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San Marcos Baptist Academy

James D. Rogers General Entry

San Marcos Baptist Academy is a private coeducational secondary school located on Ranch Road 12 three miles west of San Marcos in Hays County. After an organization drive that began in 1905, the Southwest Texas Baptist Conference established the school in 1907 by matching $25,000 raised by citizens of San Marcos. James Milton Carroll, a leader of the founding campaign, served the academy as its first president. The school enrolled an entering class of 200 students on September 24, 1908. Carroll resigned in 1911; the academy's original building, granted a state historical marker in 1970, became known as Carroll Hall. Thomas Green Harris succeeded Carroll, and the Christian Education Program of the Baptist General Convention of Texas began administrative oversight in 1911. After the United States entered World War I in 1917, the federal government granted the academy a junior unit of the Reserve Officer Training Corps. Since that time all male students have served in the corps of cadets, and those in grades nine through twelve are formally enrolled in the army Junior ROTC program. Girls have also participated in military training on an optional basis. By 1936 the academy's physical plant had increased to twelve buildings on a fifty-six-acre site valued at $400,000. Students in grades one through twelve studied general academic courses as well as fine arts and business subjects. In 1968 more than 500 students in grades three through twelve attended the academy; in 1986 the enrollment was 240 boys in grades six through twelve and 120 girls in grades nine through twelve. The academy has had students from a number of other states and foreign nations. Most academy students reside in dormitories on campus and attend mandatory chapel services on Wednesdays and Sundays. Since the school's beginning, the academy has accepted students from all religious faiths. Students of both sexes have competed in athletic events against other private schools. The academy is a member of the Texas Association of Private Schools and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Texas Education Agency, and the accrediting commission of the Texas Association of Baptist Schools. A fifteen-member board of trustees selected by the Baptist General Convention of Texas continues to govern the academy. Thirty-five full-time and twelve part-time teachers composed the faculty in 1993; three administrators supervised academy operations. That year the endowment of the academy exceeded $3 million, and the institution's assets exceeded $15 million. After selling its original site and buildings to Southwest Texas State University in 1979, the academy moved to its present 200-acre site.

James L. Childs, History of San Marcos Baptist Academy (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1938). Dudley Richard Dobie, A Brief History of Hays County and San Marcos, Texas (San Marcos, 1948). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Education
  • Religion
  • Baptist

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

James D. Rogers, “San Marcos Baptist Academy,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.