Doss Nathan (D.N.) Jackson was the first president of Central Baptist College (CBC), and a pastor for the American Baptist Association, who later worked to found the North American Baptist Association, now known as the Baptist Missionary Association of America (BMAA). He was a debater and speaker, a publisher, and author of many Christian literature and theology works.
Born in 1895, Jackson was the youngest of 12 children born to James Ferguson and Josephine (Bridges) Jackson. He was ordained on September 2, 1913. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Jacksonville College in 1917 and continued his graduate studies at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago (1920-1921) and at Princeton University (1925-26). He received a LLD, or Doctor of Law, from Missionary Baptist College in Sheridan, Arkansas.
In 1918, he married Erma Oretus Gilbert, the daughter of Dr. C.A. Gilbert, who was the business manager of the Baptist Sunday School Committee in Texarkana, Ark. at the time. The Jacksons had three children: Dr. Tillman Sherron (T.S.) Jackson, Carroll F. Jackson and Ermagene (Jean) S.T. Sullivan.
In 1918, as a 23-year-old pastor at First Baptist Church in Jefferson, Texas, he was was elected the editor-in-chief of the Baptist Sunday School Committee, by the General Association of Baptists. As a member of that committee, he worked to draft a constitution for a new Baptist association known as the American Baptist Association (ABA). He served as the ABA president from 1935 to 1937.
In 1950, Jackson left the missionary baptists to help found the North American Baptist Association, now known as Baptist Missionary Association of America. Most notably, he helped to draft the original Doctrinal Statement of the association and served as the first secretary.
In 1952 the Southeastern Baptist College was organized with Dr. Jackson as the first President. That same year, he helped with purchasing the property for Conway Baptist College, now Central Baptist College. In 1954, he served as CBC's first President. He played a significant role in the development of the North American Theological Seminary, now known as the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary.
After leaving CBC in 1955, he became a Professor of Theology and Church history for the BMAA Seminary where he taught until 1967. Also in 1967, he became President of the MIdwestern Baptist College in Oklahoma City, a position he held until his death in 1968.
He was the publisher and editor for the American Baptist, the oldest Baptist paper west of the Mississippi. He did this from 1934 until he passed in 1968.
A memorial for Jackson was established in Israel. Four trees were planted in the John F. Kennedy Forest in his memory. A plaque depicting the memorial was given to his surviving wife, Erma, by the Israeli government.
When Dr. Jackson died, the American Baptist newspaper (of which he was the editor and publisher) published a memorial edition dedicated to him in February 1969.
In the December 1968 issue of American Baptist, they recognized Dr. Jackson and his wife, Erma, for their 50th wedding anniversary. They also announced his death in the same edition. This edition also includes his last article written for the paper.
Both of these items are archived in the Ronald V. Mitchell Archives at the CBC library. The issues have been digitized and are available here in their entirety.
These books are housed within the Mitchell Archives at the Story Library on the campus of Central Baptist College. They can be viewed by appointment only. Please contact Allison Lightfoot, firstname.lastname@example.org, to make an appointment.
Debates between denominational representatives were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dr. Jackson is credited with 162 formal debates. Many of them were in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma, but there were some in Mississippi, Missouri, California and Michigan.
Click the three lines on the top right to see a list of debates featuring Dr. Jackson, and some of his recorded sermons. These recordings are housed in CBC's Story Library - Ronald V. Mitchell Archives and have been converted to a digital audio format.
American Baptist newspaper Volume 93 Number 13 December 1968
American Baptist newspaper Volume 94 Number 1 February 1969
The Caviler Issue 1 - 1954
The Ronald V. Mitchell Archives
D. N. Jackson - Wikipedia