First Baptist Church of Sanford

Sanford, Florida

1884 - 1984

In 1884, ChesterA. Arthur was President of the United States and W.D. Blazham wasGovernor of Florida, which had become a state in 1845.  The town of Sanford had been founded in 1870 and was a part of Orange County. There were close to 2000 people in Sanford in 1884, and the Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal and Catholic Churches had already been founded. Another group of Christians now wanted a church - the Baptists.

On February 3, 1884, a group assembled in the Sanford Town Hall located north of Commercial Street on Palmetto Avenue.  They met in a long, crude room upstairs in the building that looked old even then.  This assembly organized themselves into a Regular Baptist Church.

The church was organized under the leadership of W.N. Chaudoin, Executive Secretary of the newly organized Florida   State Board of Missions (1880).  Rev. Chaudoin served  in that position form 1880-1901.  He was also President of    the Florida Baptist Convention in 1889-1904.

J.W. Butts, pastor of the Orlando Baptist Church, assisted in the organization and was called to serve as pastor of the Sanford church for one-half his time.  He preached  at each church two Sundays per month.

The 18 charter members are as follows, with their previous church affiliation listed:

     1.   John Fink                              New Lisbon, Wi. 

     2.   Mrs. John Fink                      New Lisbon, Wi. 

     3.   Mrs.Virginia Denman             New Lisbon, Wi.
          (daughter of Mrs. Fink) 

     4.   Mrs. Sophia E. Dupree          Harmony Church   Hall Co., Ga. 

     5.   James F. Prince                   Apopka, Fl. 

     6.   Lucinda M. Prince                 Apopka, Fl.

     7.   Miss Mary Lambert               Mercer Co., Pa. 

     8.   Charles H. Tuxberry              Saco, Me. 

     9.   Abby A. Tuxberry                  Saco, Me.

    10.  Henry C. Tuxbury                 Saco, Me.

    11. Louise S. Tuxbury                Saco, Me.

    12. Lawrence Sword                  Mt. Holly Baptist, N.J. 

    13. Caroline Sword                    Mt. Holly Baptist, N.J.

    14. J.R. Kelly                             Talladega Co., Al. 

    15. Laura E.Kelly                       Talladega Co., Al.

    16. Willie B. Kelly                     Talladega Co., Al.

    17. Mrs. Lizzie W. Clark            Augusta, Ga. 

    18. Mrs. Emma Cox                    Longwood, Fl.

The lot at Sixth Street and Park Avenue  was given to the Church in 1884 for the sum of One dollar by the Florida Land and Colonization Company of London, England, and signed by Edwin Dawes, George Thompson and Anthony Morris, trustees of said company.  The deed specifically states that the land was given for the express purpose of placing thereon a Baptist Church and should the land ever cease to be used as such the deed would become null and void.

( This information was taken from the " History of the First Baptist Church" by Grace Marie Stinecipher.  Miss Stinecipher has given her permission for its use).

Volunteer on this project:  Ms. Roberta Rose