Thursday, July 8, 2021

1922 - First Baptist Church of Groveland

1922 - The First Baptist Church of Groveland Is Formed

   In 1922, A. A. Holmes held a series of evangelistic meetings that led to 22 men and 21 women coming together to form the congregation of the First Baptist Church of Groveland. A. A. Holmes became the first Pastor with his first service in March of 1922.


J. Ray Arnold (second from right)

   Charter Members:
   Mr. J. Ray Arnold
   Mr. & Mrs. J. S. Arnold
   Mrs. R. L. Arnold
   Mr. & Mrs. Charles J. Anderson
   Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Benson
   Mr. & Mrs. W. R. Bradley
   Mr. Robert Bradley
   Mr. A. W. Chaswell
   Mr. W. M Bradley
   Mr. & Mrs. B. F. Hawkins
   Mr. & Mrs. O. B. Johnson
   Mr. & Mrs. W. A. Lyon
   Mr. & Mrs. C. A. Lindell
   Mr. & Mrs. John N. Nelson
   Miss Margaret Nelson
   Mr. W. H. Plowden
   Mr. & Mrs. S. T. Register
   Dr. & Mrs. M . L. Webb
   Mr. & Mrs. D. W. Woodard
   Mrs. Hilma Anderson
   Mr. & Mrs. B. J. Williams
   Mr. & Mrs. L. C. Williams
   Mr. & Mrs. C. F. Wahlberg
   Mr. & Mrs. K. Molin
   Mr. & Mrs. H. C. Cash

   Three different passtors served the church in the first year: Rev. A. A. Holmes, Rev. J. C. Sims, and Rev. Walter J. Meade.
   The first building and parsonage were built in 1924. Membership had increased to 117. Rev. Walter J. Meade was the pastor.



   In 1924, several members left the church to form a new Baptist church.

   On August 01, 1925, Rev. Walter J. Meade resigned. His brother Rev. William Meade took over from August 1925 to March of 1927.

   Rev. Harold Link served from August 1930 to October 1934. He resigned after suffering a nervous breakdown.

   Dr. W. A. Hamlet served from December 1936 to December 1940. He moved to pastor at First Baptist Church in Tavares.

   Rev. W. J. McCauley served for five months in 1941. He left before the onset of WW II

   The church building was partially destroyed by fire and services were held in the school auditorium.

   Rev. B. C. McWhorter served until he was enlisted by the US Army to be a Chaplin.

   Rev. E. S. Andrews resigned due to diminishing eyesight.

   Rev. Hugh Pyle brought back stability by serving from October 1943 to October 1946.

   Rev. Quin A. Cooper served from February 1954 to November 1956.


   He did great things for the church and helped to enlarge the church program. An educational building was built. Air Conditioning was installed in the sanctuary and the Auditorium was remodeled. New rugs were purchased for the floors. The grounds were landscaped and an underground irrigation system was installed.
   Rev. Cooper resigned in November 1956 and moved to Hialeah, FL, where he continued to preach.

   Rev. A. A. Stulk replaced Rev. Cooper for a short while.

   Then Rev. Cooper returned as pastor in 1958. He rallied the congregation to purchase surrounding lots and expand the church. The church purchased land from Simson and Puryear in 1958. In April of 1959, they also purchased the Mann property. Rev. Cooper resigned again in November 08, 1959. He would continue to live in Groveland and preach at Groveland First Baptist and other surrounding churches.

   Rev. O. D. Moore served from April 1960 to October 1961 when he moved to Liberty Baptist Church in Appomattox, VA.

   Several pastors filled the role until July 23, 1962, when Rev. R. Wallace Register became pastor and served until Aug 1969.

   Rev. Bruce Sloan served from August 1977 to January 1980.

   Pastor Don Spivey serves as the current Pastor!



[Contributors: Jason Brown]

Next Article: 1923 - L. D. Edge Becomes the Youngest Speaker of the House of Florida