In September 1950, Central Christian College opened its doors to about 90 students. The college was housed on a beautiful 152-acre estate, the main building of which was a mansion where L.V. Foster, who had made his fortune in oil, had lived.
On the first floor, this building housed the offices, the cafeteria, the library, a large room for a social center, and receptions. In the basement was the biology lab and on the second floor were rooms for boys and a supervisors’ apartment. The college built a frame classroom building and a brick women’s dormitory. Servants quarters housed the music and home economics departments.
One of the most amazing things about this beginning is that high-quality teachers and students were attracted to the young school because of the opportunity to be pioneers in what they believed would be a significant enterprise.
During these early years, people of the quality of James Baird, Roy Lanier, Sr., Harold Fletcher, Darvin Keck, Bailey McBride (first as a student and then a teacher), Stafford North, and many others came to the young school. From students in those early years have come many long-term missionaries, outstanding teachers and administrators, and leaders in business.
While the beginning was small, it laid a very important foundation of quality for the future of the university. After a few years, however, it became evident that the school needed to be in the setting of a larger city to prosper. The larger setting would provide higher visibility, a broader base of support, more jobs for students, a wider range of local entertainment, better transportation, and easier access to supplies and services.