At the annual meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention in 1891, a special committee was appointed to consider the founding of an educational institution for women. Colonel George W. Bruce was appointed the first Chairman of the Board, and property was soon acquired in Conway.
Central College opened in a Baptist church in 1892, while waiting on construction of the Main Building on the beautiful fifteen-acre campus. The purpose of the institution was to train women for efficiency in home, church, business, and society.
Central College flourished for fifty-five years until its demise in 1947. Following its closure, the campus lay dormant for a number of years until it was purchased in 1952. The newly formed Arkansas Missionary Baptist Association purchased the property for $85,000, and Conway Baptist College opened its doors in September 1952 with Dr. D. N. Jackson serving as the first president of the college. The name of the institution was changed in 1962 to its current appellation, Central Baptist College.
From humble beginnings, CBC has grown from approximately two dozen students to more than 600. The number of faculty has increased from five to over fifty full-time and part-time instructors. In addition, the curriculum has expanded to include a wide variety of baccalaureate degree programs in areas other than Bible. Much progress has been made.
Although many things have changed since 1952, Central Baptist College still remains committed to its mission and constantly strives to provide a quality, Christ-focused education for all its students.