In the early 1990’s, First Baptist Church of Panama City and First Baptist Church of Defuniak Springs teamed together to survey the people in the community of Seagrove Beach regarding the feasibility of starting a Baptist Mission. Pastor at Panama City was Dr. Langford and the pastor at Defuniak Springs was Rev. Veron Harkey.
November 1993 An original meeting was formed as a result of the results of the survey. The meeting was held at the fire station on 395 just north of The Seagrove Market. 20 to 25 people attended the meeting. Some were representatives of sponsoring the churches and some were local residents Robert and June Pender, Tarver & Sara Roundtree and Sami Samora. A prayer group was formed and led by various representatives of the two churches and the Walton County Baptist Association. The regular meetings were at the home of Robert and June Pender.
February 1994 The sponsoring churches authorized the Mission to begin searching for property in the Seagrove area to build a permanent church. After much prayer and searching, the Mission located the 3.6 acres where we are presently. The property was purchased by the First Baptist Church of Panama City for $100,000. The property has an interesting history. It was originally homesteaded in the 1920’s by Clifford And Annie E. Williams of Bonifay, Florida as part of a larger 40- acre plot. The property was then sold in the late 30’s to B.W. And Ida Dalton for less than $20 an acre. Here is the interesting part: Mrs. Dalton always wanted a church to be built on the property. But during her lifetime no church was ever built. Mr. and Mrs. Dalton eventually deeded the property to their son, P.E. Dalton. He eventually sold it to Jerry Dalhover and Jack Simmons. And then eventually sold it to the First Baptist Church of Panama City. And for what purpose? For a church to be built! Mrs. Dalton’s dream was finally going to come true. Plans were set in motion to build a facility including a sanctuary, nursery, toddler room, two adult classrooms and a kitchen.
March 1994 The prayer group became an official mission of the two sponsoring churches. Sunday morning worship services were conducted in the Pender garage, often called “the garage cathedral.” Ben Agee came from Panama City Church to serve as the first pastor. Brother J.C. McLendon replaced Ben Agee in the late summer of 1994. He served through the construction until 1995.
December 1995 A new 125 seat auditorium and additional educational space of Sunday School rooms, a nursery and a kitchen, were designed and built. The Mission moved into the new facilities in December of 1995. Dr. Jerry Lee came in 1995 as the next Mission Pastor and served through 1996.
January 1996 The new facilities were dedicated on January 14, 1996. Rev. James Mixon preached the first service in the new sanctuary. He also contracted and helped construct the new facility.
In 1997 Brother Bill Stephens came and served until early 1998. Brother David Duvall followed.
September 1998 The Lord sent Dr. Jerome Barnes and his wife Marlene as Mission Pastor and to rebuild the broken relationships. The “crowds” were small, starting with about nine. They grew each week until two worship services were necessary to seat the crowds on Sunday mornings. The Mission had come a long way since the early days. On most Sundays, the Mission would be an average between 125 to 160 people in attendance and growing about 30+ people each year.
March 2002 the Seagrove Baptist Mission was constituted as a church. Dr. Jerome Barnes led as Father of the Constitution and by-laws. A week-end celebration was set up with a concert given by former pianist, Susan Kerley and former Music Director, Roger Estes. Dr. Craig Conner, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Panama City delivered the address. Sixty-eight members’ names were read by Maureen Thweatt, the church clerk.
Easter 2005 On that morning, a record 470 worshippers came to the small facility. May 2005 John Stitt came as Music Director.
May 15, 2005 Dr. Jerome Barnes resigned as Pastor of Seagrove Baptist Church. After six years and 8 months of his leadership, it was a sad time for the congregation to see this Godly man leave.
October 2006 Brother Stanley Durham came as Pastor, along with his wife, Joyce, and was here through December 2015.
2007 saw continued growth and Brother Durham led the Vision to begin planning the new Sanctuary, classrooms and offices; in September 2010 it was dedicated. Within 6 months, the balcony had to be finished for more seating, bringing our total to over 400 seats.
2015 Brother Mike Thornton came as Associate Pastor for Families and Discipleship.
March 2017 Brother Gary Wiggins came as Pastor, and his wife, Cindy. Brother Richard Coe came in 2018 as Youth Pastor.
January 2019 John Stitt retired, and in February 2019 Dennis Kirkland was hired as Music Director.
God continues to bless Seagrove Baptist Church,
Thank you all for your part in growing our church!