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Bishop College

Bishop College
Active 1881–1988
Location Marshall and Dallas, Texas,
United States

Mascot Tiger

Bishop College was a historically black college, founded in Marshall, Texas, United States, in 1881 to serve students in east Texas, where the majority of the black population lived. In 1961 it moved to Dallas, and the big city setting helped it attract more students. It operated until 1988, when a financial scandal caused it to lose accreditation and funding.

In 2006 the president of


  • History 1
  • Notable alumni 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


1850 plot plan of Bishop College (Wyalucing)

The college was founded by the Baptist Home Mission Society in 1881 as the result of a movement to build a college for African-American Baptists. The movement was started by Nathan Bishop, who had been the superintendent of several major school systems in New England. Baylor University President Rufus C. Burleson secured a pledge of $25,000 from Judge Bishop to start the college during a meeting of the National Baptist Education Society meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A committee of Baptist ministers from East Texas, where most African Americans then lived, selected a location in Marshall, on land belonging to the Holcomb Plantation, Wyalucing.[1]

For its first several decades, Bishop's faculty and administration was staffed by European Americans. The first African American appointed as president was Joseph J. Rhoads, who started in 1929 and served through the Great Depression and World War II.[2] During his presidency, Bishop phased out the high school preparatory programs associated with the college, which had worked to compensate for failures in public education. He emphasized the college's new two-year ministerial program. During the 1930s and 1940s, the ministerial program evolved into the Lacy Kirk Williams Institute, which moved to Dallas when the college moved in 1961. The Lacy Kirk Williams Institute evolved into a week-long seminar which attracted well-known preachers including Jessie Jackson and Martin Luther King, Sr. in 1975. (source, Lloyd Thompson's dissertation for North Texas University, p 34-35)

In 1961, after receiving a grant from the Hoblitzelle Foundation, Bishop moved to a 360-acre (1.5 km2) campus in Dallas. It was able to attract more students there, and in Dallas, enrollments increased, peaking at almost 2,000 students around 1970.[2]

The college closed in 1988 after a financial scandal led to the revocation of its accreditation, and its eligibility to receive funds from charities such as the United Negro College Fund. Purchased in 1990 by Comer S. Cottrell, the campus is now used by Paul Quinn College.[3]

In 2006, the president of

  • Bishop College from the Handbook of Texas Online
  • Bishop College Alumni Association
  • BISHOP COLLEGE R.I.P.?, D Magazine, Published 8.01.1987

External links

  1. ^ "Wyalucing plantation house was at HABS TX-33-D-4".  "Wyalucing, Bishop & West Bush Streets, Marshall, Harrison County, TX," Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, retrieved 22 January 2013
  2. ^ a b Bishop College: Texas school continues historic push for academic excellence, Ebony, May 1981
  3. ^ "History of Bishop College". Retrieved May 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ Moser, Kate (2008-06-06). "A Home for Alumni of a Defunct College". The Chronicle of Higher Education 54 (39): p. A6. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  5. ^ Joe Early, Jr., Richard Henry Boyd: Shaper of Black Baptist Identity, Baptist History and Heritage, Summer-Fall, 2007
  6. ^
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  9. ^ "BOBBY BROOKS". Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
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  12. ^ Nickerson, Kim (February 14, 2008). "Black history: Nickerson, a pioneer of black business in Los Angeles". Los Angeles Sentinel (Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles Sentinel). pp. C–3,C–4. 
  13. ^ Poinsett, Alex (March 1990). "Unsung black business giants:pioneer entrepreneurs laid foundations for today’s enterprises". Ebony (Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.) 45 (5): 96,98,100. 
  14. ^,648495&dq=isaac-thomas+bishop-college&hl=en
  15. ^


Dr. Manuel L. Scott, Sr. Pastor of St. John's Missionary Baptist Church, one of America's 15 greatest black preachers. He was an alumnus and trustee of Bishop College and while in its financial hardships in an attempt Dr. Scott and his congregation of St. John made a donation of 100,000 dollars to help save the college.

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Rev. Dr. R. H. Boyd Founder and head of the National Baptist Publishing Board [5]
William Harris 1987 NFL player, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers [6]
Will Hill 1987 NFL player, Cleveland Browns [7]
Manuel L. Scott, Sr. 1949 Pastor, St. John Missionary Baptist Church, One of America's 15 Greatest Black Preachers, Trustee, Bishop College, Secretary,Department of Evangelism, National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Inc.
Pastor Michael S. Williams, D.Min. 1976 Pastor, St. James Missionary Baptist Church, San Francisco, CA. Former board member (1996-1999), National Baptist Convention U.S.A., Inc.
Jimmy C. Baldwin, Sr. 1983 Pastor, Shiloh Christian Community Church; President, United Council of Christian Community Church of Maryland & Vicinity; Morning Preacher, 2007 Hampton University Ministers' Conference
Tony Martin Dropped out after his freshman year in 1983 and eventually transferred to Mesa State College in 1987. NFL Player, Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers [8]
Bobby Brooks NFL Player, New York Giants [9]
Tony McGee 1970 NFL Player, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and Washington Redskins [10]
Dennis DeVaughn 1981 NFL Player, Philadelphia Eagles [11]
William Nickerson, Jr. Founder of Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, at one time largest black-owned business in the West [12][13]
Ike Thomas 1970 NFL Player, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills [14]
Emmitt Thomas 1966 Member of the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame [15]

Notable alumni


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