In March 1999, Mr. Arthur Hawkins
, recently resigned CEO of Exide Batteries
, purchased properties on the decommissioned NORAD airbase at Port Austin, Michigan.
It was then said that Mr. Hawkins
had for some time been looking for property from which a school and Bible Center could be established, a school that would be a prominent repository of Bible law scholarship.
Mr. Hawkins seemed satisfied that the former airbase satisfied his requirements; so in December 1999, Mr. Hawkins transferred the parcels he had purchased on land contracts to the Eternal Life Bible Institute, a 501(c)(3) Minnesota corporation, of which he was President.
In 2000, the Eternal Life Bible Institute
[ELBI] held an alleged celebration of Jesus' two-thousandth birthday-and that celebration was indicative of the quality of the corporation's biblical scholarship as four students [two married couples] came to attend classes that fall.
At least two of those students remain spiritually linked to the Christian Identity Movement [CIM]; plus, instructors then retained by the corporation continue to speak at CIM rallies.
Beginning March 2001, the Eternal Life Bible Institute [ELBI] used the assumed name, Port Austin Bible Center[PABC] to conduct business in the State of Michigan; however, because of the Sears-Exide affair, Mr. Hawkins was indicted and eventually convicted of wire fraud, and he began serving a ten (10) year Federal prison sentence in 2002, and PABC fell upon more difficult financial times as Mr. Hawkins' millions were no longer as readily available.
Prior to spring 2004, the Port Austin Bible Center
published a limited number of books and maintained a website, but its other activities were mostly confined to caretaking the Port Austin property purchased by Mr. Hawkins
There is no continuation or connection or collaboration or association between the born anew Bible Center and those who signed the over-filed purchasing agreement for the real property Mr. Hawkins
so long sought.