History Book

Order Rich in Mercy
Maranatha has compiled your memories and photos along with a history of the college, as researched and written by Kim Ledgerwood, into a full-color, nearly 200-page book. The price of this book is $40. Please include an additional $5 for shipping and handling.

To the Praise of His Glory 40th DVD
For only $15, you can enjoy two DVDs with the concert performed during the 40th anniversary weekend – To the Praise of His Glory – along with hundreds of historical photos as well as photos from the 40th anniversary event.

A Story That Needed to be Told
Naomi Ledgerwood calls her mom, Kim, “the queen of research.”

Kim Ledgerwood, however, sees herself as a mad scientist more than royalty.

“I like to make science experiments out of everything,” said Ledgerwood, author of Rich in Mercy. “I like to see how long it takes me to cook a meal or clean my bedroom. It’s just natural for me to keep track of such things.”

Ledgerwood kept track of the number of hours she devoted to research between January and September of 2007. The total was more than 2,000.

The finished product spans nearly 200 pages, and includes many rare photographs as well as recollections from many alumni (some of them quite humorous) and little-known facts about the campus and its history (such as the exact location of the “holy water”).

“I did feel like the school was far overdue to have some sort of initial compilation of everything that had happened here,” said Ledgerwood, wife of Fine Arts Department chair Dr. David Ledgerwood. “It was something that needed to be taken care of.”

When she finished, Ledgerwood had produced an original document that spanned nine chapters of text and interviews. Perhaps more impressively, however, she had also produced 24 charts that included a staggering amount of data—every faculty member hired, the year-by-year records of every athletic team (where available), every fall and spring special meeting speaker, and academic fee information for each year.

“It was all difficult to come by,” said Ledgerwood, a mother of eight who first arrived at the college in 1986. “I don’t remember looking at one thing that somebody just pulled out of a drawer. It was hours and hours of going through file cabinets and boxes. In the storage area above the third floor of Old Main, I found a box under the eaves, all mildewed. It was Dr. Cedarholm’s sermon notes from many years.”

There were some helpers. Charlotte Cedarholm, daughter of college founder Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm, contributed heavily. So did Cheryl (Anderson) Vegter, an alumnus who kept scrapbooks from each of the first four years of the college’s existence.

Tricia Priebe is credited in the front of Rich in Mercy for having undertaken much of the original research a few years earlier. She worked in the college library while her husband attended Maranatha. Ledgerwood took up where Priebe left off and produced two prototype chapters in the fall of 2005. The college development office agreed in 2006 to provide funding for the project.

Learning more about Cedarholm’s life, Ledgerwood said, allowed her a greater understanding of his original vision for the college.

“He wanted it to be very broad-based and strong academically, and he wanted it to be doctrinally Baptist as well as evangelical and fundamental,” Ledgerwood said. “There have been so many different personalities and programs since then, but it seems pretty clear that the Lord’s hand has been in what has taken place, to bring that vision to fruition.”

Ledgerwood’s original manuscript underwent severe editing to allow Rich in Mercy to accommodate many personal stories from alumni as well as an extensive collection of pictures. But, while not an exhaustive study of the college’s history, the book does provide historical context—and a starting point for historians who will follow.

“It isn’t a history book as much as it is an effort to make the first attempt at compiling this sort of information,” Ledgerwood said. “Hopefully, it won’t die as that.”
— Posted by Andrew Call, 10-14-08