During its 107 years of existence, Bishop College educated teachers for a region and religious leaders for a nation. A new documentary celebrating the collective contributions of this historic African American institution will air on KSHV-My45 and KMSS-FOX33 in January and February. These stations serve Oklahoma, Louisiana, and East Texas.

The airing schedule is as follows:

January 16, 4 pm, Ch.45
January 30, 11:30 am, Ch.33
February 5, 1 pm, Ch.45
February 26, 11:30 am, Ch.33

Bishop College: The Bridge Between Two Worlds uses historic photographs and contemporary interviews to tell the story of this small Texas school that made big contributions to the history of education, religion, and African American culture. Bishop was founded in Marshall, Texas in 1881. Three years later, David Abner became the first African American to receive a degree from a Texas institution of higher learning when he graduated from Bishop. In 1959, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the commencement speech to Bishop graduates.

The documentary traces the history of the school’s ministerial program, the historic Marshall sit-down strikes, the college's relocation to Dallas in 1961, and its ultimate closing in 1988 after filing for bankruptcy.

The film includes interviews with several of the school’s notable graduates and employees, including Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, and Dr. Harry Robinson Jr., president and CEO of the African American Museum in Dallas, who discusses moving the Bishop collection to the museum, which now houses one of the largest African American folk art collections in the United States.

The documentary was produced in association with the Bishop Blue Foundation. Bishop Blue’s mission is to celebrate the history of Bishop College from its inception in Marshall, Texas, to its closing in Dallas. The organization is seeking to record the history of Bishop College from the perspective of the graduates and others who contributed to the institution, to trace the history of Bishop’s legacy in the education of religious leaders and teachers and to report on the success of Bishop College graduates throughout America.

Additional funding for the documentary was provided by a grant from Humanities Texas.

Postcard depicting Marston Hall, boys' dormitory, Bishop College, Marshall, Texas. Image courtesy TxGenWeb Project.