In 1866, the African Methodist Episcopal Church founded the Brown Theological Institute to educate former slaves for the ministry. Ground was broken for the first buildings for the new school in 1872 on a 10-acre lot in Live Oak, Florida.
In 1892 the institute changed its name to Edward Waters College to honor the third bishop of the AME Church. It moved to Jacksonville in 1893. In 1901, the campus was destroyed by a fire. In 1904, the college moved to its present location on Kings Road in Jacksonville.
Edward Waters College recently kicked off the celebration of its 150-year anniversary with a ceremony on campus for all students, faculty, staff, and invited alumni. Events will be held throughout 2016 to celebrate the colleges sesquicentennial.
Today, Edward Waters College enrolls about 900 students, according to the latest Department of Education data. African Americans are 88 percent of the student body.
A video on the history of the college can be viewed below.