Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 21, 1958
NUMBER 16, PAGE 9a,14b

Florida Christian College: Retrospect And Prospect

James R. Cope, Tampa, Florida

The following facts concerning Florida Christian College since its full accreditation in 1954 speak for themselves:

Junior College

1. Enrollment increase each year since 1954.

2. Overall enrollment increase of 41% since 1954.

3. Freshman enrollment increase each year since 1954.

4. Overall freshman enrollment increase of 51% since 1954.

5. More students majoring in Business and Science; fewer majoring in Bible (Reports indicate this is general trend among Christian Colleges).

Upper Division

Bible and Religious Education constitute the entirety of this Division. Course transfer toward degrees in two sister senior colleges — Abilene Christian College and Harding College where a Bachelor of Arts degree may be had with only one year's additional work above the third year at Florida Christian College. A Certificate of Achievement is awarded students who successfully complete our own four year curriculum in Bible or Religious Education. Several students remain with us four years and then transfer to other colleges or universities.

The following men compose the Bible Faculty: Homer Hailey, Clinton D. Hamilton, Ed Grantham, Roland H. Lewis, Bob F. Owen, Harry E. Payne, Edgar V. Srygley, Paul Tidwell, and James R. Cope.


The overall picture reveals 23% more Christians enrolled than in 1954 though at enrollment about 9 out of 10 students were Christians in 1954 against 8 out of 10 in 1957-58. This increase of non-Christians is probably best explained by the splendid rating Florida Christian College has with high school counselors in Florida. Nearly one-half of these non-Christians obeyed the gospel before the end of the year.

The growth of Florida Christian College student-wise has not been phenomenal, yet it has been healthy and steady. During its twelve years of service over 2000 students have enrolled in one or more divisions. These have come from some 40 states and about a dozen foreign countries. Apart from those yet in school in the States with only one exception every one of those who came with a view to studying the Bible and better equipping himself to save souls, is back in his native land engaged in gospel work.

Interest In World Evangelism

There is no way for any one person to go and preach the gospel everywhere but every Christian can teach the word of life everywhere he is and goes. This responsibility of the disciple of Christ receives great emphasis at Florida Christian College. The presence of Homer Hailey and Harry Payne who have had personal experiences on foreign fields has been a constant source of encouragement to our students to think about and support evangelists away from home and has meant much toward building a determination in the hearts of several to go to `hand places" and distant lands as proclaimers of truth. From other schools have gone great and good men yet we are certain that when age and size of the college are considered, no other school operated by brethren can surpass the number of its graduates engaged in gospel work in foreign fields.


Every institution which depends upon contributions for its existence is constantly trying to build new interest in men's hearts to support it with dollars. This can be done only as new friends are made. At F. C. C. we feel that our friends are our greatest asset. We are rich in friends! This does not mean that we are rich in rich friends or rich in dollars. It does mean that we have a host of loyal, active supporters scattered throughout America and in several foreign countries. When each of these friends does a little it amounts to a lot. This is what has built Florida Christian College and this keeps it alive. These figures reflect the attitude of our friends as of May 31, the end of the 1957-58 fiscal year:

(1) Largest total contributions in history — over $90,000.

(2) Largest single pledge in history — $60,000 toward new auditorium by Paul Hutchinson, California Christian and business man (this is not included in contributions).

(3) Largest number of gift pledges in history.

Total contributions have more than doubled over the last six years (C.P.A. auditing was inaugurated in 1953).

In spite of increased number of supporters and support, however, inflation affects Florida Christian College as it does everybody else and therefore the College continues to be in need of more financial supporters and more total support as it prepares itself to provide parents a medium for educating their children. Rising living costs make their mark on our teachers just as on public school teachers.

General Morale And Attitude

Faculty and staff have made a joint study of themselves during last year with a view to determining where each may help the other with his problems. We feel that each of the present employees of Florida Christian College shares the others' joys and sorrows and seeks to bear his fellow-servant's load. Every faculty member is a devoted Christian and most of the teachers preach the gospel publicly on Lord's Days and usually assist some church in its edification program through the week. A total of 15 fatherless children are now enjoying or have received "visitation' (James 1:27) from employees of Florida Christian College and numerous widows are being supported in whole or in part by those who are on the College payroll.

Every teacher has pledged himself to refrain from the use of alcoholic beverages, the modern dance, mixed bathing, and immodest dress as long as he remains on the F. C. C. faculty. Our teachers understand that among brethren the term "modernist" is frequently used to describe the person who engages in and teaches that these things are all right. They also understand that one who believes the Bible is verbally inspired is not a "modernist"' in this sense and that one who believes it is not verbally inspired is a "modernist". The present teachers at Florida Christian College are not "modernists" in either sense.

We Look Ahead

The overall F. C. C. campus consists of just under 200 acres. The beautiful Hillsborough River winds lazily through this property toward Tampa Bay dividing the present campus proper from 180 acres now being developed with a two-fold purpose in mind: (1) to provide financial income for the College and (2) to provide a new functional campus, the present buildings to be used primarily for living quarters and connected with the new campus by a stone foot-bridge spanning Hillsborough River.

Gradually we have been developing the 180 acres. For seven years we have been operating a hydroponics garden from which we sell choice tomatoes on the Tampa-St. Petersburg market. (Hydroponics is the process of growing plants without soil). For more than four years we have operated a woodworking shop which manufactures door jambs. Within the last six months we have started a 62-acre citrus grove and have about 50 acres planted. Friends are making this project possible by supplying $6.30 per tree to bring the grove to the point where it will pay its own way. Several persons have donated a full acre ($409.50) and are paying for it over a five year period. Some are setting trees in memory of loved ones. The citrus project should prove quite profitable in about 10 years.

The Board of Directors has approved preliminary plans for the new campus which we hope to develop over the next 10 to 15 years. It will consist of two water fronts — the River and a lake which will be formed by dredging. On the high land resulting from the dredging we hope to build the following structures: classroom, science, library, music, administration, and gymnasium.

During the Annual Lecture series last February, Paul Hutchinson, California business man, announced his intention to build a new auditorium on the F. C. C. campus. This structure will be in memory of Mary Hutchinson, deceased wife of the donor, and will have classrooms adequate for handling our Bible teaching.

In addition to the regular college program, we are beginning an elementary school (6 grades) in September. If this operation proves successful it will be enlarged to include both junior and senior high schools in years to come.

Florida Christian College faces the future with confidence but not with pride. We are grateful for the good will and tangible support of so many friends expressed in so many different ways. It has never been our aim to build a "big" school but we are earnestly striving to build a good school academically and spiritually. We solicit the support of those who are of like precious faith and interest.

We will be happy to place on our regular mailing lists the name of any person who will send us his name and mailing address. A postcard mailed to James R. Cope, Florida Christian College, Tampa 10, Florida will bring additional information about Florida's only fully accredited but youngest private junior college.