Paul Sebastian first learned about Lancaster Bible College from the founder himself: Henry J. Heydt. Sebastian, then a mechanical engineering major at Penn State University, met Heydt at an InterVarsity Bible study held at the college’s campus where he was the guest speaker and the two struck up a long-lasting friendship. In fact, the former president even officiated Sebastian’s wedding to Jean Esbenshade – of the very same Esbenshade family who donated their farm to become our campus – the next year. Since that time, Sebastian’s involvement with the college has blossomed and grown into something much more than perhaps even he could have anticipated.
Sebastian has been a trustee at LBC for 41 years. During his time with the college, his roles have included everything from student, alumnus, professor, corporation member, and finally, trustee. He even designed many of the buildings on our Lancaster campus that are still enjoyed by students and staff today, including the stately brick building with tall white pillars that greets guests at they drive onto our campus: Esbenshade Enrollment Management Center.
A military veteran with a heart and passion to serve the Lord, Sebastian always felt a call toward missions, but God called him to stay and serve in Lancaster, where he’s been faithfully living out his calling ever since. Since he never had the chance to serve as a missionary overseas in the traditional sense, he taught LBC students the skills they might need in the mission field, equipping them with practical building skills they could use anywhere God led them.
Sebastian has been a part of many of the college’s most important milestones: four changes in presidential leadership, accreditation, new degrees, and significant campus expansion (aided by his design expertise), he’s overseen additions and much, much more. Through it all, he’s been endlessly faithful, both to the Lord and to the college.
However, Sebastian says that all of these accomplishments and achievements pale in comparison to this one thing: “The greatest reward [has been] seeing the thousands of students over the years graduate and serve the Lord.”