OUR STORY SO FAR…
In The Beginning
In the spring of 1995 Max and Dot Tucker called a meeting at the Ridge Manor home of Carl and Myrna Hauke to discuss the formation of a Christian church in the Dade City area. At the first official meeting on April 23rd, 1995, eleven people gathered in the home of the Tuckers. Tom Schmitt of Chancey Road Christian Church officiated the meeting and the name “Dade City Christian Church,” was chosen. It was decided that they would continue to meet each Sunday night in the Tucker home at 8 PM, until a suitable location in downtown Dade City was located. Shan Wood, Loran Dace, and Tom Schmitt all shared leadership responsibilities for the evening services on alternating Sundays. On the evening of August 13th, 1995, both the Tucker and Hauke families officially transferred their membership to Dade City Christian Church at the first meeting at the new location at the Blanton Methodist Church building. Thirty five people were in attendance that night including several local ministers. The congregation would continue meeting at that location until moving again in January of 1996 to the “Jazzercise” building on Pasco Ave. in Dade City.
After nearly a year of local ministers filling the pulpit, the congregation decided to hire Mark Craven a student from Florida Christian College to come and minister along with his family. At that time Dot Tucker was the teacher and nursery care giver for the children. Myrna Hauke played the organ and filled in as a secretary. Max Tucker taught Sunday School and performed a variety of roles in worship services. Pat and Pam Mitchell, as well as other members of Chancey Road Christian Church and Zephyr Christian Church offered assistance to the church in many ways. Mark Craven and his family concluded their ministry in June of 1996. A new student minister from Florida Christian College named Darrin Long came with his family to fill the need on June 2nd, 1996. During that time, Ralph and Nancy Fisher moved from Tampa to Dade City, and became very active in serving in the church. Nancy helped in the nursery and teaching of the children. Ralph, a former minister, helped in a variety of ways. Darrin’s ministry with the church concluded in October of 1997.
In November of 1997 Ralph Fisher took over as minister. At that time the church membership was about 20 people and things were changing. Debbie Milton, owner of the “Jazzercise” building sold the property on Pasco Ave. and moved to a new location at Market Hill Plaza. It also became evident that the church was in need of elders and by-laws. In December of 1998, the first unofficial board meeting was held and interim elders were appointed and by-laws were drafted. Ralph Fisher continued to serve as minister until March 28th of 1999. On April 4th of 1999, Curt Morelock and his wife Eve came to serve in a temporary capacity, while the church was moving towards buying land and building a facility to meet in.
Building Toward The Future
The membership was growing, with the first official baptisms of Betty Woodard and Gary Cannon taking place in the swimming pool of Kent and Valerie Klause. At that time there was a lot of generous giving from those worshiping at Dade City Christian Church. A significant donation from Don and Peg Chandler provided the funds needed for the church to purchase the property. Frank and Mary Copeland generously contributed foresight and leadership in securing the 6 acres of land on which the building on which it now stands. Also, Frank’s oversight of the construction of our building was invaluable.
In December of 1999, the first official congregational meeting of Dade City Christian Church was held. At the meeting the congregation officially elected Max Tucker, Don Chandler, Ermal Brown and Kent Klause as elders. On February 10th, 2001, the congregation met at the church property on Windsorwood Blvd to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new home of Dade City Christian Church. A team of members led by Max Tucker designed our building plans. Construction of the new building was completed in September of 2001, with the first service in the new building taking place on Sunday, September 9th, 2001. Curt Morelock concluded his ministry with the church after seeing the congregation through the move into the new building. Bryan Wooley became the next minister in June of 2002, while still attending Florida Christian College.
As the church continued to grow additional space was needed and new staff members were hired to fill various needs. Pam Trebour was hired as the full-time secretary. Karen Harden was hired as the part-time Music Director. A portable building was purchased and delivered in 2003 to provide space for classrooms and fellowship events By early 2005, the congregation had decided to seek out a full-time youth minister to keep the momentum of growth moving forward. Andy Frazier was hired as the Youth Minister on April 17th, 2005. The following week, the church celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the congregation, with many of the past ministers of the church returning to share in the celebration.
In December of 2006, Jan Cuddy was hired as the new full-time office manager. On April 8th of 2007, Bryan Wooley concluded nearly 5 years of service as minister at the church. On May 6th of 2007, John Hasty became the interim Preaching Minister, driving from Lakeland twice a week to preach and teach the congregation, along with his wife Ginger. Karen Harden concluded her ministry at the church on January 30th, 2008. On August 31st, 2008 John Hasty concluded 16 months of Interim Ministry at Dade City Christian Church. In March of 2009, Keith Smith accepted the call to become our Preaching minister. We have continued “right on” growing in unity, kingdom work, and Christ. Now that you’ve read about where we have come from, come be part of what God is doing now and where he is taking us in the future!