WESTMINSTER JUNIOR COLLEGE AND BIBLE INSTITUTE
WESTMINSTER JUNIOR COLLEGE AND BIBLE INSTITUTE. Westminster Junior College and Bible Institute, in Tehuacana, Limestone County, was the successor to the Congregational Methodist Bible School, which opened in Dallas in 1944 under the leadership of Marvin Sheffield, Otho Jennings, and J. T. Upchurch. W. E. Bruce replaced Jennings as superintendent in the fall of 1944 and directed the school for nine years. During that time a three-year course in Bible and supporting subjects was offered primarily for ministers and missionaries. In the early 1950s property was purchased at Tehuacana by the Congregational Methodist Church, and the Congregational Methodist Bible School was moved to that location. The property at Tehuacana had a long church history; it had first been used by Trinity University, a Presbyterian school, from 1869 to 1902. Then the property was sold to the Methodist Protestant Church, which moved its school, Westminster College, to the location; that school operated at Tehuacana until 1950. The campus was unoccupied until 1953, when it was opened by the Congregational Methodist Church as Westminster Junior College and Bible Institute. The school's program was expanded to include the basic junior college curriculum. The campus comprised twelve buildings, including housing for faculty and students. In 1969 the library held 9,000 volumes, in addition to pamphlets, magazines, newspapers, and documents. The school operated under the auspices of the Congregational Methodist Church but was not a sectarian school. It offered an associate of arts degree. The Bible Institute, a department of the college, offered a four-year curriculum leading to the degree of bachelor of religion. In 1968–69 the college had fifteen faculty members and ninety-five students, but by 1970 the student body had decreased to sixty; Elmo McGuire was president. In 1971 thirty-five students and seven teachers of the Westminster Junior College and Bible Institute moved from Tehuacana to a forty-acre campus at Florence, Mississippi, a location called the "geographical center" of the Congregational Methodist Church.
Walter N. Vernon et al., The Methodist Excitement in Texas (Dallas: Texas United Methodist Historical Society, 1984). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Ray A. Walter, A History of Limestone County (Austin: Von Boeckmann–Jones, 1959). Donald W. Whisenhunt, The Encyclopedia of Texas Colleges and Universities (Austin: Eakin, 1986).