Built in 1925, Griggs Hall is the original building on the American Baptist Theological Seminary campus, now American Baptist College. It was named for father and son, Drs. Allen R. and Sutton E. Griggs. In 1901, the younger Griggs founded and operated the Orion Publishing Company. The author of more than 33 books, five of which were novels, Dr. Sutton E. Griggs is studied for his response to the racial injustices of his day. From 1925 to 1926, he served as president of the school.
During the 1960s, Griggs Hall was the "home" of several seminary students who organized and led sit-ins, freedom rides, and other civil rights movements in Nashville, the South, and the nation. The student organizers were influenced by their homiletics professor, the Rev. Kelly Miller Smith, Sr., pastor of the First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, a local leader in the African-American Community.