By Libby Hopkins
Psalms 91:16 says, “With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.” This Psalm was in the minds of the many men who served as pastors over the Sydney Baptist Church in Dover. The church has been a part of the community for more than 107 years. “The church has had the honor of having wonderful men of God lead them over the years,” said current church pastor, Jimmy Evans. “Men with passion, with vision and purpose and a congregation that loves and backs their pastors for doing the work of God.”
Although official documentation did not begin until 1909, the dream of the church began in 1908 with the Union Church, a few miles from its current location, where it housed both a church and a public school. In 1917, Sydney Baptist Church joined the South Florida Baptist Association in the year the United States became actively involved in World War I, when our country felt the effects of the war. Over the years, the church has seen many renovations in addition to a growing congregation. “Throughout the years, the Lord has blessed us with the financial support necessary to remain debt-free while renovating and refurbishing all the he has provided,” Pastor Evans said. “Although we are proud of all the work, we do so honor the one who made it possible, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.”
If you ask Pastor Evans why his church has had such longevity in the community, he will tell you it’s because of the congregation’s love for the lost. “What makes this church different is everyone has a love for the lost,” Pastor Evans said. “It doesn’t matter where you come from or how you dress. The only thing that matters is that every time you come to church, you see Jesus in all that we do. We don’t put Jesus in a box, we lift him up for the world to see.” Pastor Evans and his congregation do this so they can reach the unreached.
Pastor Evans and his congregation hopes that their church will be a shining light in the darkness of the world and to fill the hearts of the people with the love of Christ. “We want to be know as the place where you come as a friend and you leave as our family,” Pastor Evans said. “In a day in which our churches are getting older, our prayer is that we can reach the younger congregation for Jesus by meeting their needs with our children’s programs, youth events and young couples classes that teach the word in relevant terms.”
If you would like to learn more about Sydney Baptist Church, you can visit their website at www.sydneybaptistchurch.org or call Pastor Evans at 659-1502. The church is located at 1510 Cre Rd. in Dover.