Western Baptist Theological Institute


The Western Baptist Theological Institute was established by Kentucky Baptists, and was authorized by the Kentucky Legislature on February 5, 1840.  The campus was established outside of the city of Covington, which in those days went to about 8th Street.  The Institute occupied the area between Robbins on the north and Eleventh on the south; and Madison on the east, and Russell on the west.

A hospital was established in the southeast corner.  You know likely know it as St. Elizabeth.  This would be St. E's second location, and it was torn down in 1916.  St. E. moved to what is now St. E. North.

The Institute's president's house was - and still is- on the east side of Russell.  In the building you see in the drawing, the dorm rooms are on the top room, the classrooms are on the first floor.

Slavery was the issue that divided the folks involved with the Institute almost from the beginning, and ultimately destroyed it.  The Trustees voted to sell the property in 1855.  Half of the proceeds went to fund the Fremont Theological Institute in Ohio, and the Southern half went to Georgetown College.  The buildings were used as a hospital during the Civil War.

The Institute's cornerstone - laid in 1840 - was ultimately given to the Baptist Seminary in Louisville.  The building was torn down in 1916.


for more information, see a paper given by Orie S. Ware to the Gist Society. The Gist Society's papers are bound and on the shelves at the libraries in Covington, in Newport, in Florence/Union, and at the Filson Club in Louisville.