Arkansas Baptist College, originally named the Minister’s Institute, was founded in 1884 by the Colored Baptists of Arkansas during their annual convention at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Little Rock. The primary objective of the institute was to raise the educational level within the Negro ministry. The secondary objective was to aid the state in making higher education available to young Negro men and women. Most of the school’s students were trained in the ministry, and today Religious Studies continues to be one of the College’s major areas of matriculation.
In April 1885, the College’s name was changed to Arkansas Baptist College, and the school moved to 16th and High Street where the campus is currently located; however, the formal address is now 1600 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive.
Arkansas Baptist College is an urban Historically Black College located in the historic Little Rock Central High District. It also neighbors the Wright Avenue District and the famous Paul Lawrence Dunbar Junior High School. The College is the only Baptist-affiliated Historically Black College west of the Mississippi and has a student population close to one thousand from all across the United States. Founded in 1884 as the Minister’s Institute, the College continues to be supported by the Consolidated Missionary Baptist State Convention.
Arkansas Baptist College has had the following presidents:
- 1884 - 1887: Reverend J.P. Lawson (Principal)
- 1887 - 1926: Dr. Joseph A Booker
- 1926 - 1937: Reverend S.P. Nelson
- 1926 - 1937: Reverend R.C. Woods
- 1926 - 1937: Reverend S. R. Tillinghast
- 1937 - 1955: Dr. Tandy W. Coggs
- 1955 - 1962: Dr. Oscar Allan Rogers
- 1955 - 1962: Dr. Charles E. Johnson
- 1955 - 1962: Mr. Howard Johnson
- 1955 - 1962: Dr. P.L. Rowe
- 1962 - 1982: Dr. James C. Oliver
- 1982 - 1985: Dr. R.C. Davis*
- 1985 - 2001: Dr. W. Thomas Keaton
- 2001 - 2001: Mrs. Mary R. Jarrett*
- 2001 - 2005: Dr. Israel Dunn, Jr.
- 2005 - 2006: Mrs. Mary R. Jarrett*
- 2006 - 2016: Dr. O. Fitzgerald Hill
- 2016 - 2017: Dr. Joseph Jones
- 2017 - 2018: Dr. Howard O. Gibson*
- 2018 - : Mrs. Regina H. Favors*
Arkansas Baptist College prepares students for a life of service grounded in academic scholarship, the liberal arts tradition, social responsibility, Christian development, and preparation for employment in a global community.
The following principles of Institutional Core Values are embodied in the Mission of Arkansas Baptist College:
- Mission Driven
- Historically Grounded
- Service Motivated
- Community Empowered
- Academically and Professionally Integrated
- Entrepreneurially Minded
- Fiscally Responsible
Arkansas Baptist College is located at 1600 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, in Little Rock, Arkansas. The college is approximately eight blocks from the State Capitol and sixteen blocks from the downtown business section in the center of the city. Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, is located near the foothills of the beautiful Ozark and Ouachita Mountains and is readily accessible by highways, interstates, railroads, and airlines.
This four-story structure was constructed in 1884, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in May 1977. Old Main originally housed administrative offices, living facilities for women, classrooms, and faculty offices. Since, many of these services relocated to other buildings. The second floor of Old Main contains the College’s Main Auditorium; the third floor houses the President’s and other administrative personnel offices.
Other Campus Buildings
|Administration Building & Residence Hall
|Auto Baptism Carwash
||Student Affairs Building
||Garden of Eden Produce Market
|Charles L. Ripley Residence Hall
|South Residence Hall
|Community Center and Scott Ford Center for Entrepreneurship
||1607 MLK - Duplex Athletic Office
|Cooperative Baptist Fellowship House
||1610 MLK - Athletic Housing
|Bistro Dining Hall
||1622 W 16th Kiddie Kollege
|Center for Adult Learning and Literacy (GED)
|General Studies I
||Hazel Shanks Hynson Fine Arts
|General Studies II
||J.C. Oliver Library