Blue Mountain College – a Baptist College in Blue Mountain, MS

March 9, 2012 · 0 comments

in Excursions and Day Triips


Entrance to Blue Mountain College

Blue Mountain College is located in Blue Mountain MS, a town of just over 650 people. The school was founded as a women’s college in 1873 by General Mark P Lowery under the name Blue Mountain Female Institute. General Lowery was a Confederate General and a pastor and he and his descendants were the first four presidents of the institution.

First Monday Trade Days – Ripley MS

We were doing a one day road trip and on our way to Ripley, Miss to attend First Monday Trade Days, a giant flea market. This market has been in operation since 1893. On the way to Ripley, MS we passed through Blue Mountain, MS on MS Hwy 15.

In 1959 I had never heard of Blue Mountain College until a classmate of mine told me he intended to enroll here when he graduated from Clarke Memorial College, a two year school. He explained that Blue Mountain was essentially an all girls school, but in 1956 they had begun permitting ministerial students to enroll. This was ostensibly done to make higher education available to the young ministers who lived near this location. That’s good enough for me. In 2005 all pretense was dropped and the school became a co-educational institution.

Nowadays Blue Mountain College has an athletic department. The Toppers is the mascot for their teams. The womens’s basketball team has been the recipient of the NAIA’s Champions of Character for six consecutive years.

Dr Bettye Rogers Coward – President Blue Mountain College

Dr Bettye Rogers Coward has been President of Blue Mountain College since 2001. She has played an excellent role in expanding and improving the areas of academic study. There are six educational departments in the college: Biblical and Associated Studies, Business, Education, Fine Arts and Speech, Language and Literature, Mathematics and Natural Science and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The school also provides a valuable service for Mississippi Baptists. Conferences and one-day seminars are held here for pastors and Christian workers. The faculty of the school not only coordinates, but often supplies leaders for these events.

I am proud of the history of this fine school and happy it is a vital part of the work of Mississippi Baptists. I look forward to seeing this school grow into a much larger institution. The area where it is located has few advantages. It is primarily rural and mostly undeveloped. The population density does not suggest the quality of people who reside in this area.

UPDATE: Blue Mountain College will welcome a new president on August 1,2012 after Dr Coward retires on June 30th. The board of trustees has named Dr Barbara Childers McMillin to succeed Dr Coward. Dr McMillin is a Mississippi native and is currently associate provost, dean of instruction and English professor at Union University in Jackson, TN.

By the way … when we finally reached Ripley, MS, we learned that First Monday Trade Days are no longer held on Monday. Instead the trade days are held on Friday and Saturday before the first Monday of the month. Just thought you might want to know that before you drive 100 miles like we did. We missed the flea market , but they hold it every month, we’ll just plan another day trip. As you already know …  a bad day on a road trip is better than a good day digging ditches. We are just going to keep on driving up miles and dialing up smiles. We enjoy all our road trips.

Bill Taylor

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