A Faithful Beginning
In 1907 a man dared to dream. One man believed that following the vision God had put in his heart was the most important work his life could accomplish. That same man, despite overwhelming obstacles, established an academic institution that was devoted to preparing God’s people to fulfill their calling.
Toccoa Falls College is that institution and a dream come true for co-founders Richard and Evelyn Forrest. Dr. Richard A. Forrest went on to become the college’s first president.
Under the direction of Dr. Forrest, the school kept pace with the advancement of educational standards in the United States. In 1928, the State of Georgia fully accredited the Toccoa Falls High School. This established a cooperative relationship with the county educational system that continued until the academy closed in 1976.
In 1937, a four-year Bible college program was initiated by adding to the biblical and theological studies a number of courses in the field of general education. The Legislature of the State of Georgia chartered the college division in 1939 and authorized the institute to grant the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Education. In 1957, the college was accredited by the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges and on December 13, 1983, by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In October 1975, in order to keep abreast of the current usage of terms, the Board of Trustees changed the name from Toccoa Falls Institute to Toccoa Falls College.
During the history of the institution, there have been six presidents: Dr. Richard A. Forrest, Founder; Dr. Julian A. Bandy; Dr. Kenn W. Opperman; Dr. Paul L. Alford; and Dr. Donald O. Young, and Dr. W. Wayne Gardner.
A Promise for The Future
Dr. Forrest often referred to the school as a “tree of God’s planting.” The tree has expanded and has borne much fruit. It has also been severely tested on several occasions. In 1913, Haddock Inn, the original building, burned to the ground. But the Forrests vowed to continue having received God’s promise to them in Isaiah 61:3: “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”
Toccoa Falls College, an independent, nonprofit educational institution, trains men and women for vocational and professional Christian ministries and works with many evangelical and Bible-believing Christian groups. The college is an affiliate college of the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination. Graduates serve in places of Christian leadership throughout the United States and in most nations of the world. The college functions under a Board of Trustees that sets policy and an administration and faculty that implement the policy.
TFC is focused on students who are dedicated to Christ and aspire toward academic excellence in preparing to invest their lives either in full-time Christian ministry or in ministry through their secular employment. TFC currently has 31 majors and 38 minors in three schools: Professional Studies, Arts and Sciences, and Christian Ministries. To learn more about the history of Toccoa Falls College visit TFC history website.