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Southwest Orange Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2020 2 years ago

First Baptist Church of Windermere changes name

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First Baptist Church of Windermere now is known as Family Church, a name change that signals ministry beyond Windermere’s borders.
by: Danielle Hendrix Former Associate Editor

Next time you drive by any of First Baptist Church of Windermere’s four campuses, you might notice something a little different.

The local church recently adopted a new name, Family Church, to accommodate its growing vision for ministry in West Orange County and East Lake County.

On Sunday, March 8, churchgoers were welcomed home at each of the existing four campuses — downtown Windermere, Lakeside, east Winter Garden and Four Corners — as they celebrated the name change. It signifies the church’s mission to minister to people beyond Windermere.

Lead Pastor Chuck Carter said the church has a vision to plant a neighborhood campus within a 15-minute drive of everyone in the area.

“We have people who drive 40 minutes to attend church on Sundays, so we want to bring a campus closer to them,” Carter said. “When you invite your friends, neighbors and coworkers to church, it is hard to tell them that they will need to drive 40 minutes to attend.”

The name Family Church came about, Carter said, because everyone wants to belong to a healthy family. Strengthening families is exactly what the church wants to do, he added. 

“We think the name gives us a clear focus to what God is calling us to do,” Carter said. “We also want to be in neighborhoods where we can be a positive influence and bless those neighborhoods.”

Family Church believes its members and attendees all are one family in Christ. The church aims to provide a sense of belonging to a community of people, as well as to connect multicultural communities of people across its campuses by God’s love.

“When we say family, we’re not just talking about blood relatives,” according to its website. “We believe it’s much broader than that, and we’re committed to helping people discover a new definition of what family can mean to them as a follower of Christ.

“We want our campuses to be a blessing to the community, and each campus will determine the needs of the community and seek ways to meet those needs,” Carter said.

Both the east Winter Garden and Four Corners campuses opened last year, but Family Church envisions more locations based on where present members live, as well as on opportunities that present themselves. According to Family Church staff, the east Winter Garden campus was a deliberate location choice to minister in that area. The Four Corners campus came about by partnering with a church in that area.

“I never want to see a church close its doors, so we are very open to partnering with churches that might be struggling to bring new life to the church,” Carter said.

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Danielle Hendrix was an associate editor for the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com.

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