Edward Waters College

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1658 Kings Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32209

According to the school, Edward Waters College, founded in 1866 to educate freed slaves, is the oldest private historically black college in Florida. Located on over 90 acres of land in northwest Jacksonville, Florida, Edward Waters College continues to build upon the institution’s solid foundation of teaching, research and community outreach. Under the leadership of Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., the college’s enrollment increased from less than 400 students in 1997 to over 1,300 students in 2003. Edward Waters College was initially named “Brown Theological Institute” by Rev. William G. Steward, the first AME pastor in the state. The school experienced financial difficulties and closed for nearly a decade. In 1883, the school reopened as ‘East Florida Conference High School’ and later, “East Florida Scientific and Divinity High School.” In 1893, the name was changed to Edward Waters College in honor of the third bishop of the AME church, after expansion of the educational program. The college acquired the current site in 1902 and began to rebuild after being destroyed by fire in 1901. Edward Waters College was first accredited as a junior college in 1955 under President William B. Stewart and soon thereafter the college restored a four-year curriculum. In 1979, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredited Edward Waters College to award bachelor’s degrees. The college’s accreditation was last reaffirmed in 1995.\r\n

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