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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • New use for old school

  • Former South Side elementary school slated to reopen next spring.
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  • The former Stowell Elementary School saw its role as an education center on Hannibal’s South Side end in the spring of 2007 as the new school near completion. Plans are apparently now in the works for the building to reopen as the Korea Mission Bible College in the spring of 2013.
    The non-denominational institution will be a ministry of Big River Chapel of Hannibal. The college’s lead pastor and president will be John Paul Tomko, whose parents, Paul and Jan Tomko, purchased the 700 Fulton Ave. property from the Hannibal public school district in July 2007 for $20,000.
    An attempt to reach Paul Tomko, listed as an elder with the ministry, was unsuccessful Thursday afternoon.
    According to the ministry’s Web site - bigriverchapel.com - American and Korean students, both male and female, are being sought.
    “Here in the city of Mark Twain, we seek to flourish the English and Korean languages, and biblical education for the Asia mission,” states the Web site.
    Reportedly, the college will provide “five dorm rooms for men and five for woman equipped with group showers and locker rooms. Men and woman are separated by two levels in the college. Married couples must apply for married couples housing...”
    Fees are: Tuition, $1,700; practicum, $300; dormitory, $500; and food, $2,000. Each semester will consist of five months in a year.
    The application deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 5. The deadline for the housing payment is Jan. 20 while tuition deposits must be in by Jan. 27.
    According to a posting on Big River Chapel’s Facebook page, dated Oct. 29, local volunteers were being sought to “clean, scrape and paint until December.”
    While the college will be applying for affiliation with the Calvary Chapel network and Horizon Bible College San Diego, it will not be accredited when it opens and is “not currently pursuing accreditation.” One reason given for not seeking accreditation is because “we wish to continue having local pastors teach Bible classes” and some of them do not hold a Masters degree. The other reason given is “to keep the cost of tuition affordable so that more students have the opportunity to study at KMC and remain free from school debt.”
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