disliked but had to be responsible for upholding BLS standards without being a complete ogre; etc.

Did my apprenticeship under Tony Fortosis and we were close friends for years, often rooming together at various places where we taught or served on boards. We shared many thoughts; it might be hard for 50s & 60s students to know that he was a gentle and kind person, he could come across pretty stern--he, also, had a sense of duty, but for years he was the conscience of the Christian School movement regarding having a "Shepherd's heart."

Like many of the students I found a life after BL, but I do miss those mountains, soccer games with the mountain aglow with the Fall colors, Sunday lunch, etc. JL

– Signed on Saturday, February 12, 2000 at 12:35:56 (EST)

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Roy Rood, Faculty Member 1961-63, 1972-75 <>
tampa, USA

Dear Becky, I'm writing to have you change my email address since I could not find a way to do it electronically from here.

it is

I've enjoyed reading the emails from former students and I enjoyed seeing the Fortosis and Weeber kid's(gulp) pictures. My main remembrance of Dr. Fortosis was the GRAVITY of his commitment. There was no playing around with him and his relationship with the Lord. It was sincere and real and all the way. What a contrast to the world today when alas, we see almost nothing but foolishness and emptiness in our entertainers, leaders, etc. And the world's worst are most of the television preachers. Yuck! When we compare Dr. Fortosis with them, we then understand the GRAVITY of his commitment compared with the sham of theirs.

And I have enjoyed reading the notes of the former alumni and I look forward to reading many more. If any of you get near Tampa, please call Liz and I (813) 899-1268. We would love to hear what you are doing. Mr. Rood

– Signed on Tuesday, November 09, 1999 at 00:06:41 (EST)
– Updated on Thursday, January 13, 2000 at 01:19:25 (EST)

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Chris Irwin, Faculty Member 1992-1993, <>
New Castle, PA, USA

I was just killing a few idle hours when I decided to see what the internet could turn up on Ben Lippen. I was very pleasantly surprised by all that I found. This guestbook is a great idea. I was a faculty member at Ben Lippen for the 1992-1993 school year. Although it was only one year, the Lord truly blessed me through my brothers and sisters in Christ on the faculty and through relationships with a truly great student body. I was happy to see messages from Eden, Njina, Gideon, and Tony - all former students. Keep pursuing Christ, you guys!

For the last five years I've been teaching at Sharpsville High School in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. I can't say if it's where I'll spend the rest of my career or not. It seems that lately the Lord has been giving me a little bit of a spirit of dissatisfaction but I'm not yet entirely sure what He's leading to.

I was sort of hoping to hear about a Class of '93 five-year reunion so I could have an excuse to come down and visit. But I suppose all you guys are scattered to the four corners of the earth.

Anyway, all the richest of the Lord's blessings to the alumni, faculty, staff, and students of Ben Lippen.

– Signed on Monday, July 6, 1998 at 09:43:55 (EDT)

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Main Guestbook

Faculty Members:

1984 - Present:
Cliff White

Ben Merritt

Chris Irwin

In Memory of
Randy Ash

Pam Herrington

Jennifer Early Calvert

Jim Johnson

In Memory of:
Winnie Grimm

Sherry Long

Eileen McCloy Fritz

Nell Harden

1961-63, 1972-75:
Roy Rood

1956-58: Faculty
1971-83: Headmaster
Jack Layman

Bob Weeber

Passed Away:
May 27, 2007
Bob Hathaway -
In Memoriam

Dr. A. C. Fortosis -
In Memoriam

Henry Schum
Ruby Stegall Schum