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Our Founders

From the humble beginnings of the Florida Baptist Institute at Live Oak and the Florida Baptist Academy at Jacksonville came these Founders, whose vision and insight led to where we stand
now as crusaders for and promoters of Christian principles, academic excellence, and service to humanity.

Rev. J.N. Stokes, Sr., who offered a resolution in 1871 to the Florida Bethlehem Baptist Association calling for the solicitation of funds to draw up plans for the formation of a college for the instruction of ministers and young people. The resolution was unanimously adopted.

Rev. Dr. J.L. Fish, who served as the president of the newly formed Florida Baptist Institute in 1879.

Rev. Dr. Matthew Gilbert, who founded the Florida Baptist Academy at Jacksonville, Florida in 1892.

Miss Sarah A. Blocker, who was an instructor at the Live Oak campus and the chief assistant to Rev. Dr. Matthew Gilbert in establishing the Florida Baptist Academy at Jacksonville, Florida.