Every year at Founders’ Days, Dr. Gray Allison, our first president, tells the story of Mid-America’s beginnings. It’s entitled the “Miracle of Mid-America,” and if you’ve ever listened to the story, you know Mid-America is, indeed, a miracle.
After nine years of praying for a Bible-teaching, conservative Southern Baptist seminary, Dr. Allison and some other men finally decided to start one themselves. In 1972, he and three other professors started Mid-America in Little Rock, Arkansas. They began with only 28 students, no rent, and no money. But they had a vision for a place where every professor believed all of the Bible, a rarity in those days that has produced a legacy to the present day.
Within three years, the school had outgrown the facilities, and they began a search for their own building. God again miraculously provided for Mid-America. In just five days, God brought $265,000 for a down payment on the Reformed Jewish Temple and Hebrew School in Mid-Town Memphis, Tennessee.
In 2004, Bellevue Baptist Church voted to give Mid-America 35 acres of land in Cordova, Tennessee, right next to I-40. With the purchase of an additional 16 acres, Mid-America was finally able to build a campus and student housing complex suited to their needs. Construction was completed in 2006, and classes began that fall.
Mid-America was originally started with a focus on post-graduate education; however, in recent years, the seminary has noticed a need for clear Bible-training and practical ministry experience for undergraduate students as well. To meet that need, the Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies program was started in fall 2011. Then, in 2017, Mid-America launched The College at Mid-America offering a variety of undergraduate degrees.
Mid-America was originally founded on three principles: Bible preaching, missions, and evangelism. Through the years, those tenets have remained core to everything the school does. Mid-America has continued to uphold the desire expressed in the school verse, Colossians 1:18: “That in everything He might have the preeminence…”