Dr. Arlin R. Horton,
First PCC President, 1974–2012
Dr. Rebekah “Beka” Horton
Senior Vice President,
Pensacola Christian College was an idea that came from God to PCC’s founders, Dr. Arlin and Rebekah Horton. This idea became a reality in 1974 when 100 students arrived at PCC’s one building. Students now represent every state and approximately 50 foreign countries. PCC offers a wide variety of programs in some of the finest college facilities in America. Although PCC has grown, excellence in education and commitment to the Lord remain the core of the College’s balanced program.
Pensacola Theological Seminary was founded in 1998 when PCC saw the need to expand its practical, Bible-centered approach to ministerial training. The goal of the Seminary is to fill each student’s mind and heart with what the Bible says. The purpose of the Seminary is to prepare servant-leaders to share the gospel boldly, preach the Word clearly, and shepherd the flock faithfully.
Arlin and Beka Horton came to Pensacola in 1952 at the request of community members who desired to start a Christian school. During their first twenty years of ministry, the Hortons established and led Pensacola Christian School, summer camp ministries, and children's outreach programs. With a God-given burden for Christian educational philosophy, they excelled in curriculum development, which led to the establishment of Abeka. Their administrative ability, biblical philosophy, and effective teaching methods inspired Christian educators across the nation.
In 1974, Arlin and Beka Horton founded Pensacola Christian College, which opened with 100 students and quickly grew each year thereafter. During Dr. Arlin Horton’s 38 years as president, the College’s tremendous growth required construction of many campus facilities. Today’s beautiful, complete campus resulted from his strategic vision and desire for excellent educational, living, and recreational facilities.
The Hortons are remembered for their desire to do right and serve the Lord with all their hearts. Their purpose for ministry was to glorify God by teaching and reaching others for Christ. The distinctly Christian educational philosophy and strong biblical foundation are hallmarks of the Hortons’ influence on Pensacola Christian College that will remain firm for future generations.
After 60 years of faithful ministry, Arlin and Beka Horton retired in May 2012. Many who were appreciative of the Hortons’ testimony, accomplishments, and mentorship honored them during their “Diamond Jubilee” of service.
After the historic Diamond Jubilee celebration during Bible Conference, a special Honors Concert publicly recognized Dr. and Mrs. Arlin Horton for their 60 years of service in Pensacola. Each presentation gave “honor to whom honor is due,” concluding with the beloved hymn, “To God Be the Glory.”
On June 27, 2020, Dr. Beka Horton went home to be with the Lord. A memorial service was held to honor her on July 1, 2020. With an unwavering dedication to Christian education and ministry, Mrs. Horton and her legacy will continue to influence the future of PCC and affiliate ministries.
PCC student chapel featured an interview with Dr. Arlin Horton. Listen as he shares stories from his childhood to his ministry with Mrs. Beka Horton in Pensacola, and hear how this ministry was something only God could have done!