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644 James B. Hunt Dr.
Mount Olive, NC 28365
(919) 658-7869
644 James B. Hunt Dr., Mount Olive, NC 28365 | (919) 658-7869

Free Will Baptist Historical Collection

Eureka College Building

Eureka College (1925-1929)

(click on picture for original size)

Eureka College Students

Eureka College Students

First Row (bottom): Bessie Tripp, W.H. Oliver (teacher), Elizabeth Edwards, T.H. Bowen (Deceased), Christian Moore, J.R. Davidson, Allie Fair Hart, Ethel Shore (teacher)
Second Row: S.T. Shutes, Ruth May, I.J. Blackwelder, Ethel Little, J.D. Vernelson, Glenn McGlohon, Herschel Oliver, R.E. Tripp (teacher)
Third Row: Otis Barrow, E.C. Chamblee, Charlie Haley, K.V. Shutes, Louis Holliday, H.J. Brickhouse, W.R. Williams, T.B. Mellette

(click on picture for original size)

Eureka Faculty 1927

Eureka Faculty 1929

Back Row: Henry Oliver (Principal), Robert Tripp, T. B. Mellette
Front Row: Sarah Brown Braxton, Sarah Wood, Thelma Moody

R.B. Spencer–1925-1928
L.R. Ennis–1928-1929

Catalogue of First Session, 1926-27

(Click on picture for origianl size)

Part 1

Eureka Catalogue of First Session, 1926-27 Pt1

Part 2

Eureka Catalogue of First Session, 1926-27 Pt2

Part 3

Eureka Catalogue of First Session, 1926-27 Pt3

Faculty

Eureka Catalogue of First Session, 1926-27 Faculty

Trustees

Eureka Catalogue of First Session, 1926-27 Trustees

According to board action in the summer of 1925, a decision was made to begin offering the first year of college while continuing to offer a four-year high school curriculum. Seminary facilities were to be used until the building on the new campus was completed. These plans were announced in the Free Will Baptist and prospective students were asked to enroll at the Seminary with the understanding that they would be able to begin regular college studies there upon completion of high school.

The first session catalog was labeled 1926-1927 and according to catalog, sessions started Sept. 8, 1926 and Jan. 3, 1927. This catalog could not have been published in 1925 because it includes a paragraph on the choosing of the Eureka name sometime after Feb. 10, 1926. The catalog cover also bears the name Eureka College. The second session/year catalog was also labeled “Second Session, 1926-1927” with starting dates of Sept. 6, 1927 and Jan. 3, 1928. Obviously, the cover dates should have been 1927-1928. We have no later catalogs and there may not have been any others since the college was experiencing grave financial problems. In Jan. 1929 the operation of the high school department was suspended, but ministerial instruction was taught by Professor Ennis at no cost to the school. The program closed shortly thereafter and the school closed for good.–Gary Fenton Barefoot, Curator, Free Will Baptist Historical Society.

According to board action in the summer of 1925, a decision was made to begin offering the first year of college while continuing to offer a four-year high school curriculum. Seminary facilities were to be used until the building on the new campus was completed. These plans were announced in the Free Will Baptist and prospective students were asked to enroll at the Seminary with the understanding that they would be able to begin regular college studies there upon completion of high school.

The first session catalog was labeled 1926-1927 and according to catalog, sessions started Sept. 8, 1926 and Jan. 3, 1927. This catalog could not have been published in 1925 because it includes a paragraph on the choosing of the Eureka name sometime after Feb. 10, 1926. The catalog cover also bears the name Eureka College. The second session/year catalog was also labeled “Second Session, 1926-1927” with starting dates of Sept. 6, 1927 and Jan. 3, 1928. Obviously, the cover dates should have been 1927-1928. We have no later catalogs and there may not have been any others since the college was experiencing grave financial problems. In Jan.1929 the operation of the high school department was suspended in January of 1929, but ministerial instruction was taught by Professor Ennis at no cost to the school. The program closed shortly thereafter and the school closed for good.

–Gary Fenton Barefoot, Curator, Free Will Baptist Historical Collection.


Picture of Dr. James Hemby and Mr. Wendell Prescott unveiling the marker, April 5, 1995
(click on picture for original size)

Former Colleges

Two church-affiliated schools were once located in Ayden. Carolina Christian College, founded by Disciples of Christ and a predecessor of Barton College in Wilson, operated 4/10 mile northeast from 1893 to 1903. Free Will Baptists in 1896 founded Ayden Seminary 4/10 mile southeast. Later known as Eureka College, it closed in 1929. In 1951 the Free Will Baptists established University of Mount Olive in Mount Olive.

This marker was erected in the center of the town of Ayden, on the north side of NC 103 (Third Street) at its intersection with West Avenue between the Town Hall and the railroad tracks.

  • Free Will Baptists founded the Free Will Baptist Theological Seminary in 1896 in Ayden, N.C. to train ministers. A charter was granted by the state of North Carolina to the Free Will Baptist Seminary and was later referred to as Ayden Seminary or as the Free Will Baptist Seminary at Ayden. The first pupil enrolled in 1898.
  • In February 1926, the Board of Trustees gave a new name to the institution: Eureka College.
  • The Seminary closed in 1929. The property was offered to the North Carolina State Convention to be used as a home of the Free Will Baptist Orphanage and Bible School.
  • On November 4, 1931, the new main building of the Eureka College was destroyed by fire.

Sources

Pelt, Michael R. A History of Original Free Will Baptists. Mount Olive, NC: University of Mount Olive Press, 1996

Moye Library, University of Mount Olive, 2017