Researchers: get ready to travel to the Interdenominational Theological Center’s (ITC) past through pictures! Student and faculty events, programs, and campus life are all captured in the ITC’s Photograph Collection, now digitized and available on Digital Commons. A part of our Spreading the Word project, this collection contains over 1,200 images from the 1880s through the 1970s. These images recount the history of the ITC and associated denominational schools and its seminaries:
- Gammon (United Methodist Church)
- Morehouse School of Religion (Baptist)
- Mason (Church of God in Christ)
- Phillips (Christian Methodist Episcopal)
- Turner (African Methodist Episcopal)
Researchers can tour the old Gammon Theological Seminary campus through the images of Bowen Hall, Gammon Hall, Gilbert Haven Memorial Library, Thirkield Hall and the Gammon presidential residence where Dr. Harry V. Richardson lived.
Richardson was a primary figure in establishing the ITC and became the Center’s first president. The collection contains multiple images taken during Richardson’s tenure at Gammon and ITC. Through these images, researchers can follow Richardson and his wife Selma to dinners, board meetings, classrooms, and rural America to get a sense of his life and responsibilities.
Along with Dr. Harry V. Richardson are images of other past ITC presidents including Dr. Oswald P. Bronson, Dr. Grant S. Shockley, Dr. J. Deotis Roberts and Dr. James H. Costen. You will also find photographs of prominent past chairmen of ITC’s Board of Trustees such as Dr. Ernest Cadman Cowell (first chairman), Dr. Henry P. Van Dusen, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Dr. Benjamin E. Mays. Richardson credits Dr. Mays’ “tenacity” with helping to make the vision of ITC a reality.
Dr. Mays moved the Morehouse School of Religion – then located on the campus of Morehouse College – to become a part of ITC. Photographs of Morehouse School of Religion director, Dr. Levi Terrill and his wife, Jewel Terrill, can be found in the collection. Dr. Terrill, in one image, is seen standing beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Mays in front of a Morehouse College banner. Dr. Terrill was the long time pastor of the Zion Hill Baptist Church of Atlanta, GA, and prominent within the Georgia Missionary Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Convention U.S.A., Inc. (the Levi and Jewell Terrill Collection is also a part of the Spreading the Word project.) The Turner School of Theology director, Dr. J.R. Coan, can also be seen in photographs giving lectures to students, along with other ITC instructors. ITC Professors Dr. Gayraud Wilmore, Dr. Charles B. Copher, and Dr. Isaac R. Clark are also shown giving lectures, participating in faculty meetings and program and events.
Finally, there are a host of photographs taken of students participating in campus life. Whether inside their housing units, the ITC dining hall, on the lawn, or in the classroom, researchers will get a glimpse into the life of the student, particularly in the 1940s through the 1970s. Images of students studying in the ITC library, singing in the chapel choir and participating in picnics are all a part of the exhaustive collection of photographs. We hope you will soon explore this photograph collection that illuminates the rich history of the Interdenominational Theological Center. For further information on the ITC, take a look at the finding aid as well as the audio recordings created at the ITC. Until the next time, happy researching!