Tennessee Temple University May Leave Highland Park For Woodland Park Baptist Church Campus

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tennessee Temple University may leave its longtime home in Highland Park for a new campus at Woodland Park Baptist Church, the church congregation was told Sunday.

Dr. Wayne Barber, Woodland Park pastor, and Dr. Steve Echols, TTU president, both spoke on the topic during the morning worship service.

They said talks are underway that would have Temple sell its campus with over 20 acres and move by the church, which has 170 acres on Standifer Gap Road.

TTU once had over 4,000 students, but the enrollment has dropped to just over 400.

Tennessee Temple School earlier closed. Highland Park Baptist Church, which was long the supporting church for TTU, earlier this year sold its holdings in Highland Park and moved out to its Camp Joy property.

Under the plan, Woodland Park Baptist Church would take a role of involvement in the school to seek to help rebuilt its enrollment and mission of training young people for Christian service.

Some of the Woodland Park facilities might initially be used for some classroom and office space, it was stated.

Tennessee Temple has begun to shop its property, which includes a number of offices, dorms and gyms.

“The potential for an expanded campus together with the commonality of the mission that we share has sparked this conversation with WPBC. We are grateful and excited to explore such opportunities,” stated Dr. Echols.

“Since the fall of 2011, TTU has been blessed to have experienced a 47 percent growth in residential students,” said Dr. Echols. He added, “In order to maximize possibilities for the future, we believe it is important for us to explore the potential partnership with WPBC. 

”Although it is too early for the university to discuss any major plans for the current campus and how it would fit into the development of a new campus, TTU will be considering various options. Future information will be forthcoming as details are solidified.

Dr. Echols said he sees the discussion with WPBC as "positive for TTU and Chattanooga as the school seeks to fulfill its mission in the coming decades."

The next step is the formation of a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions, it was stated.

Dr. Barber said, “We believe that ministry is ‘received, not achieved.’ This is not some idea we have come up with, but rather something we feel God may be raising up, and we are excited about the possibility of partnering together." 

Woodland Park is no stranger to relocating, having moved from downtown on Holtzclaw Avenue to 7501 Standifer Gap Road in the late 1970s and again to their present campus at 6735 Standifer Gap Road in 2007. The church will celebrate its 100th anniversary in the spring of 2014.

Dr. Barber said, “We have a lot of people in our church and on our staff with ties to Tennessee Temple over the years, and we are excited about the direction Dr. Echols is taking the university. We think such a partnership has a lot of potential.”


Dr. Barber said he "sees the discussion with TTU as positive for Chattanooga and both institutions as they seek to get out the message of God’s grace."



Case Of Drug Ring Involving Child Sent To Grand Jury

Felony drug charges against four individuals who admitted to involving a child in their alleged crimes were bound over to a grand jury after a Tuesday hearing. The alleged incidents took place back in February.  According to police, narcotics detectives were watching when a green jeep pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex on East Brainerd Road. The ... (click for more)

Arrest Made After String Of Auto Burglaries Near Munro Road

A Chattanooga man was arrested and charged with a string of auto burglaries in the Munro Road area. Witnesses said they saw three men in a white Volvo drive up and attempt to break into a vehicle in a driveway on the street.  When police located the suspect car, they also found multiple stolen items, including a gun. They also found 21-year old Steven Coburn. According ... (click for more)

Vote No On Health Insurance Changes Affecting County Teachers

Our Hamilton County School Board will vote on insurance changes effecting both active employees and retirees, who are not on Medicare at this time.  HCEA strongly objects to changes being made at this time and urges a “No” vote.  Insurance had been frozen three years by negotiations.  Since the Educators Professional Negotiations Act was nullified by the 2011 Legislature, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)

After String Of Injuries, Aliments Vols' Maggitt Ready To Play

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Come Sunday ,  it will have been 659 days since Curt Maggitt played a snap in a college football game, but that's not what he's concerned about. "It's four days from now," Maggitt said Wednesday. "That's what's most important. It's going to be emotional for sure. It's been a real long time since I've been out there and ran through the `T' actually suited ... (click for more)

Fulghum, Walker Power Soddy-Daisy Past Cleveland

Soddy-Daisy’s Lady Trojans shook off an up-and-down performance in last weekend’s Early Bird tournament at Oak Ridge and throttled Cleveland, 3-0, in a District 5-AAA volleyball match Tuesday at Soddy-Daisy High School. The Lady Trojans (8-4, 2-1) swept the match with set scores of 25-18, 25-22 and 25-15. Abby Walker and Karigan Fulghum combined for 30 digs and 18 kills to ... (click for more)