History

The General Missionary Baptist Association of Mississippi was organized in October 1872 in Columbus, Mississippi after the Reverend Jesse Freeman Boulden of Columbus resisted efforts of others to bring his associational work into the General Convention. The General Baptist Association was what the writer would call an “Association of Associations.” The influence of the General Baptist Association of Mississippi was felt from Jackson in the south to Winona in the north and east to Columbus. The work of this body continued until 1890.

Despite personality differences, the General Baptist Association and the General Convention were merged in 1890 to form the General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi (GMBSC) under the leadership of the Reverend Randle Pollard, an old ex-slave preacher hailed as the “Father of Negro Baptists in Mississippi.” At the time, the convention was made up of 400 churches representing 70,000 Black Baptists. One of its accomplishments was the founding and operation of Natchez College.

Natchez College was founded in hopes of providing schooling beyond the limited levels provided by the State of Mississippi for Black children. The convention also founded andsponsored high schools and seminaries for the training of ministers. After 1954, the privately operated church-supported schools had to re-evaluate their mission and seek wider support for their programs.