Trinity Baptist College

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Trinity Baptist College
Motto Training Students for Life and Ministry
Established 1974
Type Private accredited
Religious affiliation Trinity Baptist Church
Chancellor Thomas Messer
President Mac Heavener, Jr.
Executive Vice President Dr. Matthew Beemer
Admin. staff 28 full-time[1]
Undergraduates 283 [2]
Location Jacksonville, Florida, USA
30°18′00″N 81°46′59″W / 30.3°N 81.783°W / 30.3; -81.783
Campus 800 Hammond Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32221
Colors Royal blue, gold, black, white                 
Mascot Eagle
Affiliations Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools

Trinity Baptist College, TBC, is a small private college located in Jacksonville, Florida. It was founded in 1974 by Trinity Baptist Church.[3] It has been accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools since 1997.[4] The college is currently under the leadership of Pastor Tom Messer, Mac Heavener Jr., and Matthew Beemer.


Trinity Baptist College was founded in 1974 by Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8][9] Over 20 women and one man came forward with allegations, though most were excluded due to the statute of limitations.[10][11] The case went to trial in 2007, but ended when Gray died. Six civil suits against Trinity Baptist Church continued.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.

Degree programs[edit]

Trinity Baptist College currently offers the following programs of study:[15]

Associate of Science[edit]

Bachelor of Arts[edit]

Bachelor of Science[edit]

Master of Education[edit]

Master of Arts[edit]

  • Bible


The student body is divided up into eight groups known as societies, each having a name consisting of three Greek letters, similar to the style of fraternities and sororities. There are four societies for the men and four for the women. These have been established to provide Christian fellowship through meetings, activities, and competitions. The societies are involved in school projects and in fund-raising. Each has its own elected officials (President, Activities Director, and Chaplain), whereby opportunities are provided for members to develop as leaders.[16]

The societies at Trinity Baptist College are:

Men's Societies[edit]

  • Sigma Lambda Kappa—ΣΛΚ
    (Speiron ton Logon Kuriou—Sowing the Word of the Lord)
  • Pi Ro Pi—ΠΡΠ
    (Pur, Romphaia, Pneuma—Fire, Sword, Spirit)
  • Pi Theta Kappa—ΠΘΚ
    (Parakletoi Theu Kosmos—Advocates of God to the World)
  • Alpha Omega Epsilone—ΑΩΕ
    (Emi to Alpha ki to Omega—I Am the Alpha and the Omega)

Women's Societies[edit]

  • Tri Delta—ΔΔΔ
    (Dioko, Douleuo, Doxazo—Follow, Serve, Glorify)
  • Tau Theta Epsilon—ΤΘΕ
    (Tas Thugatras Eireineis—Daughters of Peace)
  • Kappa Delta Chi—ΚΔΧ
    (Katharos Dia Christon—Pure on Account of Christ)
  • Pi Epsilon Alpha—ΠΕΑ
    (Pistis, Elpis, Agape—Faith, Hope, Charity)


LifeSong is a travelling music group that began in 2008, traveling as representatives of Trinity Baptist College and performing at various churches, schools, student ministries, and youth rallies across the United States. While recruiting for the college is a main goal, their spiritual objectives are to exalt Jesus Christ above all, edify the saints of the local church, and evangelize the lost.

LifeSong provided vocals for the "Our God" CD produced by Grace and Purpose Publishers in 2011. The group currently has 8 members and performs in a variety of musical styles depending on venue.

Former music groups associated with the college were "The Alatheians" and "Higher Calling."

The director and vocal trainer of LifeSong is Jacob Leporacci, Assistant Professor of Music.[1]


Trinity Baptist College competes as the Eagles and maintains membership in the National Christian College Athletic Association at the Division II level.

The following varsity sports are sponsored:

Women - Volleyball, Basketball, Cross County (Fall, 2014) and Golf (Fall, 2014)

Men - Soccer, Basketball, Baseball (Spring, 2015), Cross Country (Fall, 2014) and Golf (Fall, 2014)

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b Meet Our Staff
  2. ^ college statistics
  3. ^ The Facts
  4. ^ Member Institutions from Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools
  5. ^ "Trinity Baptist College Page". 
  6. ^ trinity baptist college officials
  7. ^ Trinity Baptist Church Officials
  8. ^ "Former Pastor Talked Openly With Police About Sex Charges". WJXT Jacksonville. November 20, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Tape recording called "smoking gun" in alleged Trinity cover-up". First Coast News. November 15, 2007. 
  10. ^ Galnor, Matt (November 11, 2007). "Pastor won't face his accusers Suspect in child molestation cases dies at age 81". Florida Times Union. p. B.1. 
  11. ^ "Former Trinity Pastor Back In Jail On New Sex Charge". WJXT Jacksonville. July 6, 2006. 
  12. ^ "Abuse Claims Don't End With Pastor's Death". WJXT Jacksonville. November 12, 2007. 
  13. ^ Brumley, Jeff (January 25, 2008). "Huckabee won't be coming to preach: The GOP candidate said he never committed to the Jacksonville church.". Florida Times Union (Jacksonville, Fla.). p. B.4. 
  14. ^ Trinity Baptist College statistics
  15. ^ Degree Programs (Prospective Students)
  16. ^ 2010-11 TBC Catalog, pg. 18
  17. ^ "David Meeks' Biography". Retrieved December 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]