Faith Baptist Church has a long and illustrious history. As an offshoot of the now defunct Forrest Park Baptist Church, Faith Baptist began with a meeting on June 3, 1953. Forty-six people attended the first meeting on that Wednesday evening at the Orlando Board of Realtors. Regular Sunday services commenced the following Sunday at the Temple of Liberal Judaism on Robinson and Fern Creek. On November 8, 1953 services moved to the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Robinson and Rosalind. Services permanently moved to the current location on June 20, 1954.
While the physical history of meeting places is easily traced, the rich theological history is more intricate. The church was started in cooperation with the Conservative Baptist Association of America. The church began with a solid emphasis on evangelism. Before it had existed three months, the church undertook its first support of a full time missionary. In January of 1954, the church began a tradition of hosting missionary conferences that lasted at least 30 years. The founding pastor, Lawrence E. Wegner, remained with the church for over 20 years and upon his departure, he started a church in Kissimmee, also named Faith Baptist Church. The once and future missionary, Manfred Kettering, next served as pastor from 1975 to 1978.
Dr. Dan Hayden, served as the pastor of Faith Baptist Church twice. The membership of Faith Baptist Church reached its zenith during one of these tenures, which one depends on your favorite source. While normally practiced at Faith Baptist Church before his arrival, Dan Hayden made Expository Preaching with Exegetical Preparation a core value.
In the midst of the Dan Hayden tenure, John Pereira served as the senior pastor from about 1982-1985. It was during the Pereira years that Faith Baptist Church withdrew from the Conservative Baptist Association, largely because of the Association's hesitancy to admit that we are saved by the blood of Christ. Pereira's association with the GARB school Cedarville brought Faith to have a closer relationship with this denomination. While never joining the denomination, there were many conferences at Faith Baptist that catered to GARB, conservative baptist, and independent baptist churches. Pereira maintained a strong desire to literally interpret the Bible.
In 1993, after much prayer, the Lord brought Keith Reece to be senior pastor at Faith Baptist Church. While many things occurred during his time at Faith, perhaps the most important was a return to the Biblical principal of elder rule. That concept is still vividly within our beliefs.