Trinity was founded in 1948, when the Holy Spirit brought to reality the vision of Rev. L.E. Englar, a North Dakota pastor. Rev. Englar enlisted the support of Rev. G.L. Riffe and Rev. W.H. Kesler. Together they generated sufficient interest within the North Dakota District Council of the Assemblies of God to bring the college into existence.
Rev. L.E. Englar
The first classes started at Devils Lake, North Dakota, in Lakewood Park Bible School. The school year officially commenced on October 18, 1948, with classes starting at the close of the fall harvest and ending at spring planting time. The enrollment consisted of 18 students.
W.H. Kesler, was named to serve as Dean. He continued in this capacity until retirement in 1969.
From 1948 until 1960, the school grew until the Lakewood Park facilities could no longer accommodate the students. At that time the Assemblies of God church in Aberdeen, South Dakota had recently constructed a new building, and offered the use of this facility to the Bible school. In the fall of 1960, the move was made from Devils Lake to Aberdeen, and the school’s name was changed to Hub City Bible Institute (Aberdeen is known as Hub City). God continued to bless the school and enrollment steadily increased. By the 1966-67 school year, there were 143 students attending classes.
This growth spurred the need to again find larger facilities. The former Trinity Hospital building in Jamestown, North Dakota, became available, and the school moved there in the fall of 1967. It was renamed Trinity Bible Institute, and 183 students enrolled for the fall classes. Growth continued and by 1972, the Jamestown building was overflowing, and again larger facilities were needed.
The University of North Dakota, Ellendale Branch, closed, and Trinity Bible Institute was able to acquire the campus and all its equipment. The 1972 fall semester enrollment in Ellendale was 333.