The Church suppers were growing under the leadership of Sue Mixson. The meals were delicious and the fellowship was rich. In January 1975 Lavona Frisch was elected Assistant Church Hostess.
The Sunday School was showing growth under the leadership of John Downs. In February 1975 a 45-minute Officers-Teachers Meeting was added on Wednesday evenings.
The Brotherhood was functioning under the leadership of David Chandler. A Baptist Men's Day Breakfast was held on Sunday, January 26 with 23 men attending. Mitch Maddox, Brevard Association Missions Director was the guest speaker. He discussed the organization and goals of the Brotherhood. He offered his assistance in establishing cooperative goals with the Association and in guiding our elected officers.
At a special business meeting on February 12, 1975 Joe Fletcher Hunt was employed as full-time Youth Director at the salary of $9,000 annually.
In March 1975 the record shows that 22 teachers and officers attended the Sunday School Group Training Schools in Melbourne on February 10 and 11. On February 20, 1975 Evelyn Layna taught the Home Mission Study Book, "Missions in the Mosaic" There ware 15 in attendance.
It was at the March 5, 1975 business meeting that "the Deacons and Properties Committee recommend jointly that the church adopt a goal of $2,500.00 for a Special Easter Offering, for the purpose of installing a ceiling on the second floor of the New Educational Building. MOTION CARRIED."
The pastorium was almost finished and $1,250.00 was needed to complete it. A sum of $3,600 was approved if needed at a special business meeting on March 12, 1975 For patio screening, sod, sidewalks, professional cleaning, driveways, and employment of Mr. Graham for two additional weeks. The pastorium was completed and the pastor and his family moved into the new home the last week in March 1975. A dedication service was held on the grounds with Mitchell Maddox, Brevard Association Director of Missions, taking part.
Also on March 12, 1975 a motion carried to send a letter of recommendation to Stetson University recommending Lewis Likens as a ministerial student.
Joe Hunt, Youth Director, reported in May 1975 that a puppet ministry was started and should be in full force by summer. Gospel Gathering had been running for 6 weeks. The pastor was teaching a Bible study followed by a time of recreation, devotion and prayer. At that same meeting the church minutes state that: "Rev. Kennon reflected upon the progress of the established goals set by the church through the past year, which were many. Much has been accomplished. We HAVE BEEN BLESSED. The pastor commended the church for its financial support and assistance."
A resolution adopted by the Deacons in the regular meeting of June 2, 1975 and presented to the Church reads as follows: "Be it resolved that the Deacons of the First Baptist Church of Eau Gallie, on this occasion of the beginning of the Pastor's second year, go on record as supporting the Pastor in his plans and in his program, and pledge their support and loyalty to him by unanimous vote. Further, let it be recorded that the Deacons were polled and each one present voted 'aye' in support of this resolution. "
The above resolution is indicative of the support that this author has received from the deacons throughout his ministry at First Baptist.
In August 1975 a policy was established that required anyone or any group desiring to use the church kitchen must contact the Church Hostess or Assistant Hostess for clearance and permission.
At the same meeting it was decided that Dr. Dale Moody from Southern Seminary be invited to conduct a Bible seminar on August 22-24 at First Baptist. His theme would be "The Holy Spirit".
Col. and Mrs. Lou Perry were to attend the Lake Yale Library Conference and the Church would pay the registration fee.
In October 1975 the Deacons' Secretary, Mr. Bernard Edenfield, presented the following recommendation: The Deacons unanimously voted to commend the Pastor and his family for the work they have put into landscaping and improving the pastorium grounds. The house and grounds give evidence of careful planning and arduous work and their beauty is a source of pride and joy to the church. We are very fortunate to have tenants who take real good care of church property and we want to thank them for it. Motion carried. "
Repairs were being made to the sanctuary during this time. The neon lights were replaced with fluorescent lighting.
The Church voted at a special business meeting on February 24, 1976 to pad the church pews with 1-1/2n foam rubber and cover the seats with a red fabric.
A discrepancy arose over the property line at the pastorium property. A quit claim deed made some time prior had solved the matter of 11 feet legally. Marvin Vann, who had previously donated the property to the Church, had to pay the adjacent property owner $800.00 for the 11 feet. The Pastor and Deacons felt that while the Church was not legally bound, it was the Christian thing to do to reimburse Mr. Vann for that $800.00.
The church minutes of March 1976 read that "We, the Deacons, recommend that the church reimburse Mr. Marvin Vann, $800.00 at the rate of $200.00 per month for four months, said reimbursement for eleven (11) feet of property at the Church Camp. Motion carried. "
It was decided in April to let the Easter Offering be used for the purpose of finishing the ceiling on the third floor of the educational building. Shortly thereafter the ceiling was finished.
