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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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McCulloch, Joseph Flavius

by Ralph Hardee Rives, 1991

24 June 1856–1 Oct. 1934

Portrait of Joseph F. McCulloch, from the "McCulloch Memorial Fund Certificate," published in the <i>Methodist Protestant Herald</i> (Greensboro, NC), April 25, 1935 issue, Volume 41, Number 23, p. 4. Presented on Joseph Flavius McCulloch, professor, college president, minister, and editor, was born in Guilford County, the son of Joseph D. and Sara Julian McCulloch. He studied at Adrian College in Michigan and at Johns Hopkins and Clark universities. He taught at the University of Michigan and at Adrian College, of which he became president. He also was pastor of Methodist Protestant churches in Piedmont North Carolina.

McCulloch's compelling goal was to have a Methodist Protestant college established in North Carolina, and for forty years he directed his energies towards that end. To further his efforts and with the approval of his church's conference, he founded a periodical, Our Church Record, in 1894; in 1910 it became the Methodist Protestant Herald. He was editor, printer, and publisher of this sole conference periodical of the Methodist Protestant church. Over a number of years individuals and institutions contributed to a fund to establish a new college to supplant the struggling Yadkin College, which had had a checkered career, sometimes serving merely as a high school. A special attempt was made to obtain support in Burlington, Greensboro, and High Point. Finally, in 1924, the combined efforts of many people resulted in the closing of Yadkin College and its consolidation with the new High Point College, which opened in September. McCulloch had served on the board of education during the planning and fund-raising period, and when High Point College opened he sat on the board of trustees.

In September 1883 he married Mary Elizabeth Barrow, and they became the parents of three children. He died and was buried in Greensboro.


J. Elwood Carroll, History of the North Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church (1939).

Journal of the Annual Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church (1934).

J. E. Pritchard, A Brief History of the First Twenty-Five Years of High Point College (1957).

Image Credits:

"McCulloch Memorial Fund Certificate." In Methodist Protestant Herald, Volume 41, No. 23 (April 25, 1935) p. 4. Greensboro, N.C. (accessed July 2, 2014).