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have not always been fully descriptive, as circumstances have compelled some schools which were organized as colleges to put most of their emphasis upon secondary school work. These schools are, almost without exception, well located and well distributed and in a position to render an increasingly effective service. Some elementary instruction is given in those States where the public-school standards are still very low, but the tendency is to eliminate this phase of the work entirely and to center the attention of the schools upon the production of leaders through the building up of strong secondary schools and colleges. The present program calls not for the multiplication of institutions, but for the placing of those which already exist upon an efficient working basis.

That the work is needed is well demonstrated by the fact that most of the schools are filled to overflowing, and pupils are continually being turned away from some institutions for lack of available room. The needs of some of the schools are distressingly urgent, but, fortunately, neither The Board of Education for Negroes nor any of the schools under its care is in debt. The immediate future of the schools is bound up with the Centenary, and their fate during the next few years will be largely determined by the success or failure of the Methodist Episcopal Church to carry through to triumphant conclusion the magnificent program which has been so well launched.


While our attention at the moment is chiefly upon the educational work of The Board of Education for Negroes, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, it should be borne in mind that this work represents only a part of the extended educational work which has been carried on during the last half century among American Negroes by religious and philanthropic agencies. The Congregational, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches have all done notable work in this field and other denominations have labored in it to a greater or less extent. Among colored denominations the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and other churches have established and maintained many schools, some of which have done and are doing most effective work. In addition to these denominational schools and the many independent institutions of various sorts, seventeen Southern States have established at State expense State agricultural and mechanical colleges for Negroes, and several States have also established State normal schools for the training of Negro teachers.



Gammon Theological Seminary

On Christmas Day of the year 1865 Bishop E. Thomson presided at the meeting of Negro ministers held in Wesley Chapel, New Orleans, at which the Mississippi Mission Conference, one of the first Colored Conferences in the Methodist Episcopal Church, was organized. There were present at this meeting men from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas. At an appropriate stage in the proceedings the Bishop said, "And now, brothers, you

must elect one of your number as secretary.”

This caused some stir among the colored brothers, and at last one of them was obliged to explain to the Bishop that, while several of those present had been able to learn to read a little, there was no one of them who could write. A white man was found to fill the position.

This incident is significant, for, while there were many Negro ministers at the close of the war, and



some of them had developed much skill in the handling of an audience, they were of necessity unlettered men. One of the immediate tasks of educational workers in the South

to teach ministers to read so that they could read their Bibles. This was a part of the work in practically all of the schools, but the ability to read and write alone was not a very adequate training for a Christian minister. Special courses and departments for the training of ministers and candidates for the ministry were set up, and in some cases schools were started with this avowed purpose. Thus at New Orleans University in Louisiana, at Walden University in Tennessee, at Rust College in Mississippi, at Morgan College in Maryland, at Cookman Institute in Florida, and at other schools a very definite place was given to the training of ministers. Naturally, with the work divided in this way, the number in a given department was bound to be small and the work could not be made most effective. Some process of centralization was inevitable, and this was hastened by the appearance and rapid development of Gammon Theological Seminary. The story of the origin and growth of this school for the training of Negro ministers is one of the inspiring chapters of Methodist achievement in Negro education.


Elijah H. Gammon, who made Gammon Theological Seminary possible and from whom the

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