“Walk in Love, Build in Faith”
It has been over a century since a small group of believers living in Palmetto, Florida dreamed of having a Baptist Church in their community. Their dreams became a reality when, on January 5, 1892, Palmetto Baptist Church was organized with 22 charter members. Six months after its organization, the first meeting house was completed. A small wooden church building was located a few hundred feet south of the present church. A “Sabbath School” was started and contributions were made to missions, but it was 1912 before the congregation was financially able to call a full-time pastor. From the firm foundation laid by its forbearers, the church grew. By 1921, the frame church was in need of repair, a fact viewed by many as a gentle nudge from the Lord to get on with the planning of a new house of worship. The church leaders envisioned a worship center that would be large enough to hold the growing church for many years. A building committee was appointed, pledges were secured and construction began in 1922. The sanctuary was ready for worship in August 1926. Funds were raised early in the 1940’s to retire the debt on the church. The mortgage was burned during dedication services in January, 1946. In 1959, the Education Building, housing Sunday school departments, the library, kitchen and Fellowship Hall was completed. In 1978, again to provide more space for the large membership, the sanctuary’s choir loft was remodeled. The church membership had far outgrown the Education Building by 1979, and the “Together We Build” program was initiated. The Youth Department had doubled within four years and the Sunday school was so overcrowded, that classes were not able to be added that were desperately needed. The church membership continued to grow. By 1981, double services were necessary on Sunday mornings to hold all those who came to worship. The sanctuary was modified to add more seating, and by 1986, the choir loft was again expanded. A Committee of Twelve was formed, and as the men did over six decades earlier, began to pray. The committee began researching how to best meet the future needs of the church. When brought before the church membership, over 94% voted to proceed with an expansion, and the “Walk in Love, Build in Faith” program was born. This church still exists today.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, from: “First Baptist Church of Palmetto, Our History”