Seagrove Baptist Church
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Your Place For Faith, Family & Friends
Seagrove Beach Mission in Walton County was "birthed" through the coordinated efforts of First Baptist Church - DeFuniak Springs, First Baptist Church - Panama City, the Walton County Baptist Association, Northwest Coast Baptist Association, and the Church Extension Department of the Florida Baptist Convention.
In November, 1993 after contacting local Baptists, our sponsoring churches - First Baptist Church of Panama City, and the First Baptist Church of DeFuniak Springs held a meeting at the local fire station in Seagrove. The result of that meeting was a prayer group which began meeting in the garage of Robert and June Pender.
On March 20, 1994, this group was constituted into a mission and began holding Sunday morning services in the Pender's garage.
The sole purpose of the Seagrove Baptist Mission was to build a church family that would worship and serve God in the Seagrove Community. In February 1994, the mission was instructed by the sponsoring churches to seek a desirable site for a future facility. By the providence of God, the group was able to find a 3.6 acre of prime parcel land located on County Hwy. 30-A. This site was located on a curve near Eastern Lake where it was highly visible. The mission closed on the property on May 2, 1994 at a cost of $100,000.
Walton County Baptist Association presented Seagrove Beach Mission with a $30,000 check from its New Site Fund. Walton County Baptists contributed $30,000 and workers, the convention added a $25,000 grant, and First Baptist Church, Panama City took out a $45,000 loan for the new work and sent workers. First Baptist Church, DeFuniak Springs contributed personnel and funding to the effort. First Baptist Church, DeFuniak Springs supplied most of the leadership for Bible Study Services.
Walton County Baptists paid $100,000 for the property and spent approximately $165,000 in the building, according to Rev. James Mixon, who supervised the building project. Mixon had resigned as pastor of Choctaw Beach First Baptist Church when Choctaw Association DOM Richard Martin suggested he could help Seagrove Beach Mission with their building project.
A Missions Committee, composed of two members from each of the sponsoring churches and the mission group, was formed to guide the new congregation. The six-member committee was chaired by Ralph Strickland of Seagrove Beach, and three lay persons and two pastors.
Bill Scott, Church Planter for the Church Extension Department of the Florida Baptist Convention, provided advice and leadership for the project since its inception.
Dr. N.B. Langford, pastor of First Baptist Church of Panama City spoke to the group about the role of First Baptist in the forming of the church. Of the $100,000 purchase price for the 3.6 acre site, $25,000 would be loaned from the Northwest Coast Baptist Association, until funds were available from the state that fall. With the $30,000 donation, a balance of $45,000 remained. FBCPC would pay the mortgage notes on the property, from interest funds generated at the church.
The next step would be to hook up utility services at the site, and establish two temporary portable buildings. These would be used while architectural plans were being drafted and the permanent building was constructed.
There was a master site plan developed by the Architectural Department of the Baptist Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The present goal was to build Phase I of the master plan. Phase I was a building 44 x 122 feet that would provide a sanctuary and educational space for approximately 200 persons.
On April 30, 1995 Seagrove Baptist Mission held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new church and education facilities.
On October 3, 1995, Dr. J.W. Lee, professor of Old Testament at the Florida Baptist Theological College was called as pastor of the Seagrove Baptist Mission.
A mission cannot be a member of an association, that comes after a church has been constituted a church and applies for membership. On January 3, 1995 the Walton County Baptist Association voted unanimously to bring the Seagrove Baptist Mission under the "watchcare" of the Association, until such time when they will apply for membership as a church.
On January 14, 1996 ministers and members of area churches met for the dedication service of Seagrove Baptist Mission, which had taken six months to complete. The pastors of Seagrove mission's two sponsoring churches - Dr. Vernon Harkey of First Baptist Church of DeFuniak Springs, and Dr. N.B. Langford of First Baptist Church of Panama City spoke at the dedication, along with Seagrove Baptist Mission Minister, Dr. J.W. Lee and Rev. Robert LaFavre, Director of Missions for the Walton County Baptist Association.
The new 5,200 square foot building is located on 3.6 acres of land just east of Seagrove on County Hwy. 30-A. Worship services would be held at 9:00 AM on Sundays and 7:00 PM on Wednesdays. Bible Study would be held at 10:00 AM following the Sunday Worship Service. Even after entering the new sanctuary, the church was still using the two portable buildings for educational space.
On March 10, 2002, Seagrove Baptist Mission became Seagrove Baptist Church. Seagrove Baptist Church then sent a letter to the local Walton County Baptist Association requesting their consideration for membership upon their constitution on March 10, 2002. This would also put the church as a member of the Florida Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
In 2005, Seagrove Baptist Church called as its pastor, Rev. Stanley Durham. In 2006, renovations to the sanctuary included new paint, lighting, choir rails, pulpit, chairs replaced the pews (pews, choir rails, pulpit were removed and given to a fellow church), along with a new Welcome Center Table for the foyer.
Even with all the renovations to accommodate the new members, the church continued to grow. In order for Seagrove Baptist to remain a viable witness on 30-A, they needed to build and increase the size of their facilities to accommodate the number of families who were currently attending as well as those who would join in the future.
January 27, 2008 was a new Campaign Kick-Off Sunday which began an emphasis for a new building program at Seagrove Baptist Church titled: A NEW BEGINNING - Building For God's Glory.
The months of February and March, 2008 was filled with seven Cottage Home Prayer Meetings, Campaign Banquet, Challenge Sunday, Commitment Sunday and ended with Celebration Sunday.
Seagrove Baptist Church broke ground August 2, 2009 on their new 14,192 square foot Praise & Worship Center, and held their Dedication Service in their new Worship Center on September 26, 2010. This new facility will seat 500 people.
On October 2, 2011, Seagrove Baptist Church embarked on a new Campaign: Continuing What God Began. This campaign is to raise monies to pay down the current debt on the new building, as well as renovate the existing Educational Facilities. With the church continuing to grow, they are again in need of more space for a new preschool/children, middle school and youth, as well as enlarged kitchen and fellowship facilities.
With new additions to the membership, these renovations are necessary to continue that growth until the Family Life Center can be built in the future.
The church held Cottage Home Meetings during the month of October to meet with the members and explain future plans for our new campaign: Continuing What God Began.
Challenge Sunday was held October 30, 2011 with a catered luncheon provided by Sonny's BBQ. After the luncheon the members were asked to begin praying about their part in this campaign.
Challenge Sunday will be followed by Commitment Sunday on November 6th where the members will submit their cards and what God has laid on their hearts as to their part in this campaign. This will be followed by Celebration Sunday on November 20th.
During a regular business meeting it was voted that all monies collected through the new campaign Continuing What God Began would go towards the previous loan to pay down the current debt owed.