News Articles

SBC DIGEST: Blue Mountain College changes name; Shooting at church called ‘isolated incident’

Blue Mountain College becomes Blue Mountain Christian University

By BMCU Staff

BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. (BP) – At last week’s Founders Day Celebration at Blue Mountain College, Barbara McMillin, BMC President, announced the renaming of the four-year Christian college to Blue Mountain Christian University.

McMillin said the action to change the name was taken by its Board of Trustees following six months of constituent conversations and a resolution of support from the alumni association. The university will begin the process of transition immediately and will welcome the fall 2023 freshman class as the first to be admitted to Blue Mountain Christian University.

In her announcement, McMillin traced the progression of the school throughout its history, beginning with educating teachers and later those preparing for ministry. In August, the educational institution received approval from the Mississippi State Institutions for Higher Learning Board to begin a School of Nursing.

“With the addition of nursing, BMCU replicates the pattern established in the ministry of Jesus of teaching, preaching and healing,” McMillin said.

McMillin conducted numerous conversations over several months finding the response to be overwhelmingly positive. “Alumni and friends of the school support the clarity the new name provides, both in distinguishing the institution from two-year community colleges and in highlighting its Christian identity and mission,” she said.

History of Blue Mountain College

As a village preacher before the Civil War, General Mark Perrin Lowrey was a man of vision who saw the importance of providing a thorough education for women. The General felt that the South’s recovery would be enhanced by the educating of its young women. He and his two oldest daughters, Modena and Margaret, comprised the first faculty at what was then Blue Mountain Female Institute. Fifty students enrolled for the first session.

Modena Lowrey Berry, affectionately known as “Mother Berry” in later years, served as “Lady Principal” and then as vice president from 1873 to 1934, a tenure perhaps unequaled by a woman as a major college official. She was the second woman in Mississippi’s history to be named to the Mississippi Hall of Fame.

Between 1873 and 1960 three generations of the Lowrey family including the general’s sons, W.T. Lowrey and B.G. Lowrey, and his grandson, Lawrence T. Lowrey, presided over the college. In 1960, Wilfred C. Tyler, long-time professor of Bible at the school, accepted the presidency and served until his death in 1965.

Blue Mountain College was independently owned and operated until 1920, when control was turned over to the Mississippi Baptist Convention. In 1956 at the request of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, the College opened its doors to men preparing for church-related vocations. From 1873 to 2005, the school operated as a traditional liberal arts college for women.

On Oct. 4, 2005, the Board of Trustees of Blue Mountain College unanimously voted to make all programs offered by the College available to male students, thus making BMC fully co-educational.

Nov. 6 shooting at Shades Mountain was ‘isolated’ incident, church leaders say

By The Alabama Baptist Staff

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (BP) – A shooting that left a male victim injured on the outdoor basketball court at Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Vestavia Hills was an isolated incident and targeted at a specific individual, according to a statement issued by the church.

The shooting occurred on Nov. 6. The victim was taken to UAB Hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, according to media reports.

A statement sent to members of Shades Mountain expressed gratitude to the Vestavia Police Department for the way the situation was handled and said safety is a priority for the church. The basketball goals have been taken down in the aftermath of the shooting, but “this occurrence won’t stop us from doing all we can to reach our community and city with the gospel,” the statement said.

The full statement is below:

Church family,

This afternoon there was an incident involving a non-fatal gunshot at the Shades outdoor basketball court. It was isolated and targeted at a specific individual.

We’re grateful for the Vestavia Police Department and the way they’ve handled this unfortunate situation. The safety of anyone on our campus is a top priority, with measures and protocols to that end. As an additional precaution, we have taken down the basketball goals in the interim.

As a church, we welcome anyone and everyone on our campus. The basketball court has allowed us to minister to a diverse group of individuals in our community, and this occurrence won’t stop us from doing all we can to reach our community and city with the gospel.

Please pray for those impacted today, and pray for our church as we seek to live sent.

Shades Mountain Baptist Church

    About the Author

  • BP Staff