Historic Markers Across Florida

Centennial Hall Edward Waters College

Marker ID: FLHM F-790
Location: US 23 (Kings Rd) west of downtown Jacksonville, FL
County: Duval
Coordinates: N 30° 20.696    W 081° 41.066
  30.34493333    -81.68443333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMQ44B


Centennial Hall
Edward Waters College

Founded in 1866, Edward Waters College (EWC) is the oldest historically black college in Florida. The history of the college is closely tied to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. In 1865, the Reverend Charles H. Pearch, a presiding elder of the AME Church, was sent to Florida by Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne. Rev. Pearce worked with William G. Steward, the first AME pastor in Florida, to establish a school. Pastor Steward named his school, which was first located in Live Oak, Brown's Theological Institute. In 1892, the school was renamed Edward Waters College in honor of the third bishop of the AME Church. The school moved to Jacksonville in 1883 where its campus was destroyed by Jacksonville's Great Fire of 1901. In 1904, new land was obtained and work was started on the school's present campus. Centennial Hall, built in 1916 and named to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the AME Church, is the oldest structure on the EWC campus. The Classical Revival style building was designed by the firm of Howells and Stokes of Seattle, Washington. The building was renovated in 1979 and serves as the college's main library. Centennial Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

F-790 The Edward Waters College Alumni Association
and the Florida Department of State