The spirit of the Church continued to grow sweeter. In May 1976 the Church approved a motion by Mary Alma Price, "expressing our deep appreciation to all the workers who so faithfully prepared our Wednesday night dinners and thereby made it so pleasant to be a Church Family. Thank You! "
On July 7, 1976 Joe Hunt resigned as Youth Director to attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. His resignation was to take effect August 1. The Church approved a deacons' recommendation that the church, in an expression of love and appreciation to Joe Hunt, continue him on the payroll for the four weeks beginning August 1, 1976 and further, that the church pay the cost of transporting Joe's household goods to Louisville. "
The First Baptist Church of Eau Gallie has been very involved in the Study Course Awards Program. On November 3, 1976 the Church received two trophies, one in a tie with FBC, Indialantic, for the highest number of Training Awards in the Association the other for the highest percentage of the church membership receiving Training Awards.
During the year to follow, the Church continued to have good attendance at Sunday School clinics, Vacation Bible School clinics, and other Association-sponsored activities. Several more awards were made by the Association in recognition of these achievements.
A new sound system was purchased in February 1977. This was improved in later years and is adequately serving the needs of the Church at this present time.
On March 22, 1977 Vickie Layne represented the First Baptist Church of Eau Gallie and Brevard Baptist Association at the State Regional Better Speakers' Tournament. She placed second in the competition. The library continued to grow and was adding new audio/visual equipment during this period of time. A complete set of William Barclay's Daily Bible Study Series was given to the library in memory of Lavona Frisch's sister, Sue Moody.
A recommendation was made at the April 6, 1977 business meeting to employ Greg Brewton as a summer youth worker at a salary of $125.00 per week. The Church approved the motion. In May 1977 the Church paid off a $2,500.00 bond on the pastorium loan. New air conditioners were purchased from S & O Air Conditioning, Inc. of Rockledge, Florida in September for the sanctuary. The first Sunday night in October was designated to be Annual Business Meeting for the purpose of presenting highlights of the Annual Report to the Association.
It was voted to reroof the sanctuary on November 23, 1977. The shingles would be fiberglass with a 10-year warranty. In December 1977 the minutes record that "Rev. Kennon noted the good spirit in the congregation and the financial success during the previous year and is looking forward to more growth and a faith emphasis as bills are paid off."
In January 1978 an award was presented by the pastor on behalf of the American Cancer Society to the Faye Taylor Circle for their efforts through the years in making cancer pads.
Several items of interest appear in the February minutes. "The Deacons, in concurrence with the Pastor, recommend that the Easter Offering be given to the Brevard Baptist Association to be used in the Barefoot Bay Mission activities." Mr. R. H. Graham,
Properties Committee Chairman, recommended the acceptance of individual donations to purchase 100 green padded chairs for use in the Fellowship Hall. Both recommendations were approved. Mr. Graham also accepted on behalf of the Church the "Most Beautiful Church" award presented by the City of Melbourne. This was the second time in the prior several years that the Church had received this award.
In March 1978 the Church voted to install central heat and air conditioning in the nursery building and two-story educational building. A suspended ceiling was also approved for the first floor of the two-story building. New lighting was also added.
An Associational Media Workshop was held at the church on the first of May 1978. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss new materials issued by the Southern Baptist Convention on the planning and operation of Media Centers. Ten media persons attended the workshop.
A request was sent to the Church dated July 13, 1978 from Lake Crest Community Baptist Church requesting the ordination of James H. Steele. The request was approved and the pastor was authorized to form a presbytery to examine Brother Steele for the Gospel ministry He was recommended for ordination and a lovely ordination service was held on August 20, 1978.
In August 1978 the tape ministry under Bill Doss had begun to take shape. Brother Doss continued this vital ministry until September 30, 1988 having served faithfully and well. Only heaven will record the extent of the ministry of the Word of God through the tapes for the pastor and the Church.
It became known to the congregation that Rev. C. K. Byerly, a former pastor of First Baptist Church and now quite elderly was in need. The Church voted to send financial assistance to him as a love gift. Also the Church has helped its ministerial students financially through the years.
At the September 6, 1978 business meeting "Rev. Kennon recommended that we pay off the existing mortgage on the three- story educational building, which mortgage includes all the church-area property, approximately $3,000.00, enabling us to burn the note or a copy of the same on High Attendance Day, the last Sunday in October. Motion carried."
The Church was continuing to prosper financially. The balance in the treasury increased each month while the debt had decreased. By November 1978 the treasury showed a balance on hand of $17,454.63 and the pastorium debt at $22,500.00
It was during this time that the pastor felt led to share with the people that giving to the Lottie Moon Foreign Mission Offering needed to be a matter of faith. The offering was set to be taken in one day in a Missions March. The people responded warmly and the offering on Victory Day was $5,667.82. The Lottie Moon Offering has grown tremendously until the present time.
The April 1979 minutes show that Vickie Layne was recommended for a ministerial grant to Stetson. Vickie is now Mrs. Mike Dell and her husband is the Organist and Associate Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Alabama. The Church also voted to retire the debt on the pastorium. This made the Church debt free and it would remain so until the present time. Steps were also being taken to purchase an Allen organ. The organ, Model 301, was purchased at a cost of $16,900.00.
Eldon Moen resigned as Music Director on October 31, 1979 to be affective December 31 1979. The Church approved "a resolution of grateful appreciation for Eldon Moen's faithful and professional services to our congregation."