First Baptist Church To Host ‘Living Proof Live’ Simulcast
By Space Coast Daily // August 11, 2014
'Living Proof Live' set for Saturday, Sept. 13
ABOVE VIDEO: Beth Moore is an evangelist, author, Bible teacher, and the founder of Living Proof Ministries.
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – The First Baptist Church of Cocoa will host a Simulcast of well-known Bible teacher Beth Moore’s “Living Proof Live” on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Tickets for this event are $15 and include lunch. The church is located at 750 Brevard Avenue in historic Cocoa Village.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call 321 636-2868.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF COCOA HAS RICH HISTORY
The First Baptist Church of Cocoa has worshipped on the corner of Brevard Avenue and Oak Street for over 100 years and was organized on Sunday, June 12, 1910 on the second floor of the Cocoa Town Hall, which was on the corner of King Street and Florida Avenue.
The 15 charter members of the church were J.N. Chalker, Della Chalker, J.T. Hodges, Carrie Hodges, J.R. Garren, Susie Garren, A.Z. Dixon, Mamie Dixon, Adela Rembert, Alida Platt, Rubbie Platt, C.B. Owens, Della Owens, N.J. Cooper and G.L. Combs. Under the leadership of the first pastor, Rev. F.M. Ross, the church continued to meet in the “Opera House”, as the upstairs auditorium of the Town Hall was called, until a small church building was erected in 1911.
The cast iron bell which hung in the belfry of the church is now displayed on the corner of Brevard Avenue and Oak Street, across the street from where the original sanctuary stood.
The building was enlarged in 1914 to include an auditorium to seat 200 people, a choir loft, and baptistry. In 1919 the building was again enlarged by adding a Sunday School room, enlarging the choir loft and building an exposed baptistry. In 1920 the membership had reached 100.
By 1925 the congregation decided to purchase new property on the corner of Delannoy and Maryland Avenues. Noise from the Florida East Coast Railway just beyond the traffic circle, and the traffic congestion on U.S #1 (which was Brevard Avenue at the time) made worship services unbearable.
They were able to sell the church property, but continued to lease from the owners until they could raise money to construct their new building. The Florida boom of the 1920’s saw a collapse of the economy, and the church building could not be constructed. High rental payments on the original sanctuary caused them to high construct a frame building on property they owned east of the sanctuary property.
This building was called the “Tabernacle” and served the First Baptist congregation for several years. Finally, in 1930, the church was able to repurchase the original property for $5,000. Membership at this time had reached 275.
18 PASTORS HAVE SEVERED SINE 1910
Eighteen pastors have served First Baptist since 1910. They include Rev. F.M. Ross, Rev. Robert Jones, Rev. J.R. Parsons, Rev. Springfield, Rev. Ira sanders, Rev. J.C. Kazee, Rev. H.S. Howard, Rev. O.L. Riggs, Rev. Charles White, Dr. John Sycamore, Reve. Claude Bridges, Rev. Ray Garrett, Dr. James Sawyer, Rev. James Dunnam, Dr. Frank Thomas, Reve. Henry Green, Dr. William Marr and Dr. Charles Horton is the present pastor.
During the ministry of Dr. Sawyer, who served First Baptist for 27 years, the church grew in numbers, purchased adjoining properties, erected buildings and helped to established five missions, which are now vital churches in Central Brevard County—King Street, Cocoa Beach, Frontenac, Rockledge and gave financial support to Merritt Island in its early days.
The Carmichael Educational Building was completed and occupied in 1949. At this time in the history of Central Brevard, the missile program at Cape Canaveral was bringing thousands of new residents and all are churches showed growth in their memberships.
A three-story educational building was erected east of the sanctuary in 1958. This building was later named for Pastor Emeritus. Dr. James A. Sawyer. A new sanctuary was constructed on the site of the original church and was occupied in 1962.
After Dr. James Sawyer’s resignation in 1967, Rev. James Dunnam became pastor. Although the church experienced growth during Rev. Dunnam’s ministry, layoffs and transfers began at the Space Center and the church and Sunday School attendance began to decline.
Dr. Frank Thomas, pastor for six years beginning in 1979, brought new growth in membership. During those years, Dr. Thomas began to write a book of church history, entitled Day By Day: A Pilgrimage In Faith, which was published for the 80th church anniversary in June 1990. Dr. Thomas gave permission to condense from his book, and twenty-five additional years of church history has been added in the new book published for the 100th anniversary — Remembering and Imagining.
Rev. Henry Green began his ministry in 1986, and it was during his ministry that the church became debt free and a building fund was initiated for the construction of the Christian Activities Center.
Under the leadership of Dr. William Marr, called as pastor in 1994, the Christian Activities Center was built in 1998. This building is used for fellowship dinners, recreational activities and many social and educational events of the church and community. Additional property for parking was purchased at the close of 2008.
Dr. Charles Horton was called in late December 2007 to lead the church in Advent services for the month of December. In January 2008, he was asked to serve as the transitional pastor until a permanent pastor was chosen. However, in May the church, led by the Holy Spirit and our transition team, voted to call Dr. Horton to serve as pastor.
“Because of the vision of those 15 charter members and the faithful leadership of pastors and lay people down through these decades, we know that God has great things in store for First Baptist Church of Cocoa.
“We are proud to be His lighthouse on the corner of Brevard Avenue and Oak Street and we look forward to the continued leadership of Dr. Charles Horton and a future filled with blessings from God.”
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