The History of the Hopkinsville College of the Bible:
Hopkinsville College of the Bible was founded at a meeting of the First District Baptist Association in session with the Green Valley Baptist Church at Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky, in September 1883. A resolution, which called for the establishment of a school, later named the South Western Kentucky Institute, was offered by Rev. O. Durrett, D.D. The resolution read:
“WHEREAS, We keenly feel and realize our great need for better teachers and preachers from an educational viewpoint; and WHEREAS the distance to the schools already in existence is so great that many are hindered from attending them, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the First District Baptist Association found a college somewhere within its boundary.”
On January 2, 1893, a Hopkinsville real estate developer, James Bradshaw, sold four acres of land situated between Vine and Williams Street to the directors of the South Western Kentucky Institute. In 1895, a fundraising campaign was started for the erection of a new building
The Little River and Cumberland Valley Baptist Association united with the First District Association in 1889 to physically establish the college which had been created six years before. In 1890, a Board of Directors, consisting of Rev. George W. Dupee, D.D., Rev. E. Williams, D.D., and Rev. P. D. Skinner, D.D. was appointed. These men inaugurated a campaign to raise funds for the purchase of a college site in Hopkinsville.
On July 26, 1899, the College legally changed its name to Hopkinsville Male & Female College (M&F College). The College opened in the early spring of 1900 with the first President, Rev. A. D. Scoffner who was succeeded by Professor P. T. Frazer.
A severe windstorm swept through Hopkinsville on May 2, 1935, and blew down the college building. A new stone structure was constructed in 1938 or 1939, supervised by building contractor and stone mason, Sam L. Steward.
The stone structure contained an auditorium, two classrooms, a kitchen, and a dining room on the first floor. Between 1949 and 1950, the Dormitory was built. The dormitory was later renamed the multi-purpose building.
On November 4, 1965, the Articles of Incorporation were amended to read, “The name of said college shall be The Hopkinsville College of the Bible.” The change was made to reflect the prevailing belief that a name more closely related to the function of the school would be of greater benefit.
The College had an extension in Paducah, Kentucky, in 1970. In January 1994, the Liberty District set up an extension. Under the presidency of Rev. J. J. Northington, the Lexington extension was formed.
It was the dream of Rev. J. J. Northington in 1989 to renovate the College. Rev. C. L. Brown drew the initial plans in his basement. They took their plans to John C. Mahre, Architect, for final review. The Trustee Board agreed, and they hired Mr. William “Tiny” McKee & Sons to begin renovating. On October 3, 1992, the College of the Bible celebrated its groundbreaking ceremony.
The Women’s Missionary Convention under the leadership of Sis. Cornelia Belle in 1990 petitioned First District Association for permission for female representation on the Board of Trustees. On February 20, 1992, Sis. Cornelia Belle and Sis. Ruby A. Moore were appointed from First District as Trustees. In October 1992, Sis. Betty Dillard and Sis. Hazel Irvin were appointed from Little River District.
In 1995, the first phase of the project was completed, and the first Thanksgiving service was held on November 22, 1995, with Rev. Frank Larkins as guest speaker.
The College held its first Founder’s Day program on October 1, 1999, with Rev. C. E. Bagwell as guest speaker, along with his choir from Mt. Olive Baptist Church. The first Convocation service was held on September 14, 2000, with Rev. Enoch Nyakoom delivering the message.
The College its accreditation from the Accrediting Commission International of Beebe, Arkansas, in 1991. In June 2002, the College was approved to accept international students. The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education licensed the Hopkinsville College of the Bible on September 3, 2002. On June 30, 2003, the College of the Bible was approved by the Veterans Approving Agency to accept veterans. In February 2006, the Association for Biblical Higher Education granted Hopkinsville College of the Bible Affiliate Status.
The Hopkinsville College of the Bible recognizes and honors the many people who have contributed to the College’s glorious past and bright future. Appointed in 1980, Sis. Samella Brown served as Registrar for many years. Sis. Kate Atkins served as Registrar and English teacher.
During the presidency of Rev. Austin Bell, Rev. H. Belle served as Dean and Sis. Glenda Noel served as Librarian. Rev. Michael Quarles served as Librarian/Registrar and Sis. Deloris Catlett served as Librarian under the administration of President Rev. J. J. Northington.
Sis. Erma Cowell was asked to serve as Registrar in 1999 and currently holds the position. Rev. Jerry Bacon was appointed to the position of Dean in 2008. The current president is Rev. M. O. Fort who was appointed in 2006.