Jack T. Bryant is a native of Jackson County, Alabama. He graduated from Riverside High School in Decatur, Alabama in 1928 and received the B.A. degree from Stetson University, DeLand, Florida in 1950. A veteran of World War II in the U. S. Navy, Brother Bryant attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and pastored for 30 years in Central Florida. He came to Eau Gallie from the First Baptist Church of Oviedo, Florida where he served as pastor from 1957-1965. Prior to that, he served as pastor of First Baptist Church, Port Orange, Florida from 1949-1957. He retired in 1973 and he and his wife, Elsie, moved back to Alabama where he has served several churches as Interim Pastor.
The church organizations appear to have functioned very well under Pastor Bryant's leadership. During March 1965 Youth Week was held with the following people as officers:
Pastor - Roger Shannon
Clerk - Margaret Edison
Treasurer - Belinda Campbell
Sunday School Supt. - Bob Adams
Training Union Director - Carol Price
W.M.U. President - Sue Layne
Chairman of Trustees - Danny Bostwick
Chairman of Deacons - Charlie Brown
Mr. William Price reported on April 7, 1965 that it was good to have so many men participating in the choir. An additional 100 hymnals had been ordered for the Church.
It was decided in May 1965 to look into the matter of selling the old Intermediate Building across the street. A report was requested that the next business meeting. In June the Trustees recommended that the Church give the Trustees authority to sell the old Intermediate Building for the sum of $6.500.00. The Church voted its approval. During the summer of 1965 it is recorded that Miss Lena Sprouse worked with the youth. The minutes of September 11, 1965 record that "a contract for deed has been given on the old Intermediate Building. It was sold for $7,000.00 with $500.00 down and the balance payable $100.00 per month, including interest at the rate of 6% per annum. The purchaser is to assume the taxes on a pro-rated basis and all pending liens. He has already begun improving the property."
The W.M.U. reported one W.M.S. with three circles for a total of 44 members and one Y.W.A. with 9 members. This was on November 10 1965. By December the ceiling had been installed in the new educational building bottom floor. Plans were made in December 1965 to make it possible for Brother Bryant to go on a preaching mission to Jamaica sponsored by the Foreign Mission Board. In October 1965 it was discussed to consider calling Rev. Fred Fischer to serve as Minister of Education. Rev. Fischer was called and accepted. He served as Minister of Education and also part of the time as Minister of Music as well. Rev. Fisher was born in Vancouver, Washington on June 8, 1912. He was ordained in 1942. A graduate of Wheaten College (AB degree) and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicago (B.D. and M. Divinity degrees), he completed residency but not dissertation for Th.D. degree from Northern. He married Elizabeth Braddock in Chicago, May 4, 1940. The Fischers have no children. He resigned May 8, 1968.
Michael Buford was licensed to preach by the First Baptist Church of Eau Gallie on June 26, 1966. At the same meeting Mr. Louis Farley moved "that Miss Kaye Cates be elected as official pianist and assistant organist of the First Baptist Church of Eau Gallie, Florida. Motion seconded and carried."
1967 Vacation Bible School Picture
By September 1967 there was a move toward sponsoring a mission on Turtle Mound Road. The mission was started on September 10, 1967. James Buford was the mission pastor. This mission would later become the Lakecrest Community Baptist Church. In January 1968 the minutes read: "The Turtle Mound Road Mission is functioning regularly with an average attendance between 35 and 43.
Church Camp 1967 - 1968
A. W. Dedqe and Marvin Vann were very involved in the work of this mission. The church minutes of February 28, 1969 state as follows: "Mr. Dave Weaver, Chairman of the Deacons, moved that the request of the Camp Mission to be constituted into the Lake Crest Community Baptist Church be approved, that the new church be permitted to continue using the church camp for a period not to exceed six months, that $500 of the Randolph beguest be given to the new church for the purchase of property, that the First Baptist Church furnish the building, lights, telephone, etc., for a maximum of six months, and that the First Baptist Church reserve the right to use the camp during the time when normal worship services are not being conducted. Mr. R. H. Graham seconded the motion and the motion carried."
On March 13, 1968 there were 21 letters granted to the newly constituted Church, Lake Crest Community Baptist Church. Those people were as follows:
Mrs. Kathryn Argo Keith Roberts
James Buford Kent Roberts
Kathleen Buford Mrs. Carl King
Wanda Buford Amion Dedge
Mrs. Amion Dedge Brenda King
Carl King Carla King
Grant King Lee King
Linda Kyzer Mrs. Donald C. Mimm
Donald C. Mimm III Paula Mimm
Marvin Vann Dorothy Vann
The Lake Crest Community Baptist Church requested an extension of time in the usa of the camp for a meeting place. This was granted.
The Brevard Baptist Association met on October 14, 1968 at the First Baptist Church of Eau Gallie. During the 1967-1968 year the Church received $1,000 from Mrs. Harold Gillespie in memory of Mr. Harold Gillespie, her deceased husband. Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Graham presented a baptismal painting in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Randolph. The Church inherited $6,700 from the estate of Mr. and Mrs. Randolph. A lovely set of chimes were contributed to the Church by Mr. and Mrs. M. Edward Smith.
In October 1968, Mr. William Woodson was appointed to act as the attorney of the First Baptist Church of Eau Gallie. Mr. Gene Deem was serving as Chairman of the Deacons. The budget for 1969 was $57,322.84. Rev. Bryant suggested a retreat in December for the students instead of a one night, Student Night at Christmas.
Youth Week in March 1969 saw the following youth as leaders:
Pastor - Dick Seaman
Treasurer - Randy Graham
Sunday School Superintendent - Len Shannon
Training Union Director - Danny Wuchte
W.M.U. Director - Mildred Price
Brotherhood Director - Calton Marshall
Choir Director - Libby Weaver
Librarian - Cheryl Graham
Chairman of Deacons - Calton Marshall
Church Clerk - Nancy Deem
It should be noted that Helen Downs and Frances Smith have both served as Financial Secretary. There may have been others. They issued envelopes and kept the financial records.
At a special business meeting on Sunday night, September 21, 1969, Mrs. Mary Horde was elected Nursery Coordinator for the coming year.
Mr. John Downs made a motion in November 1969 that the Church authorize the treasurer to contribute $100.00 toward the organization expense of the Anti-Jai-Alai Gambling Committee. The motion was approved.