|North Texas Baptist College
Historically Black College
North Texas Baptist College and Seminary, in Denison, a college for African Americans,qv opened on October 4, 1921. It was sponsored by the Northwestern Baptist Association and was housed in a three-story brick structure at Armstrong and Johnson streets. The Rev. Allen R. Griggs,qv moderator of the association for twenty years, had become pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Denison just two years earlier and worked for the school's establishment. Griggs served as dean until his death in 1922, and Hopewell was the "college church." Griggs's son Sutton E. Griggs,qv an author and a minister himself, was also associated with North Texas Baptist and preached at the first commencement in 1922, when nine students graduated. Like many private colleges of the previous era, North Texas Baptist offered grammar and high school classes, as well as college level. Its ministerial students received the bachelor of theology degree. Most students were from Denison, which had a large black population because of the railroads; others came primarily from communities across North Texas, including Fort Worth, Plano, Sulphur Springs, and Corsicana. B. J. Brown, the first president of North Texas Baptist, served from 1921 until his death in the spring of 1924. Among the college's graduates in 1924 were a California state attorney, the pastor of the New York Baptist Church, and the co-owner of a St. Louis (Missouri) sanitarium. The school was well known among Texas blacks and took pride in the support it received "from Denison's entire citizenship." North Texas Baptist closed in 1926, probably for financial reasons. The college building has long since been razed.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Denison Herald, May 11, May 14, May 18, 1922. Grayson County Frontier Village, History of Grayson County, Texas (2 vols., Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1979, 1981).
Sherrie S. McLeRoy
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/NN/ibnla.html (accessed December 14, 2006).