Elder Reynolds was passionate about planting a church east of the Forest Lake Church. He was instrumental in the planning process and on February 14, 1970, 53 people became charter members of the Orlando North Church. On Sabbath morning, February 21, 1970, the first regular worship service was held in the Longwood Women’s Civic Club Hall. The conference appointed Pastor Marvin Lowman to be the first pastor of this new church.
The street was half sand and half pavement. In the summer we had 2 large ceiling fans and in winter we had a large oil heater. Those in charge of the preparation would arrive at 6:30 Sabbath morning. There were no pianos, but a couple of our members brought guitars for music. A small closet-size room normally used as a kitchen was our cradle roll room. We cleaned this as well to use for our cradle roll room. The other children met under the trees for their meetings, weather permitting.
One Sabbath a man from the Episcopal Church next door asked why all the activities for the children were outside. When told, he said, “This will change!” The next Sabbath the pastor of the Episcopal church invited our kindergarten and junior classes to meet in 2 designated rooms at their church at no charge, even though we offered to pay.
Home Of Our Own
God richly blessed our new church and it grew rapidly in those first few months. By September of 1970 enough funds had been raised to purchase a nearly five acre lot for approximately $14,000 from the North Orlando Land Company who had set aside some lots for purchase by churches.
Fundraising endeavors and sacrificial giving on the part of the members continued, and on April 15, 1973, ground breaking ceremonies were held for a new church facility. On February 3, 1974, open house was held and regular worship services were conducted. On February 10, 1979, this house of worship was dedicated to the glory of God debt-free. Soon after our church’s completion the county named the city Winter Springs, and so the Orlando North Church was renamed the Winter Springs Church.
Part Of Our Family
God continued to pour out His blessing upon the Winter Springs congregation. More and more members continued to join until the original facility was filled to overflowing. Winter Springs recognized a need for a church in Markhamwoods. So, similar to our beginnings, we planted 25-30 people from our membership in 1980 who planned and helped to execute the purchase and building of their new church. The planted church was first called Wekiva SDA Church and is now Markham Woods Church.
As God’s blessings never cease, neither did our growth. The church was again filled past capacity. So in 1983 a decision was made to greatly expand the church building. The sanctuary was virtually doubled in size and numerous educational rooms as well as a large social hall were added. These additions, along with other renovations, were approximately $692,000. Because of the united efforts and sacrificial giving of the Winter Springs Church family, we were able to dedicate the expansion and give glory to God for the liquidation of this debt on January 17, 1992.
Before 2000 our church had already grown to the capacity of its new facility. Winter Springs began discussing options with a sister North-East Orlando church, Seminole Meadows to determine the best plan of action. These discussions culminated in 2006 when Seminole Meadows and Winter Springs voted to unify churches.
A Leap Of Faith
In May 2007, this newly united body of Christ voted to build a new facility on the Seminole Meadows property. By January 11, 2008, within just a few weeks after listing the property, the sale of Moss Road property sale was final. In fact, we received $500,000 over our asking price.
Since we sold our church to a Jewish congregation, our plans to rent from those who purchased our church were changed. The church this Jewish congregation had moved from was now occupied by The Masters Touch congregation. They welcomed us to rent their facilities and we moved in. Unexpectedly we were blessed that our new rental location was next door to our sister church Markham Woods.
Our New Home, Phase 1
By May 2008 an additional $1,000,000 was sacrificially committed from within our church membership. In September 2008, divine timing provided an opportunity to purchase an adjoining property at a reasonable price which allowed an entrance to the property while the facility was being constructed.
Mirroring our beginnings, on August 29, 2009, the Winter Springs Church officially changed their name to the Spring Meadows Church to reflect their new location. On May 1, 2012, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for our new church facility. On June 23, 2012, we will dedicate phase one of our new church facility to the glory of God.
Our Sanctuary, Phase 2
Similar to our beginnings, phase two will be completed several years from now.
Since its beginning in the early 1970s, this church has been reaching out to its neighbors in food distribution, free health seminars, and classes for home and family. We formed the neighbor children into basketball teams, provided resources and counseling to their parents, etc. Our church social hall became a voting precinct for Seminole County, as well as a meeting place for our civic leaders. We held Vacation Bible School nearly every summer and some summers we sponsored day camps for children. We recognize God’s calling to continue and expand these ministries in this new facility he has provided. With God’s help, we plan to use our resources to reach and save.
This passion for others soon reached outside the borders of the US, beginning with frequent humanitarian trips to Central American and Caribbean orphanages. Every year (except one) since the very early 1980s, this church has sent members out to foreign lands (24 countries to date) to build churches, to conduct medical and eye clinics and Vacation Bible Schools and to preach the Good News.
To date, over 50 churches and schools have been built or paid for by the efforts of Winter Springs Church volunteers. The motto of the Winter Springs mission outreach program is “Lighting Our World”, and that is exactly what God has done.
Orlando Lopez May 2014 to Present
Frank Ottati May 1, 2011 to May 2014
Bob Boggess April 1, 2010 to May 1, 2011
Rick Pleasants July 24, 2001 to April 1, 2010
Gus Scheuneman July 11, 1994 to May 14, 2001
Jim Davidson 1992 to January 24, 1994
Marvin Williams June 4, 1984 to 1992
Ken Coonley April 16, 1979 to January 16, 1984
Ron Bentzinger June 10, 1972 to February 19, 1979
Marvin Lowman February 14, 1970 to May 24, 1972
Ted Bair, Julius Garner, Judy Anderson, Susan Kaeser, Conference membership documents, 1992 dedication program