History

 First Baptist Church of Bunnell

 

First Baptist Church of Bunnell Florida - History

 

First Baptist Church has a rich history that closely tied to the progress and growth of Flagler County, of which Bunnell is the County seat, and came into being in 1917.  It consisted largely of settlers from Georgia and points North, who came to the area bent on seeding their fortunes in such diverse activities as sheep raising, tapping pine trees for turpentine, farming, lumbering and barrel making.

On September 4, 1924, the First Baptist Church of Bunnell was organized by Rev. Dunklin, a state missionary living in Palatka, FL.  The first meetings were held in homes of Baptist families.  When homes became too small, a building had to be found.  The building used was the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Moody Boulevard and Anderson Street in Bunnell.  This building later became an Episcopal Church and was later moved to Espanola and used as a Black Holiness Church.

The seven charter members included:  Mrs. Minnie Brown, Mr. B.F. Buchanan, Mrs. Minnie McKnight-Howell, Mr. J.R. Holton, Mrs. Susie Sisco-Riddle, Mrs. Pauline Magee and Mrs. W.H. McKenzie.  During this time, business meeting were held quarterly and all members were required to attend unless sick.

The Sunday School was organized in 1925 and the Women's Missionary Union in 1926.  On April 4, 1926, the founding of First Baptist Church became official when 13 people joined the church.  When Brother Dunklin resigned, Rev. Wilkinson from Palatka, FL came as interim pastor until a regular pastor could be secured.  Dr. C.C. Long was hired as the first regular pastor in 1926.  In 1927 five active deacons were elected, with a membership of 95.  The church became incorporated 1931, during the Depression.

In the summer of 1927, Fred W. Hooper donated to the new church a movie theater building which stood at 301 Moody Boulevard, and the building was converted into a sanctuary and used for worship until 1951.  The Cooperative Program was begun in October of 1928.  In 1933 the pastor's salary was $60.00 per month.

In 1951 a two-story educational building was erected and the social hall was used for worship services for the next 8 years.  An annex connecting the two buildings was built in 1956 and contained classrooms.  The sanctuary was completed in 1959 and dedicated on Easter Sunday of that year.  In 1971 the church steeple was added to the sanctuary.  A two-story educational wing was built in 1980 and the second two-story was completed in 1983.  The Dillon House (large white house) was purchased in 1988 and converted into a suite of offices in June of 1995.  Two lots adjoining the property was purchased later.

The Church went through an extensive refurbishing in preparation for our 75th Anniversary, and a full weekend of activities took place.  The Rev. Dr. Scott Conner came as pastor in November of 1993.  The other staff members were

Rev. Mark Williams - Minister to Students; Jared Campbell - Minister of Music and

Rev. Ray Rummel - Associate Pastor.

From 1924 to 2011, the church had 19 different spiritual leaders.  In 2002, the church purchased 15 acres of land on Route 100 in Bunnell, FL, located 3 miles East of the existing property.  In 2004, the church entered into a building program, "Faithfulness Into The Future" which is ongoing to the present.  Groundbreaking was held at the new location on March 11, 2006.  The existing property where the sanctuary was located was sold to Flagler Playhouse on November 1, 2006. 

Over 80 years have passed, with numerous changes taking places over the years and we still face a great future.  Many members have happy memories and sad memories. They have seen their children and grandchildren baptized and married in the old church, as well as services conducted  for loved ones who have departed this life. 

The great history of the old church will enhance the church's ministry for this fast growing area of Florida for many years to come. 

Our "Faithfulness Into the Future" was shown in the moving out in faith as we moved into this new building in January of 2008.  We will continue to worship, honor and serve God and fulfill the great commission by reaching the community for the glory of God and our Savior..Jesus Christ.

Summarized by: Mrs. Diane Marque - Edited by:  Mrs. Susie DeShazo - Date:  January 2011 

 FBC Spiritual Leaders

Year Served

Name

1924 -1927

Dr. C.C. Long

1928 - 1929

Rev. C.K. McClure

1930 - 1932

Rev. J.M. Devette

1933 - 1937

Rev. John Taylor

1937 - 1939

Rev. Edgar Stephens

1939 - 1942

Rev. Perry Tomlinson

1942 -1946

Rev. C.R. McClure

1946 - 1947

Rev. John Dickson

1948 - 1950

Rev. W.W. Rhody

1951 - 1952

Rev. John Dickson

1953 - 1958

Dr. Whitford Ware

1958 - 1965

Rev. Thomas Pinner, Jr.

1966 -1969

Rev. Charles Anders

1970 - 1974

Rev. Donald Foster

1975 - 1980

Rev. Hollis Bass

1981 - 1992

Dr. Kenneth Gaskin

1992 - 1999

Dr. Scott Conner

2001 - 2008

Rev. Michael Saunders

2008 - 2012 Interim Pastor Ronald Moore

February 2012 to Present

Rev. Eric Trawick

At a Glance

1924

First Baptist Church Organized

1926

Women's Missionary Established

1927

Building Donated by Fred Hooper

1931

Church Incorporated

1951

Social Hall Erected

1956

Annex Added

1959

Sanctuary Dedicated

1971

Steeple Added

1978

2 Story Sunday School Rooms Added

1986

62nd Anniversary and Homecoming Celebration

1999

75th Anniversary Celebration

2002

January Voted to Relocate/Rebuild

2002

November Purchased 15 Acres of Land

2004

Received Letter of intent to purchase original church property

2008

Relocated to new location

2011

Completion of Hope House Garage

 

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