Jonesboro was home to two Baptist Colleges, neither of which lasted long. The Mount Zion Baptist Association founded Woodland College in 1901 and built two structures before it failed in 1913. Seven years later, ground was broken for a two hundred thousand dollar administration building for Jonesboro Baptist College.
The school opened on September 9, 1924, with six faculty members and two hundred fifty students. Classes included math, languages, fine arts, sciences, history and a teacher certificate program. The school’s football team competed in the Mississippi Valley Conference, which included what is now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and it fielded men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball and co-ed tennis teams.
A half-million-dollar donation from the Baptist Home Mission Board never materialized, leading the school to seek local funding, including twelve hundred dollars from a Ku Klux Klan chapter. Jonesboro Baptist College closed in 1934.
To learn more, visit the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.