Mississippi Baptists have been committed to education from their earliest days. Their first attempt to work directly in higher education occurred in 1836 with the founding of the Judson Institute. Although the Judson endeavor was ultimately short-lived, the Baptist commitment to higher education intensified, culminating in the acquisition of Mississippi College in 1850. Since 1836, the state convention and several local associations had supported at least ten different educational institutions within the state, many of which no longer exist. (1) The Civil War brought physical or economic destruction to many of the institutions, resulting in their closure. Other institutions survived. Though Walter and Adelia Hillman may be relatively unknown among today's Mississippi Baptists, their leadership during the Civil War era ensured the longevity of the involvement of Mississippi Baptists in education by preserving two antebellum institutions: the Central Female Institute and Mississippi College.