History of First Baptist Church of Auburndale

First Baptist Church of Auburndale was established in September of 1920. 
In 2020, we will be celebrating our 100th year of knowing, loving, and serving Christ together! 

 

Many years ago in 1980, one of the founding members of FBCA wrote down her account of the church history.  Please enjoy some of the following excerpts from the account of Mrs. Tecoy Mims:

  “When I came to Auburndale on December 10, 1919, I had been married six months.  When Sunday came, the first thing I began to look for was a place of worship as I had always been taught from a small child that Sunday was church day as my parents were Christians and went to church each Sunday and Wednesday night. . .

In August 1920, Reverend J.P. Taylor, a State Evangelist, came to Auburndale and asked around if anyone wanted a Southern Baptist Church.  He found enough who were Southern Baptist, so in September he pitched a large tent on a vacant lot where the City Hall now stands.  He ran a revival for 2 weeks, . . . He called people to repent and love Christ, and on the last Saturday of the 2 week revival he said he was going to open the door for membership to organize a Southern Baptist Church.  On Sunday morning, 10 people said they wanted membership.”

10 people, 2 of which received Christ that morning and were baptized,

stepped up and started FBCA! 

Mrs. Mims goes on to account for one person at a time being added to the church as the church body gave themselves to worship, discipleship,  and prayer. 

She continues to describe how with 75 members in late 1920, they had $75 in their bank account, but were encouraged to start building a church building.  The church began to pledge money.  They started a foundation when Mr. Pearson gave $50.  Four teenage girls wanted a piano, so they raised $50 and with the help of someone in the city, they bought one for $150.

All the way through the history, Mrs. Mims describes how the church pulled together and worked for one goal after another.  She describes times of growth when the church was averaging 400 in Sunday School around 1950, times of great tragedy for example when there was an explosion in the church and members of the church were blown out of the building with bad burns. 

There were times of concentrated prayer, times of great fellowship and love, times of dissension, the starting of new churches (Lena Vista, Eastside, Jan Phyl, Dixie Highway, Lake Hamilton, Berea, New Life, and more), the starting of a Preschool and Kindergarten, the tearing down of buildings, the construction of buildings, the coming and going of pastors . . . but through it all she describes how the church prayed and sought the Lord over those 60 years.  She ended her account with, “It will be a great day when I get to sit at Jesus feet and meet my loved ones who were members of this church, then to meet all the members of our church who have gone on before, and whom I loved so much.” 

First Baptist being totally committed to the great commission has continued to face times of hardship and times of joy.  In August of 2005,  the church voted with secret ballot 100% to call Pastor Tom Johnson as the pastor.  He adopted the slogan “First Baptist is a place for you with people who care.” 

Yet from 2001-2006, FBCA experienced 4 church splits.  The church that had once started so many churches in the Auburndale area was now experiencing great division.  In August of 2006, Pastor Johnson commissioned the painting of Colossians 1:8 to hang in the entrance foyer of the sanctuary and a banner of the name of Jesus was hung in the front of the sanctuary.  The church belongs to Jesus, and it was determined that in all things Christ would have the preeminence.  The church preaches and teaches the whole council and the inerrancy of the Word of God.

“He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

God has great plans for FBCA in the coming days and years!  As we serve together, pray, and seek God’s face, He will continue to lead and direct this body of believers as our goal remains to serve Him faithfully till Jesus returns.  There are many unchurched people and families in the city of Auburndale and the surrounding communities!  As we are close to 100 years in ministry, let’s pray for people or families not actively involved in a church. Then extend an invitation.  We have a loving church family – let’s tell all of Auburndale about it!  Let’s tell them why we love our church and invite them to be a part of it!