Paine College Historic District
Backstory and Context
Trustees from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the Colored Methodist Episcopal church founded Paine College in 1882. The Methodist Episcopal Church,South was established in 1844 when it split with the Methodist Episcopal Church,Which was opposed to any of its clergy owning slaves. The initial meeting of the board of trustees convened November 1, 1982. A committee was selected and appointed to select a temporary location for the school. They made the decision to name the school in honor of Bishop Robert Paine.
The first monetary benefits of the institute were from the Virginia and South Georgia Conference of the CME Church in the amount of $7.15 and $8.85. Initial classes were held in a temporary space above Claussen’s Bakery until 1886 when the college was moved to its current site on Fifteenth Street. Classes started with approximately thirty students and quickly increased to seventy by the second semester.
The Institution began with the goal of educating African-American youth, and they still do today. Paine College began as a coeducational institution that offered general education to males and females elementary to college. In 1885 Reverend Moses U. Payne made a generous contribution to the institute of $25,000, this made administrators feel more comfortable about the future of he institute. In 1903 adequate college- level work was provided and justified the name change to “Paine College”. In 1931, the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accredited Paine College as a class “B” institution, then a class “A” in 1945.