Vision/Our History

Our Vision

Our vision is to reach the Lehigh Acres community with the Love of Jesus Christ through evangelism, love,concern and compassion.  We will meet people where they are and lead them fulfilling God’s desires for their life!

Our History

Since early new testament days people called by God have banded together in groups.  Often these groups or congregations have identified differing aspects of religion, and have several different affiliations.  Through it all we have become a place where others have found loving relationships with God and his people

In 1959 the New York Committee of the First Baptist Church of Fort Myers made a religious survey of a tiny four-year old community called Lehigh Acres, recognizing it as a mission field.

On June 19, 1960 about 25 members met to establish a mission they called the Lehigh Acres Baptist Chapel, under the leadership of Reverend and Mrs. Milner C. Brittain. The Brittains were formerly missionaries to China.  Services were held in the old Youth Club Building behind the Admiral Auditorium.  A few months later they met in the Auditorium itself.  There a five-class Sunday School was formed.

On January 22, 1961, ground was broken on the Leland site.  On July 2, 1961 the first service was held in the new building.  This included the Sanctuary and extended as far back as the Pastor’s Study.  The program expanded to include Sunday Evening Worship, Training Union, Women’s Missionary Union, and Wednesday Evening Mid-Week Prayer and Bible Study Services.

During the first couple of years, the Chapel hosted the first Community Thanksgiving Service; conducted the first Vacation Bible School of Lehigh Acres; and instituted our own beloved traditions of the Family Night Supper and annual Christmas Cantata.

In August of 1963 the Sanctuary building was expanded as far as the Choir Room.

On December 8, 1964, a Service of Constitution was held wherein the Chapel became the First Baptist Church of Lehigh Acres with 127 charter members. At this time in 2015 all of them have been called home to glory.

Two more building programs were completed.  In 1967 a separate building was raised to include a Fellowship Hall, kitchen and sorely needed classrooms.  In 1984, this building was remodeled and expanded to include more classrooms and a media center.

During the pastorate of Reverend Bill Bricker (1975-1983) the program increased to include a graded music program,  a full Women’s Missionary Union program, a Bus Ministry, Children’s Worship, and the 8:30 Sunday morning service.

Reverend Russell Potter served from the spring of 1984 to April 1986.

Reverend Phil Messinger came to us on Easter Sunday of 1987.  Under his pastorate we experienced a growth explosion through a dynamic Sunday School Outreach program, regular visitation, greater participation in Sunday School Workers Study Courses, and an Evangelism Explosion.

In the spring of 2010 decisions were made that had us working out of an East campus (Leland) and a West campus (Sunshine).  During this time we served approximately 750 each Sunday in two English services and a Spanish Worship service.

In late Fall 2013 Pastor Stephen and others left to plant Grace International.  Those of us who continued with First Baptist Church of Lehigh Acres moved into a rental at 205 Joel Blvd.

Reverend John and Cheryl Fuoss were brought on full-time in 2014. Reverend Hector and Marily Gomez  were brought in at the same time.

July 8, 2015 signed a mortgage for our new home site at 200 Lee Blvd.  With God’s leadership and provision we continue looking for opportunities that will allow us to reach all of Lehigh Acres for Jesus Christ. August 16, we had a combined service (English, Espanol and Children) with 197 in attendance.

As of April 4, 2021 Pastor Fuoss retired leaving Pastor Gomez in charge as we seek another for our pastoral team.

First Baptist Church Lehigh