Virginia Seminary and College was organized in May 1886 during the 19th annual session of the Virginia Baptist State Convention at the First Baptist Church in Lexington, Va. Just 21 years out of slavery, African American Baptist leaders, among them Rev. P.F. Morris, pastor of Court Street Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va, founded Lynchburg’s oldest institution of higher education for men and women to meet the growing demands of our community for better-educated and trained ministers, missionaries, and public school teachers. The school was opened on Jan. 18, 1890, by Professor R. P. Armstead with an enrollment of 33 students. Through Biblical principles and the philosophy of self-help, VUL has been committed to training and developing the leaders and scholars of tomorrow since its inception 125 years ago.