The First Baptist Church of DeLeon Springs Celebrates 100 Years

By Oscar Brock

On November 14, 2021, The First Baptist Church of DeLeon Springs celebrated its 100th Anniversary with a special service to commemorate its longevity and adaptability to change. 

According to Reverend Doug Knight, over the years the church has adapted to many changes including a greater diversity of congregation participants, and to decreases in church attendance. However, the church continues its outreach to the community including the popular "Operation Christmas Child" where gifts are collected and sent worldwide to children who may otherwise have no Christmas. When asked where he sees the church in the next 100 years, Rev. Knight stated that "Christ doesn't change," and he looks forward to the future.

For the past 100 years the church has contributed to the history of DeLeon Springs and opened welcoming doors to members and visitors alike. The original church, organized in 1886 to serve the local Baptist population, was in a small white frame building near Johnson Lake Road. At that time, it was called The Spring Garden Baptist Church, but in 1921 the congregation determined to join the Southern Baptist Convention and changed their name to The DeLeon Springs Baptist Church. In 1951 they officially changed the name to The First Baptist Church of DeLeon Springs and in 1990 dedicated their present Gothic style church building on Central Avenue.

Special thanks to Reverend Doug Knight, Cheryl Dukes and Lorene Richards.

Photo images provided by the author.