Rev. Raymond Estes was called to be pastor of our church on December 18, 1963 and served seventeen years in a fruitful and productive ministry. During the time he was pastor he saw the completion of two new Sunday School buildings, a new sanctuary and a new Pastorium as well as the establishment of a bus ministry, a church council, a Junior Church and the first church employed youth director, music director and church secretary. The Florida Baptist Association recognized him as “Rural Pastor of the Year” in 1980. He was also privileged to participate in the Korean Evangelistic Crusade in May 1980. After serving the longest continuous ministry within the history of the Church, he resigned on April 27, 1981.
Since our last homecoming five years ago, two Interim Pastors served our church in the absence of a permanent pastor. They were Brother Marshall Boroughs from May 27, 1981 to January 8, 1982, and Brother Robert Shook from June 9, 1982 to January 1983. With much prayer and Christian leadership of these men, the Church continued to meet the spiritual needs of the community.
On November 1981, the church approved a “Watch care” membership program, open to members of all denominations for persons temporarily residing in the area and needing a church home. They were given all privileges of membership except voting.
At the January 1982 church conference, it was voted that the mandatory requirement that candidates for membership attend the New Members Orientation Class before being entered on the rolls of the Church be amended to read: -“New members of the Church are expected to attend the New Members Orientation Class on a voluntary basis.” This was done because many of the new members coming in by letter had already attended similar classes in the Church from which they came.
Martie Barrett was born in Marietta, Georgia. She was called to be Minister of Music and Youth in June 1982, and married Frank Ansorge in June 1983. Martie has worked hard in our youth visitation, bus ministry, Sunday School, and various youth activities. In September 1983, Martie asked to be relieved of Youth Ministry and continue with the Music Ministry. This was granted. As Minister of Music, Martie directs the sanctuary choir and arranges for special music and ensembles and the “Starlighters” children’s choir. Martie is an accomplished soloist and flutist.
Starting December 1982, we had to cope with new regulations regarding electrical power use, which imposes heavy penalties for heavy use during “peak hours”. This means we cannot use more than one air conditioning unit at certain times without heavy penalty.
On January 19, 1983, Rev. John Temoschuk of Douglas, Georgia, was called to be pastor of our Church. We were told of his being a loving pastor and his great concern for the lost.
A mission probe by the Marion Baptist Association resulted in Brother John and the Church being aware of the need of a mission.
In our rapidly growing area and the Church adopted a resolution to begin work in the Half-Moon area in May.
Brother John and wife Madeline went to Augsburg, Germany in May 1985, for Homecoming and to conduct a revival where they served from 1969-72.
In the summer of 1983, nationally known Evangelist Mercer Shaw moved into our community and he and his wife Glenelle became members of our Church. We later adopted him as Staff Evangelist so that we might under gird him in prayer and recommend him in this traveling ministry of evangelism.
The Church Fellowship Hall has many activities that include meals. Due to limited kitchen space, on January 4, 1984, the Church voted to build a new kitchen that included a commercial size range and sink.
A Lay Renewal, March 2-4, 1984, was lead by Bill Listh of North Ft. Myers Baptist Church. It proved to be a highly inspirational and enriching experience.
Troy Varnum of Lithia, Florida and graduate of Stetson University became Minister of Youth, May 1984. He later married Latriva Cannon of Fort Meade, Florida, a student of Stetson, who faithfully served with him as Troy led an effective youth ministry, and assisted the pastor in many pastoral ministries.
Troy was ordained to the Gospel Ministry April 20, 1985, and continued to serve our church until going to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in June 1985.
On November 4, 1984, six brothers were ordained as deacons of our church. They were: Hal McDonell, Frank Ansorge, Bud Johnson, Custis Fugate, Richard Bundschuch, and Richard Davis.
May 1985, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the Ocala Forest Post, in cooperation with our church, installed a Memorial at the Highway 40 entrance to our church. This Memorial consists of a V-shaped concrete pad and an eighteen-foot flagpole with a permanent type flag. Special services are held on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.
On July 14, 1985, we had our first church wide Sunday School picnic at the Ocala Boat Basin. Exceeding expectations, a group of a hundred people shared a beautiful afternoon of Christian fellowship.
On July 15, 1985, Richard and Julie (Beedle) Davis left our fellowship so Richard could assume his duties as Minister of Education and Youth at Anthony Baptist Church.
The W. M. U. exceeds most of their foreign, home and state mission goals. Their community mission projects included food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas, clothing and toy projects, health kits, for migrants ~and Bibles for Boy’s Ranch and Girl’s.
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