Our History

On the banks of Lake Mystic, where the Moran’s property is now, stood a wooden schoolhouse, which also served as a church building for all the Christian denominations in the area. As differing beliefs on doctrines and religious views occurred more and more frequently within the congregation, the Baptists were the ones that broke away to form their own church.

They were off to a good start with John Morgan donating the land for the church and cemetery. Mr. Durham gave the members a big cypress log which was buried on the banks of the Apalachicola River, and it was from this log that the boards and shingles were made for the little wooden church that was built to the north of the present building.

The first pastor, Steve Revell (who had only one year of education) served 20 years. Some of the charter members were Steve Revell & wife, John Revell & wife, Jeff Bateman & wife, Reuben Strickland & wife, Henry Strickland & wife, S. T. Singletary & Wife, Olivia Revell, Martha Jane Strickland, Nora Strickland, Minnie Bateman, Sally Floyd, Sally Michaux, and A. W. Turner. Services were held the 4th weekend of every month with a business meeting on Saturdays and worship for 1 ½ hours on Sunday with Sunday School at 2:30 in the afternoon. The first Sunday School Director was Odie Strickland. During this time the Sunday School experienced rapid growth growing to an enrollment of 60.

In the early 1900s, an evangelist by the name of Shuler led a revival for two weeks, at which time thirty members were added to the church roll. The deacons collected money around town and paid the evangelist $600.00 for his two weeks of work. Mr. Shuler showed the members at Lake Mystic the need and possibility of a new and larger church.

The new sanctuary was built at the latter part and close of World War I, with the expenses being paid with borrowed money from Mr. Will Lewis. The members were met with a heavy debt as the area hit on hard times, and they were about to lose the church until an agreement was made with Mr. Lewis, whereby he would accept farm products to help settle the debt. After many donations from the members and some deductions from Mr. Lewis, the debt was paid off. Special services were held with a big dinner for the community, and the mortgage was burned.

In 1940 the W.M.U. was organized during the ministry of G.T. Hunt. Dr. T.O. Reese during his tenure as a pastor led various revivals in the church and during his ministry, LMBC planted its first church, which became the First Baptist Church of Bristol. During the ministry of H.B. Lytle, they moved to meet every Sunday and established the Baptist Training Union as well as Royal Ambassadors, Girls in Action, and Sunbeams. As well, after this time LMBC worked to plant Wilma Baptist Church and Florida River Baptist Church.

In 1955 the church was donated the land by Mr. J.O. Ogle on which the parsonage was built. In 1972 under John Cain plans for two phases of construction were drawn up. In that same year, the first phase was completed in the remodeling of the sanctuary. In 1991, under the leadership of Don McCutcheon, the current sanctuary was built and dedicated. In 2004 new staff offices, nursery, and educational wings were built. In 2007 the fellowship hall was renovated. In 2010 the bus barn was built.

The people of Lake Mystic Baptist Church have a deep love and passion for Missions. Annually we take up the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. As well, two of our former pastors have served on the mission field as IMB missionaries, Rich Elligson and Clyde Roberts.

In 2000, under the leadership of Clyde Roberts, the church took a group to Mexico. For many of them, this was their first international mission trip. In 2021 a group went to New Orleans to partner in disaster relief work, evangelism, and service with Harvest Church, a church plant.

The last few years have been difficult for our nation and our community. In October of 2018, Bristol along with many other communities in the Panhandle was hit hard by Hurricane Michael. However, even during dark times, God continued to show Himself faithful with members being able to serve their community. In March of 2020 our community, like the rest of the nation, was impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Even with everything closed, God was still moving and working through the people of LMBC. On Easter Sunday the first “drive-in” service was held and slowly began the process of returning to corporate worship. Since 2021 services have resumed and members have been seeking to get outside the walls of the Church.

In 2022 the folks of Lake Mystic have continued to reach out and love their community. In the last year, Lake Mystic Baptist Church has partnered with Corinth Baptist Church and the Florida Baptist Convention to replant Sumatra Baptist Church. The second annual Love Liberty County weekend was hosted where in conjunction with revival services, the church gave out bibles, hosted a blood drive, hosted a free yard sale, and provided a free car wash. During this time, over 400 people in our community were served, 2 baptisms were conducted, and 3 people joined the church. As well, we returned to a weeklong VBS that was held after being shortened due to the pandemic. Seven children gave their life to Christ during this week.

God has been faithful to Lake Mystic Baptist Church throughout the years. Over the last 133 years LMBC has been able to lead hundreds of men and women to Christ; give millions of dollars to local, national, and international missions; and raise up and send out members to full-time Christian vocational ministry. LMBC continues to be a church that seeks to build God’s kingdom.