Hammond Baptist Schools, a ministry of First Baptist Church of Hammond, was established to train the spirit, mind, soul, and body of our young people so that they achieve the proper godly balance and priorities in their lives. Proverbs 1:7a says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Intellectual preparation begins with respect for God and authority. That is what our school system and Christian education is all about. It’s about spiritual development. One cannot have proper academic achievement without spiritual enrichment. Biblical education begins with God and finds its implementation in the home; our schools are extensions of the home and are provided to assist parents in the training of their children.
God has established Hammond Baptist Schools for the purpose of impacting lives for eternity through Bible-based and Christ-centered education.
With an enrollment of approximately 500 students, we offer a safe, nurturing environment where our students realize their God-given potential to impact the world. It is a place for teachers to influence in Jesus’ name, where students grow in faith and wisdom, and where young men and women are prepared to go into the world, eagerly pursuing the opportunities that God has made ready for them.
The beliefs that we held most dear and upon which we based our lives were being circumvented by the public schools. It was unrealistic to expect that a public school would, or could, teach and instill into our young people our Christian values. Because of this, Hammond Baptist Schools were founded.
The basic concepts of Hammond Baptist are Christian in character. We believe the Bible to be the living Word of God, and that it is our duty to teach our young people the precepts of Christian living. The highest gains in knowledge and wisdom will come as we apply Christian principles and live according to the commandments of God.
We shall endeavor to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to Christian learning. We shall strive to be examples to our young people so that they can look up to us as role models for Christian living. We shall strive to provide a place that is separated from the world and dedicated to the Christian instruction of our young people.
We believe in America and teach our young people to love their country and respect their leaders. Our rich heritage of freedom was bought with a price. Our young people are taught not only our great history, but the price and the responsibilities that go along with being a citizen in a free country.
We believe that young people should be taught self-discipline, respect for others, respect for property, and honor for elders and positions of authority. Respect for laws, rules, and principles of morality and conduct are never side-stepped. Developing Christian values is vital if our school is to successfully educate the young people. The challenges that lie ahead for todays youth require adults whose moral and spiritual values form the basis for their judgments.
- Divine inspiration of Scriptures
- The triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
- The fallen nature of man and his just condemnation
- Salvation by grace through faith, as a free gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Saviour
- The glorious display of God’s purpose and grace
- The progressive work of sanctification
- The keeping power of God
- The harmony of Law and the Gospel
- The prominence of the local and visible church
- Baptism by immersion for believers
- The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper
- The devout observance of the first day of the week
- The honoring of civil government
- The resurrection of the righteous to life and the wicked to damnation
- The personal, imminent return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Dr. Jack Hyles, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, began praying about starting a Christian school several years before Hammond Baptist Schools actually became a reality. In the late 1960’s, the Christian school concept was virtually unknown in America. The expense, the effort, and the risks involved were enormous for one church to think about attempting. But his burden and prayers overcame all the apparent obstacles of starting a Christian school in the Calumet region.
In due time, Bro. Hyles decided that if the Lord would provide a suitable building, at a price that the church could afford, he would take it as a sign that the Lord wanted a Christian school for the First Baptist Church. In October 1969, the old Wallace School in Calumet Township was offered for sale. Bro. Hyles attended a special township meeting with a sealed bid. Our bid was the only one submitted that evening and we walked away with a school building for the miraculously low price of $50,000. Although the old Wallace School had not been used in many years and had fallen into dispair and vandelism, it still had several dozen classrooms, cafeteria space, a gymnasium, offices, locker rooms, and a science lab. It was almost unbelievable that we could have purchased it at such a bargain; it was Bro. Hyles praying for a building, and it was God answering his prayers.
The local news media described the school as “…an abandoned building.” However, a congregation with a vision and a burden saw beyond the broken windows and fallen plaster to a time when each room would be filled with students eager to learn and do the will of God.
The people of First Baptist Church, young and old, banded together to rebuild and remodel the new Hammond Baptist High School. This was the dream of a lifetime. There is no way to describe the excitement of starting our own Christian school. Men, women, children, and grandparents worked day and night to get the new school building remodeled before the fall semester.
The excitement was obvious on opening day 1970. Thousands had sacrificed to buy and then remodel the old building. Women had sold their diamond wedding rings. Men had taken on extra jobs. Many parents had taken out loans and paid their tuition five years in advance just to give the new school a chance to open its doors.
And open they did. During the first year of the school, 277 students showed up for classes in the sixth through twelfth grades.
Brother Hyles said of that opening. “We now reach the climax of months of hoping, working, dreaming, and planning. For the biggest thing about a school is you: the student. The members are not made for the church; the church is made for the members. The patients are not made for the hospital; the hospital is made for the patients. Students historic occasion to the Hammond Baptist High School. As a “Swordsman,” carry your saber proudly and gracefully as we together sharpen our swords for Him.”
Hammond Baptist High School remained grades six through twelve for only one year. The 1971-1972 school year saw the creation of Hammond Baptist Grade School. They used an old church building on Sibley Street that later became the First Baptist Church youth center.
In 1972, Brother Hyles, with the help of Russell Anderson, and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, started Hyles-Anderson College. The new college needed a campus, and Hammond Baptist High School was to benefit.
Twenty-one acres of swampland were purchased in Schererville, Indiana for the campus. The new campus was to be called Baptist City. Hyles-Anderson College was located in what is now the grade school building. The high school and junior high were located in the present high school wing. Hammond Baptist Grade School was housed in the present day junior high wing. At this time we still had a grade school in Hammond as well as at Baptist City.
The first college chapel was located in the present day junior high chapel and science lab. The pulpit was located at the north end of what is now the science lab.
In the summer of 1974, Hyles-Anderson College outgrew its buildings and moved to its present campus on Burr Street in Crown Point, Indiana. The Hammond Baptist Grade School and the Baptist City School were consolidated, and they took over the old college buildings.
Hammond Baptist High School continued to grow. In the fall of 1976, the seventh and eighth grades left Hammond Baptist High School to form Hammond Baptist Junior High School. In 1978, City Baptist High School was founded. Up until this time, all the bus kids attended Hammond Baptist High School.