Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Flashback Fridays: “An African Methodist College in Nashville” (August 13, 1891)

August 7th, 2009 by Ajuan Mance


Central Tennessee College pictured in 1895.*


An African Methodist College in Nashville.


For a long time this matter has agitated my mind in so much that it has brought me to the place where I cannot help writing upon the subject, “An African Methodist College in Nashville.”

Fisk University is doing her work with success. Central Tennessee College is doing a noble work for the Negro race in his country, while Roger Williams has done much for this grand race.

Fisk University [and] Roger Williams College had their hundreds during the last session, while Central Tennessee College had 613 enrolled during the year, the largest number in the history of the college.

There were over 1500 students attending these three institutes this year, and if there had been an African Methodist college here, I really think there would have been 600 or 700 more added to that number.

Brethren of the grand old A.M.E. church, we must have an African Methodist college in the city of Nashville. Who says we shall not? Who says we ought not? Well, I guess nobody has got the cheek to say we shall not or ought not.

Fisk University has built a theological seminary, Central Tennessee college is talking of building one, and we (the A.M.E. church) boast of our grand old church, saying that it is the church, do not own one foot of university or college ground in this place, the seat of education. Open your mouths wide, brethren, and let us hear you talk on this subject. Don’t all speak at once, and you who don’t know what to say, don’t speak at all. Like Rev. G.H. Burk thinks, we need no more bishops at present; we can use the money to purchase property and build an African Methodist college in Nashville. Yes, come on brethren, let us hear from you, as about 700 young men and ladies would be in school every winter, if we had an African Methodist college here. I would like to hear bishops, elders and laymen speak.

202 So. College St., Nashville, Tenn.

– From The Christian Recorder, August 13, 1891

*In 1900 Central Tennessee was renamed Walden University, and in 1925 it folded, leaving only its medical department intact. Today Meharry Medical College is one of the nations largest producers of African American nurses and physicians.

Posted by Ajuan Mance


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