View the Original Documents
The Florida Baptist Historical Society has within its collection of research resources bound copies of most of the 85 different associations organized in Florida between 1835 and 2015. One of the most efficient ways to undertake Baptist research is through the reading of original associational minutes. The problem has been that the minutes are inaccessible, old, rare or brittle and handling them is a damaging exercise. Researchers need the information but the work is counterproductive due to the damage done to original documents. In 2010 the Society started to scan several sets of these association minutes to make them accessible through the Society’s website. Unfortunately budget limitations have hampered the full realization of this goal. However, we are pleased to provide a sampling of the earliest available Florida Baptist association annuals. The Society has the goal, as budget resources permit, to place as many of these associational minutes on this website along with a functional search feature by name, place and subject index.
Alachua (Nature Coast) Baptist Association /1847
Since 2006 this historic Association is now known as Nature Coast. Originally called the Alachua Missionary Baptist Association, this Florida Baptist entity was established November, 1847, during a meeting of church delegates held at the Fort Clarke Baptist Church (Gainesville’s first Baptist church). Participating in the organization of the association were representatives from 13 churches (grouped by their county location): Mt. Pleasant and Ft. Clarke (Gainesville) churches in Alachua County; Benton (later called Hernando) County churches of Bethesda, Eden, and Bethlehem; Columbia County churches of Columbia, Providence and South Prong; Bethel church in Duval County; Marion County churches of New Hope, Fellowship, and New Providence; and Sharon church (Callahan) in Nassau County. Provided are digital copies of the annual reports of the Alachua Baptist Association (for the years noted below) that includes: the proceedings of the annual meeting(s); statistical information on its cooperating churches; and reports on the missionary, ministerial and ministry training activities provided by the association.
Florida Baptist Association /1843
The Florida Baptist Association was the second organization of cooperating Baptist churches in Florida having been organized in 1843. However, it holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously functioning Missionary Baptist association in Florida. Within its first five years of organization, the association encompassed churches in Leon, Jefferson, Wakulla and Gadsden counties in the center of the Florida Panhandle, as well as Georgia Baptist churches in Thomas and Brooks counties. [The first association established in Florida – called the Suwannee – was organized in 1835. Subsequently in 1845 it adopted an anti-missionary theological position and in 1847 adopted the name Suwannee River Primitive Baptist Association.] Provided are digital copies of the annual reports of the Florida Association that includes the proceedings of the annual meeting(s), statistical information on its cooperating churches, and reports on the missionary, ministerial and training ministries provided by the association.
Middle Florida Baptist Association /1900
The Middle Florida Baptist Association was the 32nd association established (organized in 1900) in Florida, which was comprised of cooperating Baptist churches located primarily in the geographical area of Madison County. Provided are digital copies of the annual reports of the Middle Florida Association that includes the proceedings of the annual meeting(s), statistical information on its cooperating churches, and reports on the missionary, ministerial and training ministries provided by the association.
West Florida Baptist Association /1847