History of International Seminary
International Seminary is the educational outreach of Tyler Crusades, Inc., a 501(C)(3) non-profit church organization founded in Orlando, Florida, in 1966. The ministry began in 1950 primarily as a missionary, evangelistic outreach, with crusade meetings in tents and auditoriums across the United States and in numerous countries. On several occasions during the early years, the Founding President, Dr. Glenn E. Tyler, ministered in locations where he was the first white missionary to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nationals. By 1968, a small church had formed in Orlando and in 1970, the first class was conducted in a living room setting with only five students. After conducting classes in church and rental facilities for ten years, a search for property in the greater Orlando area began.
In 1982, the Board of Directors authorized the purchase of property and the building of a new facility. Subsequently, International purchased a 40-acre, lakefront, orange grove located in Plymouth, about 15 miles northwest of Orlando. The property is located on a major highway with 1,500 feet of road frontage, 2,200 feet of lake frontage, and situated one block from the Orlando Country Airport. The most unusual feature is the beautiful hilly terrain which is unique for Central Florida.
Choosing a site in rural Orlando was not without its problems. With no postal service delivery available, it was necessary to use a post office box for mail. Orlando students were required to commute further to attend classes, and a change in area code (because of Orlando’s growth) resulted in a loss of contact with many alumni and potential students.
Meanwhile, in order to develop the campus, a $30,000 water main was purchased by International, deep wells were dug for irrigation, and water retention areas were formed. Topographical surveys were created, detailing every bush and tree with a diameter of six inches or more. In 1984, a chapel complex was completed, providing offices, classrooms, and bookstore and library facilities. All of this was done while remaining virtually debt free, and without denominational, federal, state, or corporate financial support.
On August 27, 1988, the Founding President, Rev. Dr. Glenn E. Tyler, passed away suddenly; and at an emergency meeting of the Board of Directors on Sunday, August 28, 1988, Rev. Dr. Daniel James Tyler was appointed as the seminary’s second president. In November of 1988, permission was granted by Orange County to construct major signage on the property, a seven year dream of the administration.
On April 1, 1989, during the official Flag Raising Ceremony, the campus was formally dedicated and set apart for use by the community, the residents of the State of Florida, and Christians from around the world. The unusual campus dedication involved the use of a fire-fighting helicopter that “anointed” the property with 500 gallons of red-tinted water symbolic of the Blood of Christ. Shortly thereafter, the first all-night prayer meeting was conducted with thirty-nine in attendance.
Concerts, ministerial meetings, and other community events are conducted on campus. Additionally, local church groups conduct fellowship gatherings, camp-outs, and youth meetings on campus. Facilities include a 300 seat amphitheater; gazebos dedicated to God’s Word, solitude, and fellowship; an 85 foot walkway in the shape of a cross from the flag overlook to the Gazebo of Solitude; a boat dock; sidewalks; walkways and pathways.
Future plans include the development of a ten-million dollar campus as God supplies the finances.
Meanwhile, the park-like atmosphere of the 40 acre campus will be preserved as city growth continues to engulf the surrounding area.