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Since 1959

Mid-South Christian College is the successor to Memphis Christian College which was established in Memphis, Tennessee in 1959.

Vernon Newland, then Academic Dean of St. Louis Christian College, led in the establishment of Memphis Christian College. He had been instrumental in establishing other Bible Colleges and for several years had been receiving requests from people in the Mid-South to come and help start a college in this area.


A meeting was held in Memphis on January 9, 1959. It was attended by about 40 people including 24 ministers from Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri and Arkansas. The group voted unanimously to establish a Bible College in the Mid-South. Memphis was selected as the location and Memphis Christian College was chosen as the name. September, 1959 was set as the opening date. Mr. Newland accepted the position of President and shared teaching responsibilities with 4 part-time instructors. Classes were held in the Oakhaven Christian Church building.

Vernon Newland, founder MSCC

The college continued using the Oakhaven facilities until land was purchased and buildings constructed in the Parkway Village section of southeast Memphis. In June, 1964, Brad Burnette became Mid-South Christian College's second president. The college remained in Memphis until 1973 when 160 acres of land were purchased in rural northwest Mississippi, about 12 miles west of Senatobia. The name was changed to Mid-South Christian College. In May, 1975, Jack Bliffen became the college's third president. In August, 1981, Gerald A. Gibson became the fourth president. William H. "Bill" Griffin became the fifth president in 1988. Robert G. Secrist became the sixth president in 1997. On July 1, 2001, Larry Griffin became the seventh president to serve.

During the years in Mississippi, the college developed significantly in terms of administrative structure, quality faculty, library, and educational programs. However, student enrollment did not keep pace with growth in other areas. The Trustees and Administration believed that the isolated campus had to a great extent been responsible for the low enrollment. Because of this the Trustees voted to move the college back to Memphis, Tennessee.

During the academic years of 1987, 88, and 89 the college was located on Elvis Presley Boulevard in the Whitehaven area of the city. In the summer of 1990 circumstances developed that made it possible for the college to return to its original campus located on Knight Road at Knight Arnold in the Parkway Village section of Memphis.

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