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Texas Baptist University

Cecil Harper, Jr. General Entry

Texas Baptist University was founded by the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas. The association made plans for the university at its 1904 meeting, and subsequently acquired Patton Seminary in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas and constructed a three-story building there. Texas Baptist University opened for classes at that site on September 20, 1905, with Dr. J. R. Pentuff as president and A. S. Laird, former president of Patton Seminary, as professor of mathematics. TBU offered a bachelor's degree and operated a school to prepare students for the regular four-year course. It had a conservatory of music and departments of divinity, art, elocution, and business. By April 1908 the faculty numbered fourteen. When plans for the university were made, the Baptist Missionary Association had 563 enrolled churches and was at the peak of its growth, but in the years that followed it began to decline. When it became unable to provide adequate resources, the university's debts mounted until TBU was forced to close in 1912.

Joseph Martin Dawson, A Century with Texas Baptists (Nashville: Broadman, 1947). Texas School Journal, September, October 1905, October 1907, April 1908.


  • Education
  • Defunct Colleges and Universities
  • Religion
  • Baptist


  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

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

Cecil Harper, Jr., “Texas Baptist University,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: