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First Coast Connect

9/19/2016: JAXPORT Trade; Devil In The Baptist Church; TEDxFSCJ

The bankruptcy of South Korean shipping giant Hanjin won’t affect the Jacksonville Port Authority but it is raising questions about the future of international shipping on the First Coast. JAXPORT senior director of communication Nancy Rubin and JAXUSA Partnership President Jerry Mallot joined host Melissa Ross on Monday to talk about Jacksonville’s role in international trade. We also spoke with local author Tim Gilmore about his latest book “Devil in the Baptist Church: Bob Gray’s Unholy Trinity.” composition titles always in quotes  A TEDx event will be held in October at Florida State College at Jacksonville. We heard from Executive Director Jennifer Grey and TEDx speaker Allishia Bauman.    

JAXPORT and international trade

JAXPORT handled 8.2 million tons of cargo last year from around the world and is the leading container port complex in Florida. But with Hanjin filing for bankruptcy and other major international shipping companies expected to lose at least $6 billion this year due to a sluggish global economy with a slowdown in China and recessions in Russia and Brazil. It’s raising concerns regarding the future of the industry. Rubin and Mallot told Ross JAXPORT is actually doing quite well with its shipping industry and anticipates few problems.    

Devil in the Baptist Church

In 2006, the Reverend Robert Gray, builder of Jacksonville’s first “mega church” Trinity Baptist was arrested on charges of sexual molestation of children. Gray died in 2007, but facts emerged showing the church had covered up allegations of molestation for decades. The entire sordid tale is told in Tim Gilmore’s new book “Devil in the Baptist Church: Bob Gray’s Unholy Trinity.”


TEDx Jacksonville has long been a hub for the expression of ideas and innovation. A TEDx talk Oct. 8 at FSCJ. The theme of the talk is “Engage” and will focus on downtown and the community. Ross was joined by Bauman and Grey to discuss the even.           


Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax


Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.