Mars Hill Bible School

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Mars Hill Bible School
Established 1947 (1871)
Type Private
Headmaster Mr, Dexter Rutherford
Founder T. B. Larimore (1871)
Faculty 46
Students 623
Grades PreK-12
Location Florence, AL, USA
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, National Christian School Association
Campus 80 acres (320,000 m2)
Colors Blue, Red and White
Mascot Panthers

Mars Hill Bible School is a preparatory day school for boys and girls located in Florence, Alabama. The school begins at pre-kindergarten and continues through the twelfth grade.[1]


Mars Hill Academy, the first predecessor of today's school was opened by T. B. Larimore on January 1, 1871. He later changed the name to Mars Hill College. The academy and college operated for 16 years teaching hundreds of young men. The college was closed in 1888 in order for Larimore to spend more time preaching.[citation needed]

Mars Hill Bible School was opened in 1947 through a collaboration among local churches of Christ. While Mars Hill Bible School affiliates itself with the churches of Christ and although the Mars Hill Church of Christ is next to the campus, the school is completely independent of all churches and is a fully autonomous entity.[citation needed]


  • In 2006, 50 out of 50 graduates went to college.[1]
  • Median composite ACT score for 2006 graduates was 25, with 42% scoring over 26.[1]
  • Bible is a daily class for all students and passing this class is required for graduation.[citation needed]
  • Chapel attendance singing Church of Christ hymns is required daily for all students.[citation needed]


The school has won 13 Alabama High School Athletic Association championships, with three in baseball (including 2010 and 2012), seven in girls' basketball, one on boys' golf and two in girls' track and field.[citation needed]


  • Irven Lee (first president)
  • Paul O. Simon[2]
  • Ralph Snell
  • Jack Wilhelm
  • Milton Sewell served as President of Mars Hill Bible School from 1983-1990. He is currently the chancellor at Freed Hardeman University.[3]
  • David Vester served as President of Mars Hill Bible School from 1994-2000. He is a National Christian School Association board member who has since served as President at Dallas Christian School and later at Nashville Christian School.[4]
  • Dr. Kenny Barfield served as President from 2000 until 2011. He is the author of The Prophet Motive[5] and Why The Bible is Number One.[6]
  • Dexter Rutherford has served as President since 2011.

Notable alumni[edit]

The following list of notable alumni is arranged by Class year and surname.

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Fletcher Srygley 187? Preacher, writer, and controversialist in the American Restoration Movement. [7]
Dave Crittenden 1995 Placekicker for The University Of Alabama 1997-1999 [citation needed]
Josh Willingham 1997 Left fielder for Minnesota Twins in 2012
Matthew Fulmer 2007 Mechanical Engineer for NASA [citation needed]

Benefit Dinner[edit]

Every year Mars Hill Bible School hosts a large Benefit Dinner, featuring celebrity speakers, to raise money for the school's General Fund.[8][dead link] Past keynote speakers include:


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°50′48″N 87°39′34″W / 34.84654°N 87.65955°W / 34.84654; -87.65955