Trinity Baptist College
Trinity Baptist College, TBC, is a small private college located in Jacksonville, Florida. It was founded in 1974 by Trinity Baptist Church. It has been accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools since 1997.ï¿½
Trinity Baptist College was founded in 1974 by Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. It was originally located on the grounds previously occupied by the church on McDuff Avenue near downtown Jacksonville. The college was located on this property for 24 years. From its inception, the college has utilized a training model that combines classroom academics with real world experience opportunities. This educational approach is known by the college as "Learn and Serve." As an example, By 1977 the college utilized one of the largest bus ministries in the country. Other examples include utilization of a downtown rescue mission, a rehabilitation farm, a youth camp, relationships with over 230 foreign missionaries actually supported by Trinity Baptist Church, Trinity Christian Academy (one of the state of Florida's largest Christian academies), and over 30 ministries associated with Trinity Baptist Church. In 1977, Trinity Baptist Church filed for bankruptcy. The campus that Trinity Baptist College now occupies on the west-side of Jacksonville was originally purchased through a bond issue. The original agreement involved the bond issue being converted into a mortgage once Trinity Baptist Church reached specified attendance goals. While those goals were met, by the time Trinity sought to convert the bond issue into a mortgage, no bank would underwrite the mortgage, as the economy had changed. Trinity later paid its debts in full; over and above the 50% required by the bankruptcy order. In 1992, the church voted Thomas Messer to be the senior pastor of the church and later the president of the college. In 1995, the church, in accordance with Pastor Messer, called Charles Shoemaker to be the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the college. Since this time, Trinity Baptist College has expanded and moved to Hammond Boulevard on the Westside of Jacksonville, where it shares its campus with both Trinity Baptist Church and Trinity Christian Academy. In 1998 the college was accredited by the Trans-national Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. In 2006 former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Robert Gray, then aged 80, was arrested on capital sexual battery charges. It was alleged that he had French-kissed and fondled six-year-old girls in his office. Over 20 women and one man came forward with allegations, though most were excluded due to the statute of limitations. The case went to trial in 2007, but ended when Gray died. Six civil suits against Trinity Baptist Church continued. In 2008, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests asked then-presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to cancel an appearance at the church due to the outstanding charges that church leadership had covered up Gray's activities. Huckabee did not speak in person, citing a scheduling conflict, but did spend time with the church congregation by way of teleconference. In 2008 to maintain accreditation standards, the college renamed its leadership positions, making Messer the school's chancellor and Shoemaker the president and chief executive officer; no change was made in the authority of their positions. In 2009, Shoemaker announced his resignation and finished out the 2009-2010 school year as his last year as president of the college. In 2010, it was announced that Mac Heavener, Jr. would take Shoemaker's place as president. Also, the position of executive vice president was re-created and filled by Matthew Beemer. Trinity Baptist College has trained thousands of specialists in the fields of ministry, education, and music since being founded in 1974. The college has experienced nearly 30% growth since 2010. The college aims to give God credit for any strides made in any area and remains one of the most affordable accredited Christian colleges in the country.
Trinity Bible College is a biblically based institution of higher education providing a Christ-centered Pentecostal environment for academic and spiritual preparation of men and women for ministry in church vocations and for service in other professions.
David Meeks, Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from Conway, Arkansas