Our History

Carver has been on the front lines for a number of years, and will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2022. Its roots historically go back to the “Gospel Ambassadors,” which was originally a teacher training ministry for the inner Kansas City area, founded by a returning missionary (Mrs. Eva Jantz Blevins) from Africa. In its early years the Institute had at one time an enrollment of 1,690 pupils. The schools address in the late 1930’s was 618 Shawnee Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. The first Missouri location for the school was at 1301 Vine Street where the school stayed until the Watkins Home Project bought the property. The school purchased property at 2637 East 28th Street. Carver has since been located at 2547 Jackson and 1112 East 77th Street, a property Carver purchased jointly with Grace Baptist Church in 1980. Carver and Grace jointly occupied the 77th Street property until 1991 when together, the building located at 7203 Paseo Boulevard was purchased.

In 1942 the Gospel Ambassadors were incorporated under the laws of the state of Missouri. In 1947, the name was changed to Carver Bible Institute, naming it after George Washington Carver, the great scientist who was a former slave, and a devout Christian. Carver, until 1971, was staffed by pastors of the area and other qualified men and women who volunteered their services.

In 1971, the board of directors extended a call to a former missionary to the Central African Republic, Dean Chasteen, to become the full time president of the school and seek to develop its full potential in the inner city. With a desire to be doctrinally specific and to provide practical guidance for planting Bible teaching churches, the name was changed in 1980 to identify it as a Baptist institute.

Carver from its inception had been both interracial and interdenominational, but in the early 1980 the governing board made the following decisions: (1) The Institute would be an Independent Baptist School with the purpose of specifically training men for the church planting ministry, (2) the school would establish close ties with a Baptist mission agency to provide the mission organization support that graduates would need for assistance in planting churches. In view of these decisions the school’s name was changed in 1981 to Carver Baptist Bible Institute.

Early in 1982 full membership status was granted in the Southern Accrediting Association of Bible Institutes and Bible Colleges.  In 1984 arrangements were made with Penn Valley Community College which enables Carver students to take certain of their general education courses, upon our recommendation, and include them in our program. Thus the way was opened for us to offer the B.A., B.S., or B.R.E. degrees as a new four year course of study in the 1984-85 school year.

In 1990, the Board extended a call to Dr. LeRoy Randolph, Jr., to become the next president of CBBI. As an African American himself with an earned doctorate, Dr. Randolph gave culturally relevant leadership to the school which continues to have a growing impact in the Black community. The staff and faculty itself consisted of full time missionaries as well as a number of highly qualified adjunct faculty members from the surrounding area. Nearly all have advanced degrees and several have earned doctorates as well. All have successful practical ministry experience.

Current Operations

In the 1980’s, Carver Baptist Bible College and Institute began an association with Baptist For Home Missions (which became Baptist Missions of North America) headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, as a result of several of Carver’s staff joining that Mission agency. Later in the early 1990’s almost all of Carver’s missionary staff (numbering as many as 13 at one time) became missionaries under Evangelical Baptist Missions, headquartered in an affiliate of Evangelical Baptist Missions as an independent Baptist home missions ministry, with a special emphasis on training leaders for churches in minority communities. Evangelical Baptist Missions, located in Kokomo, Indiana, is not part of any particular national Baptist denomination, but is a group of organizations that share the purpose of spreading the Word of God in communities here and around the world.

For over 25 years, Grace Baptist Church and Carver have shared facilities. Carver and Grace are presently located at 8524 Blue Ridge Blvd in Kansas City, Missouri. Annual enrollment is 60-75 students, and classes are offered during morning and evening hours. The present typical student is around 45 years old, works full-time, has a family, and carries a part-time class load of 6 credit hours (two to three classes) each semester. Our students are serious about their education given all the roles they must balance to study at Carver.