Over 60 Years of Ministry
In 1955 a group from the First Baptist Church of Winter Park felt the Lord leading them to start a new church on the east side of town. On November 20, 1955, at the American Legion Hall at the corner of Capen and Holt Avenues, the East Side Baptist Church was formed with eighty-one charter members.
The Lord led a dedicated man of God, Rev. Charles Elbert Patch, better known to most as “Brother Dan”, to be our first pastor of East Side Baptist Church. First Baptist Church of Winter Park provided three lots on Temple Drive for the new location of East Side Baptist Church. God opened up a greater opportunity as a more desirable location became available on Aloma Avenue.
The church sold the lots for the funds to purchase the new site. On Easter Sunday of 1956 our church family celebrated the resurrection of our Lord Jesus with excitement and hope by breaking ground on the newly acquired site. The church was organized and the body of Christ worshiped for the first time in the new structure on Aloma Avenue on July 8, 1956.
As growth and space became a challenge, a new sanctuary was erected to the glory of our Savior. The first service was held in the new 250-seat sanctuary in the fall of 1959. On October 1, 1963, the name of East Side Baptist Church was officially changed to Aloma Baptist Church.
Following a change in Pastor, Aloma prayed for a new Pastor and prayers were answered. Rev. Joseph E.Boatwright, then pastor of First Baptist Church of Mims, Florida. Brother Joe, his gracious wife Joyce, and their children, Joe Jr., Andrea, and Bryan joined Aloma Baptist on October 4,1970.
In 1996, through much prayer and reﬂection, Pastor Boatwright sensed that the time had come for him to retire. His final Sunday as pastor was June 23, 1996, having given Aloma Baptist Church and the Lord twenty-six years of his life as our shepherd. In June of 1997 an eighteen-member pastor search committee presented its candidate for pastor to the congregation.
On August 3, 1997, Rev. Anthony George preached his first sermon as our pastor. On June 27, 2000 our church voted to purchase the Howell Park Executive Center, a 40,000 square-foot office park that borders the north side of our church campus. In order to accommodate growth, Aloma began a renovation and expansion program in July 2002, to enhance the function and technology of our worship center. In 2012 Pastor Anthony submitted his resignation to follow God’s calling on his life.
And On February 17, 2013, Dr. Wesley Baldwin, was called to be our pastor. Pastor Wes, his gracious wife Sarah, and daughter Abigail joined Aloma Church on March 17, 2013. Pastor Wes and Mrs. Sarah’s son Elijah was born on July 16, 2014, marking the first time in our history we had a child born into our pastor’s family. Upon his arrival, Pastor Wes led the church in the construction and debt-retirement of a 5,000 square-foot multi-use building named the Boatwright Center. Under Pastor Wes’ leadership, the church has continued to grow as he reminds us regularly to reach our community with the Gospel of Jesus being passionate about seeing lives changed.
From humble beginnings, with eighty-one charter members meeting in the American Legion Hall, to an established congregation with over 1,000 weekly attendees and multi-million-dollar grounds and facilities, Aloma Baptist Church continues to fulfill a divine mission.
Though different and unique in their own way, each of our shepherds has shared the same goal: teaching us to love the Lord Jesus.