Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College
The Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College is a school for the training of Baptist ministers, predominantly for African-American congregations. It is located at 630 Ishkooda Road Southwest in Birmingham's Powderly neighborhood. The institution offers a bachelor of arts in Bible studies and a bachelor of theology in addition to lesser certifications. The school currently has about 250 students.
The college was founded at 16th Street Baptist Church by William Pettiford and Charles Boothe in 1904 to train rural ministers. By 1912 the school was formalized under the aegis of the Colored Baptist Educational Association. The organization was formed by the Mt Pilgrim Association, Bethlehem Blount Springs Association, Peace Baptist Association and Jefferson County Association, each of which had been operating some form of educational programs, which merged into what was then called the Birmingham Baptist College.
The college was chartered with a board of trustees chaired by John Goodgame, pastor of 6th Avenue Baptist Church. The board hired James Eason as president and purchased the present 9-acre campus in Southwest Birmingham for $25,000. Windham Brothers Construction built the school's first 3-story building with classrooms, a chapel, cafeteria, dormitory rooms, and offices.
By 1930, the college, which had expanded to teach elementary grades as well as theology, was forced to downsize during the Great Depression. The Jefferson County Board of Education leased the building for Powderly High School and the college's classes moved back to 16th Street Baptist. The college reopened in its own building in 1937. The addition of a library and evening classes under the tenure of Talmadge Bussey increased enrollment. Bussey, however, resigned amidst a crisis created by the destruction of the college's administrative building in a 1970 fire. His successor, Wilson Fallin, Jr oversaw the construction of three new buildings.
Beginning in 1975 East African students began arriving for training at the school. The name was changed to Birmingham Baptist Bible College in 1977, then merged with the Easonian Baptist Seminary to become the Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College. In 2000 the college formally partnered with the Kenya Baptist Convention.
- James Eason
- F. L. Sanders
- W. A. Davis (–1930)
- Jessie Wrenn (1939–1946)
- Talmadge Bussey (1947–1970)
- Wilson Fallin, Jr (1970–)
- Fallin, Wilson Jr (1997) The African American Church in Birmingham: A Shelter in the Storm. New York: Garland Publishing Company
- Fallin, Wilson Jr (2004) History of Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College 1904-2004: One Hundred Years of Christian Education in Birmingham's Black Community. Birmingham: EBSCO Printing Company
- Fallin, Wilson Jr (May 11, 2010) "Birmingham-Easonian Baptist Bible College. Encyclopedia of Alabama