177 Years of History and Worship

By: Liza Park
By: Liza Park

"I can't imagine what it must have been 177 years ago. Thank God that you've lasted," exclaimed Dr. John Sullivan, the Executive Director of the Florida Baptist Association.

"Amen!" replied the congregation.

If the walls of Indian Springs Baptist Church could talk they could recount American and southern history as it unfolded in Tallahassee.

"Our church was originally founded in 1829, and the building we worship in today was built in 1854," explains Greg Roberts, the pastor of Indian Springs Baptist Church.

"The present day church here was built in a central location so the slaves could walk to church and this pew is left out. This pew was the slave pew here, and the slaves sat in the back of the church here," says Julian Billingsley.

Eighty-one-year-old Billingsley is a lifelong member of this church as were generations before him.

"My grandfather was born in 1839 and he volunteered for the Civil War in Leon County," Billingsley recounts.

And as the country and people changed from the years before the civil war to the present day, this church has continuously been a place for worship.

"We're the oldest Baptist church in Leon County, the third oldest Baptist church in state of Florida," says Roberts.

"It's been a pillar of the community and you have very dedicated members here," Billingsley adds.

And that dedication just may be the secret of long-term success for Indian Springs Baptist Church. Pastor Roberts also says that several people in the congregation came from out of town to commemorate the church's anniversary celebration.


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