Lubbock Christian University
Archaeology Exhibit

New Biblical Archaeology Exhibit Coming to LCU

The Alfred and Patricia Smith College of Biblical Studies at Lubbock Christian University (LCU) has announced the addition of The Story of God in Scripture and Stone exhibit, showcasing a collection of historical replicas and artifacts spanning millennia from before the time of Abraham to the time of Jesus, thanks to the support of longtime friends of the university.

Bert and Betsy Rayle have generously provided funding to establish an archaeological exhibit in the College of Biblical Studies which will include relics from their personal collection. The exhibit will be expanded through the gifts of Gary Pence who has also contributed historically significant biblical manuscripts and artifacts from his personal collection.

“Bert and Betsy have travelled with us twice to Israel, and they have seen the heart of LCU,” shared Raymond Richardson, Vice President of University Advancement, referring to the archaeological trips to the Middle East led for over a decade by LCU’s own Dr. Jesse Long, Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Archaeology, and his wife Dr. JoAnn Long, Professor of Nursing at LCU.

Dr. Long explained, “The Rayles have been drawn to LCU through the Land of the Holy One trips, and they want to support what we're doing. They are excited to provide our students and others a glimpse into the history of the Bible, and they want to preserve and promote God's word through artifacts.”

The collection will include artifacts donated by the Rayles as well as a number of objects that Dr. Long excavated during his time in Jordan and others that he acquired in Israel. It will also include replicas of other important artifacts. Gary Pence donated some of his personal collectionto the exhibit, including copies of two of the oldest and most important biblical manuscripts used by scholars, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. The display will also include copies of various texts from the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient coins, and various pieces of pottery. A collection of oil lamps, commonly referenced in biblical texts, will be featured in the display, as well as a collection of Egyptian and Roman artifacts.

Dr. Long states that these objects attest to the depth of scholarship in the Smith College of Biblical Studies, and they also help students better grasp the reality of the biblical narrative.

“There are so many of us in our culture who have grown up reading these stories, but being able to see and touch physical examples in front of us actually brings those stories to life in a new and profound way,” he explained. “I remember one student who went with us to Israel who shared with me, ‘It's all much more real now.’”

These gifts add to the generous support that LCU’s programs continue to receive, like the longtime association with Alfred and Patricia Smith, for whom LCU’s College of Biblical Studies is named. 

“Al and Pat Smith and their investment in our university has provided numerous life-changing opportunities for our students; without their generosity, many of these things couldn't happen,” emphasized Dr. Long.

The exhibit will be open during Homecoming Weekend, which will feature a guided tour and dedication of the exhibit. The artifacts will be on permanent display in the C.L. Kay Christian Development Center following the dedication. 

RSVP to the exhibit tour and dedication and other Homecoming Weekend events on the LCU Alumni website.