Jarvis Christian College

Jarvis Christian College
Type Private, HBCU
Established 1912
Affiliation Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
President Dr. Lester Newman
Students 800
Address PR 7631,Hwy 80 E, Hawkins, Texas,
United States

32°35′21″N 95°10′47″W / 32.589192°N 95.179823°W / 32.589192; -95.179823Coordinates: 32°35′21″N 95°10′47″W / 32.589192°N 95.179823°W / 32.589192; -95.179823
Campus 1,000 acres
Colors Blue and Gold          
Sports Basketball, tennis, soccer, baseball, volleyball
Website www.jarvis.edu

Jarvis Christian College (JCC) is an independent four year, historically black college affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).[1] It is located in unincorporated Wood County, Texas, near Hawkins. It was founded in 1912, and is currently headed by President Dr. Lester C. Newman.[2]


Although formal instructional programs at Jarvis began on January 13, 1913, with an enrollment of twelve students, all in the elementary grades, the school got its start in 1904 when the Negro Disciples of Christ of Texas began planning a school for black youth. Major James Jarvis donated land upon which the school could be built; the family deeded 456 acres to the Christian Women's Board of Missions on the condition it be maintained as a school for blacks.[3] Jarvis opened its doors as Jarvis Christian Institute, modeled after the Southern Christian Institute located in Edwards, Mississippi.[4]

Jarvis is the only historically black college remaining of 12 founded by the Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church.[5]

Jarvis' first students were educated in the remains of an old logging camp, and later in a cabin which became the school's first multi-purpose building.[6]


Thomas Buchanan Frost came to the school as superintendent in 1912. Mr. Charles Albert Berry joined him as principal. In 1914, James Nelson Ervin became the first president of Jarvis, and served in that capacity until 1938. During the first year of Ervin's tenure, high school classes were added to the curriculum for Jarvis. It became one of the few places blacks in East Texas could complete a high school education at the time. Some college work was offered as early as 1916.[7]

The Executive Committee of the National Women's Board voted in May, 1915, to appropriate $1,000 for a sawmill that was purchased and installed on campus. The sawmill was operated from the 1920s through the 1940s by male students in the summer. They cut wood for structures on campus and to fire furnaces and stoves used during winter months around campus. Most of the buildings on the Jarvis Campus built during the 1920s-1940s were made with wood from this mill. Most of those buildings burned.[6]


In 1927, junior college courses were integrated in to the curriculum. In 1928, the school incorporated as a college.[4]


Senior College course offerings were introduced at Jarvis in 1937. The Emma Smith Building, used to house administration offices, was built in 1936 and is the only campus structure surviving from the Ervin presidency.[4]

In 1938, Peter Clarence Washington began his tenure as the second president of Jarvis Christian College. High school work was eliminated from the curriculum the same year.

In 1939, the state of Texas granted a formal charter to Jarvis Christian College.[4]


Dr. John B. Eubanks became Executive vice President of Jarvis in 1949 and is credited with introducing the general education program and helping the school earn recognition from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This recognition came in 1950.[4]


Eubanks became the third President of Jarvis Christian College in 1951. U In 1953, Dr. Cleo Walter Blackburn, became college president.[4]


Blackburn ensured an affiliation between Jarvis and Texas Christian University in 1964 that was renewed twice and terminated in 1976. In 1964, Agro-Industrial offerings were eliminated from curriculum. The Olin Library and Communication Center was opened to students in 1965. In 1966, Dr. Perpener became the fifth president of Jarvis and the first alumni appointed to the office. In 1966, Jarvis was granted membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Jarvis affiliated with the Texas Association of Developing Colleges, a six-college consortium of historically Black colleges the next year.In 1969, the Charles A. Meyer Science and Mathematics Center opened.[4]


Four additional residence halls were opened on campus in the 1970s.[4]


Jarvis Christian teams, nicknamed athletically as the Bulldogs, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Men's sports include Golf,i basketball, baseball, Track and field, bowling, soccer and cross country; while women's sports include Track & field, basketball, volleyball, soccer , bowling and cross country. Jarvis Christian has appeared in the NAIA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament three times: 2003, 2008, and 2009. 2015

East Texas Natural History Collection

Jarvis houses a regional collection of biologial specimens in its 10,000 square foot Frost Hall. The collections are concentrated on the herbarium and entomology collections, but also houses minor holdings in other natural history areas of study and historical materials that are related to natural history or land use history.


  1. "Texas Christian University." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, (2011): 1.
  2. NAIA Championship History
  3. "JCC Facts | Jarvis Christian College". www.jarvis.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Jarvis Christian College Student Handbook 2014-2015" (PDF). Jarvis Christian College. Jarvis Christian College. September, 2014. Retrieved 2016-11-26. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. RACHEL, JENKINS, (2010-06-15). "JARVIS CHRISTIAN COLLEGE". tshaonline.org. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  6. 1 2 National Register of Historic Places Registration Form and National Register of Historic Places Continuation Sheet for the Florence Robinson House. United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. As an attachment to e-mail correspondence with Jeff Joeckle, Archivist, National Register of Historic Places, 11:52 a.m. November 30, 2016. [Document was received by e-mail correspondence as this file has not yet been digitized by the National Park Service for placement on the asset page in the NRHP database. The page is here, and the document will eventually be digitized and placed on this page by NPS: http://npgallery.nps.gov/nrhp/AssetDetail?assetID=a8b16fcf-fbf0-45d0-affd-04da804fe80e
  7. "Jarvis Christian College Student Handbook, 2014-15" (PDF). Jarvis Christian College. Jarvis Christian College. September 2014. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
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