Historic Markers Across Florida

Edward Waters College Original Site

Marker ID: FLHM F-955
Location: on Lisle Ave north of Clay St, Live Oak, FL
County: Suwannee
Coordinates: N 30° 17.925    W 082° 58.673
  30.29875    -82.97788333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMXJCD


Edward Waters College
Original Site

Live Oak was the birthplace of Edward Waters College, Florida's oldest black college. Here, the Rev. Charles H. Pearce, Elder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, envisioned an institution to educate newly-freed slaves. In 1866, aided by the Rev. William G. Steward, Florida's first AME pastor, Pearce raised funds for a school offering elementary, high school, college, and seminary level education. In 1870, the AME Church resolved to expand Pearce's school. Live Oak was chosen for the school site in 1872 due to its proximity to railroads, and 10 acres of land was purchased for the construction. Named Brown Theological Seminary, the school was renamed on 1873 to Brown University. The school relocated to Jacksonville in 1883, and in 1892, was renamed Edward Waters College in honor of the Florida AME Church's third bishop. Edward Waters College operates in Jacksonville but its roots are here in Live Oak at the site of its first building. For over 150 years, the college has played a significant role in higher education in northeast Florida, which is embodied in its alma mater, "Dear ole Edward Waters College, you're the world to me."

F-955 Sponsored by Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr., Bishop of the 11th Episcopal District,
Tony D. Hansberry, Presiding Elder, 11th Episcopal District, Dr. Nathaniel Glover, President, Edward Waters College,
Malachi Beyah, President, Jacksonville Alumni Chapter, Lillie M. Vereen,
Event Chair, Alumnae, The Jacksonville Alumni Chapter,
and the Florida Department of State.