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Ayden Seminary 1898-1925

FWB Seminary, Ayden NC

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Ministerial Students, 1912-13

Ministerial Students, 1912-13

1st Row: M.C. Prescott, Nettie Harris, J.E. Wooten, A.L. Sellars
2nd Row: J.C. Griffin, S.H. Styron, R.R. Jones, Christian Hanzelman
(German), N.D. Wiggs, W.B. Everett
3rd Row: Luke Wetherington, Lemie Hopkins,Floyd Harris (not son of
Rev. Charlie Jackson Harris), D.W. Alexander, L.L. Smith,
J.C. Moye

Ayden Seminary Class of 1919

Class of 1919

Top Row: Wardie Woodard, H. Leroy Harris, M.H. Mellette,
Jamie Prescott, A.M. Godwin, R.N. Hinnant
Bottom Row: Reba Loftin, Bertha Hart, Bert Moye Burnette, Flora
Waller, Margaret Woodard, Glennie Nobles and Fanny

Ayden Students circa 1914-1917

Photo circa 1914-17

1st Row (Bottom): Ray Jones, Dennis Alexander, Coley Prescott,

D.C. Griffin, Larry Smith, Jack Tripp

2nd Row: E.L. Hill, John William Sawyer (child), J.C. Moye,

S.H. Styron, Elbert Prescott, Gurney Smith, M.C.

Prescott, A.L. Sellars

3rd Row (Top): Prof. J.E. Sawyer, Arthur Biggs, Arthur Jones, Jack

Hooten, Robert Swain, Johnnie Sasser, Alton Rowe,

Floyd Harris, J.E. Wooten, N.D. Wiggs



J.E.B. Davis—1898
Thomas E. Peden—1898-1910
J.E. Sawyer—1910-1917
R.B. Lee—1922-1924
C.E. Prescott—1924-1925


1905 Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students

1905 Catalogue Cover

1905 Catalogue pt. 1

1905 Catalogue pt. 2

1905 Catalogue pt. 3

1905 Catalogue Trustees/Faculty


  • Free Will Baptists founded the Free Will Baptist Theological Seminary in 1896 in Ayden, N.C. to train ministers. A charter was granted by the state of North Carolina to the Free Will Baptist Seminary and was later referred to as Ayden Seminary or as the Free Will Baptist Seminary at Ayden.
  • The first pupil enrolled in 1898.
  • In February 1926, the Board of Trustees gave a new name to the institution: Eureka College.
  • The Seminary closed in 1929. The property was offered to the North Carolina State Convention to be used as a home of the Free Will Baptist Orphanage and Bible School.
  • On November 4, 1931, the new main building of the Eureka College was destroyed by fire.

A History of Ayden Seminary and Eureka College by Dr. Michael Pelt.

Not until 1951 did North Carolina Free Will Baptists take steps to open a new institution of higher education, which has become known as University of Mount Olive.

This article was written by Dr. Michael R. Pelt. We wish to thank him for giving his permission to use it.

Special Educational Edition of The Free Will Baptist, Dec. 15, 1926


Pelt, Michael R. A History of Original Free Will Baptists. Mount Olive, NC: University of Mount Olive Press, 1996