The First Baptist Church of Mount Dora was constituted on March 19, 1922. Twenty-one members signed The New Hampshire Confession of Faith as charter members. Our first pastor was Rev. E.A. McDowell of Eustis.
Worship services took place in the Town Hall, the old schoolhouse, and several other downtown buildings, until 1925 when the Princess Theater was made available for Sunday services. That building still stands in downtown Mount Dora.
In 1926, a tabernacle-type structure was built on the corner of 10th and Tremain Street at a cost of $28,000. First Baptist Mount Dora occupied this building until 1938 when construction of a new church building began at the corner of 6th and Tremain. This new church building was made usable in 1939, finally completed in 1945, and dedicated on January 20, 1946. Baptisms were held in Lake Gertrude.
In 1961, the old pastorium was torn down to make room for a new multi-story educational facility. We occupied that building in late 1961. (This building is now the condominium building behind City Hall.)
Time and termites took a toll on our sanctuary. The roof leaked badly, and members joked that the only reason the building didn’t fall apart during Sunday services, was because the termites were holding hands! The City condemned the building and that led to the purchase in 1970 of our present site.
In January of 1975, our former sanctuary, (which is now the Youth Center) and the office/nursery wing were completed, with the LIFE Group wings being completed later on.
In 1989 our “Together We Build” campaign resulted in pledges of $567,000 for the construction of the sanctuary we currently worship in. Our sanctuary was dedicated on October 14, 1990.
In 2001, a committee was formed to study the feasibility of adding a Family Ministry Center to our campus. We had the land; in fact it was land that the Lord cleared specifically for this project. Prior to 1993, this particular parcel of land was covered with huge, beautiful trees. Although beautiful, because of the low-hanging branches which would fall from time to time, we couldn’t use this land for recreation or even for parking. We tried to have some of the trees cut down, but a city ordinance would not allow any trees to be removed within city limits. In 1993 the Lord sent a tornado that took down every tree for us! Ground breaking for our Family Ministry Center took place in 2004, with dedication on April 10, 2005.
Prior to our current pastor, Dr. Thomas Jamieson, our members have been shepherded by sixteen pastors over the years. Rev. David Coffield served First Baptist for 28 years, and Rev. Bob Walker retired after faithfully serving for 20 years.