HISTORY OF SAKER BAPTIST COLLEGE
Saker Baptist College (SBC) is a premier and outstanding all-girls secondary school in Limbe, (formerly Victoria) Cameroon, West-Central Africa. With the help of the North American Baptist Convention, its inaugural class of 36 young girls was founded on January 29, 1962 by the Cameroon Baptist Mission who saw the need for the education of a modern Cameroonian Christian woman. As a result, their vision and purpose for the school was:
- To train a modern Cameroonian womanhood and motherhood as a social force influencing future generations in the progressive development of Cameroon.
- To provide professional training for girls who intend to enter employment and thus make their contributions to the economic development of Cameroon.
- To offer academic instruction of high caliber to those girls who have shown their ability to achieve in this sphere and thus prepare them for leadership roles in the coming years in many fields of activities.
At its inception, the school was known as the Baptist Girls Secondary School, followed by the Cameroon Christian College, and was eventually renamed Saker Baptist College in the late 1960s in honor of Alfred Saker, the first Baptist missionary to Cameroon. The main goal of Saker Baptist College is to achieve the highest possible standards of moral and academic excellence for it students, and to prepare a Christian womanhood as a dynamic force for God and righteousness in the home and the community. These are achieved through spiritual rebirth, awareness and maturity, physical acceptability, academic achievements and leadership experience.
Since its inception, the school has been served and funded in part by the North American Baptist Convention. The first principal was Miss Bernice Westerman, a North American Baptist Conference missionary to Cameroon. She was closely followed by Miss Geraldine Glasenapp as Acting Principal and was later on succeeded by Miss Esther Schultz, Miss. Ruby Saalzman, Mr. Donald Witt, and Dr. Norman Haupt, who was principal until 1972 when Mr. William Nso Tayui became the first Cameroonian principal. Since then, the school has been led by Cameroonian Principals. In 1992, Mr. Tetevi Bodylawson succeeded Mr. Tayui as principal followed by Mr. Paul Haddison-Luma who is the current principal.
In 1965, Miss Wilma Binder, a North American Baptist missionary became Vice Principal; a position she held until 1997 when she was succeeded by Miss Patience Enanga Jabea. The current Vice Principal is Mrs. Lyonga. It is important to note that Ms. Binder left Cameroon in June 1999 after 34 years of active service to Saker Baptist College.
Under the leadership of these principals, the school has experienced great expansion in infrastructure and enrollment. The school today has an enrollment of about 900 students. In recent years, Saker Baptist College has grown to include a High School, manifesting the inevitable progression of growth and expansion. It has served and continues to serve as an institution of learning for young women and an environment where the seeds of many successful bonds are nurtured and many careers launched. Saker Baptist College has graduated over 6,000 young women since its inception. "Sakerettes", as both current and former students call themselves, are in all walks of life and all sectors of society all over the world.
The school also has a rich, well-known tradition of music which was greatly enhanced under the leadership of Mr. Donald Witt (a former principal). In 1969, under the tutelage of Mr. Witt, "The College Singers" composed of Saker Baptist College students toured and performed musical concerts in the USA and Canada, the first Secondary School student choir to tour in America from any West African nation. All Sakerettes will forever exhibit great joy and pride for this honor given to Cameroonian students as they display the finest of their cultural heritage to those overseas who have contributed towards their educational program. While the typical Sakerette cannot read music notes and has had no formal music training, she is able to harmonize singing and instruments almost by instinct.
Graduates of Saker Baptist College have become model mothers, wives, and prominent members of the societies in which they live. The high standards which made these successes possible have been set in all aspects of college life since the founding of the school. The School's success is best captured in the words of its first principal, Miss. Berneice Westerman who said:
God gave me an opportunity to see how he has taken such a small beginning and made it an opportunity for students to know Him and spread His message... When God leads you into a new adventure, think not only of the challenges or obstracles, but of what could be. Dream, and in Faith, Expect those dreams to come true. Remember, He can work beyond what we ask or imagine...