The Magoffin Baptist Institute
By Frank M. Masters
The Magoffin Baptist Institute, located in Breathitt County appears to be entering upon a better day under the leadership of Rev. Ellis M. Ham, the new President. He was born in Edmonson County, but moved to Louisville, while a boy of nine years. There he was converted, and baptized into the Third Avenue Baptist Church, by the pastor, Hollis S. Summers.
Brother Ham was ordained to the ministry by the same church, July 21, 1929. He received an A. B. degree from Georgetown College, June 1945, and attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He became pastor of the Great Crossings Baptist Church, Elkhorn Association in 1943, after having served in other pastorates. In August, 1948, Brother Ham accepted the position of President of the Magoffin Baptist Institute.
The school was chartered in 1905 and was first operated at Salyersville, Magoffin County, under the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Frank A. Clarke took charge of the school in 1929. He and Mrs. Clarke did a great work and continued until 1948, when they retired and moved from the field. The Institute was located in Sky, Breathitt County, in 1940, after having been in operation at Salyersville for thirty five years. In 1948, the Sky post office was eliminated and the present post office is Mountain Valley, Kentucky. This mountain school opened under the new administration, September 1948, with an enrollment of 96 students in all twelve grades. The purpose of this Baptist School is to provide an opportunity for underprivileged young people of the mountains to obtain an education. President Ham writes of the needs: "A dormitory has been built out of native stone to accommodate about forty girls, but there is only a small cabin for the boys. The greatest need is a dormitory for boys, and a Home Economics building."
[From Frank M. Masters, A History of Kentucky Baptists, 1953, p. 557. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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