|Concordia College Alabama is closed
Concordia College, formerly known as Alabama Lutheran Academy and Junior College, is the direct result of the pioneer Lutheran missionaries in Alabama. In 1916 Miss Rosa Young, supremely concerned about the spiritual and educational welfare of the Black people in her native area, directed a plea for help to the Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America. The conference responded favorably and sent the Rev. Nils Jules Bakke, who on Palm Sunday in 1916 performed 58 Baptisms and 70 confirmations in Rosebud, Alabama. Within a few years, more than 20 congregations were founded.
In 1919 at a conference held in Midway, near Miller's Ferry, a resolution was adopted to petition the Synodical Conference for funds to build a school for the special purpose of training professional church workers.
The location selected for the new school was Selma. The first classes were conducted in a rented cottage at 521 First Avenue, November 13, 1922. The Rev. R. O. Lynn was the first president. The first buildings on the present campus were dedicated by the Director of Missions, C. F. Drewes on September 20, 1925. One year later four females made up the school's first graduating class. God continued to bless this new Alabama school with capable leaders like Pres. Edward Wescott, who, in a long period of dedicated service to the school, made survival possible during the Great Depression.
In 1945 the Rev. W. H. Ellwanger became president. For many years he served also as superintendent of the Alabama Mission Field. Throughout the period of this dual role, he constantly aligned the activities of the school with the needs of the field. In 1962 the Synodical Conference transferred the entire ownership, control, and maintenance of the school to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Thereafter, President Ellwanger directed the school in an active program of modernization.
Following President Ellwanger's resignation in 1964, Prof. Varnes J. Stringer became acting president and served in that capacity until February 1, 1966. when Prof. Paul G. Elbrecht assumed the presidency. In March 1970 President Elbrecht tendered his resignation from the presidency, and Dr. Peter R. Hunt assumed the duties of acting president until the fall of 1971.
Dr Willis L. Wright became president in 1971 and served in that capacity until 1980. During his tenure as president, the school experienced remarkable progress.
On August 1, 1980, Dr. Julius Jenkins, a graduate of the institution, assumed the presidency. On July 1, 1981, the name of the institution was changed from Alabama Lutheran Academy and College to Concordia College.
In December 1983 the school received full accreditation as a Junior College from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In December 1994, the school received accreditation as a baccalaureate-degree granting institution.
On November 13, 2009, the Reverend Dr. Tilahun M. Mendedo was elected as the seventh president of Concordia College. He was officially installed on May 6, 2010.