Pam Horneck’s attachment to Maranatha began as a young girl.
“I just always knew I was going to go there,” she said. “When I was a little girl, I can remember playing Barbie dolls with Charlotte Cedarholm (daughter of College founder Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm) in the Dining Hall. I loved it there. My husband loved it there. My kids have loved it there.”
Pam (’83), her father, Jim Hinton (’75), and her son, Jeremy Horneck (’07), are unique in their affection for the College. They have actually attended four graduation ceremonies— Jeremy also earned his
master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Maranatha Baptist Seminary in May. Only a handful of families have seen three generations graduate from Maranatha.
“I never put pressure on my children to come to Maranatha,” Jim Hinton said, “but they knew my position.”
The First Generation
Jim Hinton was a 31-year-old laboratory technician when he accepted Christ. He began working his church’s youth group soon afterward. When that youth group visited Maranatha, the College gained an unlikely recruit.
“The Lord revealed to me that I needed to go to school,” Hinton said.
He enrolled in 1972, bringing his young family with him. He carried a full class load, worked up to 50 hours each week at Watertown Metals, and helped establish a Baptist church in nearby Waterloo.
“I didn’t get a lot of sleep,” Hinton said.
He graduated in 1975 and went on to work as an assistant pastor, Christian school teacher, and administrator at several churches and schools in Illinois. His most lengthy stop was at Calvary Baptist Christian School in Belvidere, Illinois, where he taught math, science, and history and directed the church’s seniors ministry from 1984-2000. He is now retired and lives in Arkansas.
“I was grateful for the spiritual atmosphere and for the leadership and encouragement of men like Dr. Cedarholm and Dr. (Richard) Weeks,” Hinton said.
The Second Generation
Pam Hinton’s mother worked as a cook in the college kitchen while her father was a Maranatha student. When Pam wasn’t playing, she noticed the personal concern of faculty, staff and students for her and for her family. She appreciated that part of Maranatha even more as a student. She met her husband, Noel Horneck, while in college. Pam earned an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and Bible. She was a stay-at-home mom for five years, and then taught at a Christian school in Plymouth, Wisconsin, from 1991-2007. During the last few years, she has taught for Maranatha Online.
“It’s amazing,” Pam said. “I can have a ministry around the world from my house.”
Pam and Noel, who also live in Arkansas, “totally” let their three children choose where to attend college. Jeremy chose Maranatha.
The Third Generation
Jeremy Horneck attended another college for a year after graduating from high school. While working at Bill Rice Ranch over the summer, he met a Maranatha administrator. After a few conversations, Jeremy began reevaluating his original choice.
“I had been excited about going to a Christian college since I was in junior high,” Horneck said. “I thought it would be like camp. I was wrong.”
Maranatha offers a challenging academic environment, but Jeremy was up to the task. He earned an undergraduate degree in Bible and Church Ministries, taught for a year in Saipan, and then returned to pursue his master’s degree. He plans to work as an assistant pastor at a church in New York City.
“The quality and character of the Bible faculty were the biggest reasons I stayed at Maranatha,” Jeremy said. “I came back for seminary because I wanted to be able to offer godly leadership, but I also wanted to gain the knowledge I needed.”
Jim Hinton said he was glad to hear of his grandson’s decision—almost as glad as when his daughter made that same decision many years earlier.
“I don’t believe people should tell their children that they have to go to one particular school,” Hinton said. “But, when it was time for Pam to make that decision, I definitely encouraged her to go to Maranatha.”