Indian Springs Baptist Church
Saturday, November 16, 2019
A Pioneer Ministry since 1829

CHURCH HISTORY

 
Please check back regularly for ongoing historical notes and stories. New items will be posted at the bottom of the page. Thank you for your interest in our history, We thank GOD for His continued blessings upon ALL who have been part of this special place in Florida history. 
 
 
 
     The present church building was constructed in 1854, however, Indian Springs Baptist Church began much earlier on July 18, 1829 about three miles closer to Lake Miccosukee.  It has remained in continual existence for 189 years and is today the oldest surviving Baptist Church in Leon County and is the 5th oldest Baptist Church in the State of Florida.
 
    At the present time we have several 4th and 5th generation families attending Indian Springs and we pray this community of God's love will continue through our children, their children and for many generations to come.  Our desire is to minister to you and your loved ones and to help strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ. We pray this site is informative and inspirational and we look forward to  hearing from you.

     There were eleven people who qualified to become "charter members" of what they would modestly call "The Church of Jesus Christ at Indian Springs".  Now that they decided on a name,they determined where to build their church house.  It was to be on a rise of ground surrounded by thick undergrowth and tall live oaks draped by Spanish moss.  They would call their church Indian Springs because of its proximity to the Spring head of Panther Creek, a favorite camping spot for Indian hunting parties a few years earlier, but now the site of a Christian meeting house. 
 
**The first meeting house of the Indian Springs Baptist Church was made of logs, sawn and put together without nails in the typical fashion of pioneer Florida houses.  Inside the building the men built crude slab benches with no backs on them.  They built a stand for a pulpit and a table from which to serve the Lord's Supper.  Unglazed windows protected the dim inner sanctum with sturdy shutters.
 
     Pastors of Early Indian Springs Baptist Church were:
1829 - 1834      Theophilus Hardie
1834 - 1838      John B. Lacy
1839                 Lacy; John B. Broome
1939 - 1842      John B. Broome
1843                Jesse Goodman
1844 - 1853      Buckley S. Fuller
1854 - 1857      Wiley Blewett
1858 - 1863      William B. Cooper
1864 - 1865      Columbus Smith
1866                Unknown
1867 - 1868      Wiley Blewett
1869 - 1871      Chas. D. Campbell
1872 - 1876     (Not Listed)
1877                J.R. Kimbrew
1878                Stephen S. Proctor
1879 - 1888      Andrew M. Manning
1889                William M. Reynolds
1890                Reynolds; Manning
1891 - 1905      Andrew M. Manning
1906                 Manning; Crockett
1907                 Stephen C. Crockett 
1908 - 1909      J.D. Bohannon
1910 - 1915       E.T Moore
1916                 R.C. Morgan
1918                 (none)
1919                  R.A. Smith
1920                 (none)
1921                 ___Brooks
1922 - 1923      W.J. Adair
1924 - 1925      (none)
1926 - 1929       E.T. Dawson
1930 - 1931       J.T. Mashburn
1932                 W.J. Glover
1933                 Glover; Connell
1934 - 1937       Joseph G. Connell
1938                 Connell; Barnett
1939 - 1944       T.J Barnett
1945                 Barnett: Hart
1946                  A.J. Hart
1947                  Hart: Waters 
1948 - 1949        E. Lavelle Waters  
1950                  J. Robert Whidden
1951 - 1952        Walton Grady
1953                  Grady; E. S. Rich
1954 - 1955        E. S. Rich
1956                  Rich; Browning
1957                  James W. Browning
1958                  John W. Alford
1959                  Alford; Butler Horton
1960                  Horton; Pat C. Kennicott
1961                  Kennicott; Gene Tyree
1962                  Gene Tyree
1963                  Tyree; Millard Hancock
1964                  Millard Hancock
1965                  Hancock; Jack A. Hanberry
1966                  Hanberry; Dwight Brower
1967                   Dwight Brower
1968                  James E Riherd
1969                  Riherd; Frederick Richardson
1970 - 1973        Frederick Richardson
1973                  Richardson; Marvin Lynn
1973 - 1981        Marvin Lynn 
1981 - 1983        Edwin Perryman
1983 - 1988        Neil Helton
1988 - 1998        Richard Wynn
1998 - Present    Greg Roberts
 
 THE CHARTER MEMBERS OF A PIONEER CHURCH
 
     They were few in number--just eleven of them--yet, those who signed the church's charter on July 18, 1829, left an indelible impression upon the Miccosukee community and dictated its course for years to come.  Those first members had come from all parts of the South, bringing with them a heterogeneous background of practice and ideology.  Yet all shared in common a love for the church and a consent to live under its rigid discipline.
 
     A few of the charter members would discover that Miccosukee was not to be their journey's end, and they would move away in search of greener pastures, leaving behind them only the record of their names.  Others found their heart's desire in the splendor of Miccosukee lands and determined to lash themselves to the wheel of destiny in that part of the world, come what may.  These would themselves become the shapes of destiny, perhaps too cruelly remembered by their children during days of Southern Reconstruction.
 
     Early church books separated the names of male and female members by a line drawn down the middle of the page, sometimes even listing them in columns on separate pages.  At Indian Springs the newly elected church clerk took his quill in hand and listed the names of the eleven charter members in columns, divided by their sex.  Arthur Burney, Ebenezer Folsom, Joseph Miller, Amos Albritton, John Smith, Sarah Burney, Nancy Folsom, Elizabeth Miller, Nancy Hagen, Helen Farmer, Fanny Hay.
 
     Arthur and Sarah Burney were the founding spirits of the Indian Springs church.   Both had been born in North Carolina three years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Immigrating south in 1805, they lived in Twiggs County, Georgia, long enough to bear a daughter--a daughter destined to become the wife of Florida's first State Treasurer.  The Burney's arrived in Leon County in 1826 and settled near Lake Miccosukee to become a well-to-do cotton planting family.
 
     Sarah Burney, a deeply religious plantation lady who would bear Arthur nine children before her death at age 57,ascended the family carriage on a Sunday morning in the spring of 1828.  The Burney family then joggled fourteen miles over soft clay backwoods roads and through dark, green-shaded lanes thickly laced overhead.  They were bound for Col. Joseph White's Casa Bianca Plantation for Sunday Meeting.  That stretch of pineywoods between Lake Miccosukee and Casa Bianca had recently been a refuge for renegade Miccosukee Indians, and would again see their return to reap havoc in Florida's bloody encounter with the red savage.  
 
     Before that Sunday's sun could sink into the distant pines, Sarah burney would be one of those twelve charter members of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Jefferson County.  Col. White, who was soon to represent the Territory as a delegate in Congress, would convey two areas of his plantation land to the Trustees of Ebenezer church in September 1829.  Their first pastor would be Benjamin Manning, Sr., whose grandson would become significant in the religious history of North florida.
 
 
(All accounts are excerpts from "INDIAN SPRINGS" The Story of a Pioneer Church in Leon County,
Florida. a book researched and written by Dr. James C. Bryant The Florida State University. 1971)