First Baptist church of Silver Springs Shores; originally know as “Shore Baptist Chapel” began as a mission sponsored by the Marion Baptist Convention. In February of 1978, it became a mission of the First Baptist church of Ocala.
The first worship service was held, January 19, 1975 at Mid State Federal building; on the corner of Highway 464 and Water road. There were sixteen persons in attendance with Pastor Clyde Harless, Associational Missions Director for Marion Baptist Association presiding.
During the period of 1978 – 1987, the church was experiencing rapid growth in attendance and giving; so much so, that four pastors were called and the need for a new sanctuary was realized. In 1995 plans were being researched and adopted for the new sanctuary.
In 1987, First Baptist church of Silver Springs call Arthur Hoff as pastor. In 1997 plans were finalized for the new sanctuary, and the “challenge to build” program was initiated. The congregation officially voted to erect a building which would contain the sanctuary, conference/rehearsal room, and two offices under the leadership of Pastor Arthur Hoff.
October 26, 1997, the ground breaking ceremony for the new sanctuary was held; following the morning worship service. There were one hundred and fifty (150) members and friends in attendance. The congregation was led in song by Sis Pamela Halsey.
The “Challenge to Build” fund was a success, culminating at the CTB banquet with total pledges equaling $147,314.00 over a period of three years. The erection of the new sanctuary began in November of 1997, and was completed and occupied October 25, 1998. Dedication of the new sanctuary was held November 15, 1998.
In the years to follow, more changes were made. In October 2003, the mission statement became “People reaching people through the power of God’s love”, and the name of the church was changed to Shores Baptist Worship Center. December 2004, Pastor Arthur Hoff resigned after seventeen years of dedicated service to the church and the community of Silver Springs Shores.
During the months to follow; Deacon Sylvester Denton maintained the church with pulpit supply from Marion Baptist Association. The time had come for the church to have its own Pastor, so the congregation selected and organized a pastor search committee. The following members were selected: Deacon Sylvester Denton, Deacon Lloyd Brooks, Deacon Audley Mclean, Sister Ala Leist, and Sister Bernice McDonald. After careful deliberation, the committee selected Brother Harold N. Garner Jr. of New St John Baptist Church.
In August 2005, Minister Harold N. Garner Jr. was selected to fill the pastoral position at Shores Baptist Worship Center. An Ordination ceremony was then held August 28, 2005 at 7:00pm at New St. John Baptist church, and on September 24, 2005 Reverend Garner was installed as the new pastor of Shores Baptist Worship Center and is currently serving the church and the community of Silver Spring Shores in that capacity.