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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

AGTV Video
Connections: Monte Madsen

Spiritual Fervency

Dr. Monte Madsen started his college career at Latin American Bible Institute in San Antonio, Texas. Now president of LABI-Texas, Madsen recently spoke with Bob Cook, executive vice president of the Alliance for Assemblies of God Higher Education, and Pentecostal Evangel Editor Ken Horn.

evangel: Talk about the history of Latin American Bible Institute.
H.C. Ball was a teenager when he planted his first church in south Texas. He soon joined the fledgling Assemblies of God at a small church in Ricardo, south of Kingsville. From that church he went up to San Antonio at Templo Cristiano. There he formed not only LABI in the back rooms of that church, but he formed the Hispanic Assemblies of God that has gone around the world. H.C. Ball and Alice Luce founded LABI’s two schools in Texas and California a month apart in 1926. Ball was a Texas church planter, and Luce was a missiologist. She wrote the curriculum; she had been a missionary in Mexico.

evangel: How would you describe the atmosphere on campus today?
MADSEN: There is a strong spiritual fervency Hispanic culture is known for, really giving place to the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Chapel services regularly lead to time at the altar, and the altar service is as meaningful as the regular preaching service. It’s a time for healing and prayer, and all that is very vibrant and vital to what we do. There are times in class when the Spirit of God will interrupt whatever it is we’re doing, and we’ll give room and place to that.

evangel: How is the relational connection between students and faculty?
MADSEN: Our administrators and some faculty live on campus, so it’s a real discipleship community of Christ. We’re really excited about that one-on-one component. It’s a matter of life and discipleship building.

evangel: Latin American Bible Institute is a three-year school. Talk about your degree program and your relationship with Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie.
MADSEN: LABI was started as a two-year institute to prepare a person for preaching ministry. Students would graduate and then take or plant a church. The school added a third year. While LABI has not added a four-year accredited program yet, we’re articulated with Southwestern. Hundreds of our students have gone from LABI to Southwestern. I was one of them. I’m glad that we’ve had that relationship. A number of our students have also gone to Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Our alumni serve in ministry around the world.

evangel: What would you say to a young person who is trying to find God’s direction in life?
MADSEN: We’ve been talking a lot about history; I believe it is this generation’s time to make history. It’s their time; the torch is being passed to them in a powerful way, and God is making room for His younger servants in the Kingdom. And He is making a place of preparation for them in places like LABI and throughout all our AG schools across the country. Those students are making an impact. God has great things planned and in store for anyone who will put their life in His hands.

evangel: Where can people get more information about LABI?
MADSEN: Visit for more information.


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