Barton College

Written By North Carolina History Project

Formerly known as Atlantic College, Barton College in Wilson has an institutional and denominational history that dates from 1893.

Before Barton College, formerly known as Atlantic Christian College (ACC), Carolina Christina College existed from 1893 to 1900. Carolina Christian College, established in Ayden, served as an institution of higher learning for the Disciples of Christ denomination—a denomination that had a strong presence in the eastern parts of the Tar Heel State.  In 1901, Disciples of Christ denomination leaders decided to build a larger school in Wilson and close the school in Ayden.

In 1901, Atlantic Christian College (ACC) was established.  Its charter class consisted of 107 students. In 1923, ACC was turned into a four-year college.  In 1990, ACC’s name was changed to Barton College, in honor of one of the Disciples of Christ denomination’s founders, Barton Warren Stone.  Stone had been a student at Caldwell Academy. In addition to having an athletic complex, the institution, today, has more than twenty buildings on a 32-acre Wilson campus and awards numerous professional degrees.