The Christians who are striving to worship according to the New Testament pattern and are known as the Lakeside church of Christ first met on May 7, 1975 in the home of sister Rose Daniel for a Wednesday Evening Bible Study. There were thirty-two present. On Sunday, May 11, 1975 the number had grown to fifty-nine Christians who had decided they wanted to worship God by the simple New Testament pattern in the Orange Park area. Brother Neil Thompson preached at the first worship service on that Sunday Morning. A contribution of $381.00 was collected. With the assistance of brother Jesse P. Tynes, Clay County School Superintendent, the new congregation met at Grove Park Elementary on that Sunday and for the following year and a half was known as the Grove Park church of Christ. On November 1, 1975 the congregation hired its first full-time evangelist–Charlie Wilson. It was during this period the young congregation selected and appointed its first eldership. brothers Neil Thompson and Ron Garner were appointed. Others to serve the congregation through the years as elders have included: Harvey Boyette, George Bessent, Fred Eaton , Bill Wallace, Ron Esterak, James McDonald, Raymond Russell, Harold Cozart, Jerry Zimmerman, Gary Cagle, Jim Kennamer, David McDonald, J.C. Knoll, Mike Plante, Randall Haney, Darrell Crawford, Steve Kovar, Tom Lucas, Kris Ledford, Quent Herring, Juan Luis-Jorge and Marty James.
The congregation purchased land at its present location and issued bonds to construct and move into the building on Moody Road, with the membership doing much of the work themselves on the original structure. This work was overseen by brother Dennis Davis. They met for the first time in the new building as the Lakeside church of Christ in February 1978. In 2004, the congregation issued bonds in order to construct a new 600 seat auditorium which was completed in 2005. Once again, the membership pitched in doing all of the painting ourselves for a savings of over $30,000. The work was overseen by Randall Haney and George Bessent. In 2007 the congregation completed a remodel project, in which the old auditorium was transformed into a fellowship hall; complete with a state of the art kitchen and new offices for the minister and his secretary.
In addition to brother Charlie Wilson, others to serve the congregation in a full-time capacity have included: Paul Savage, Kerry Knight, David Watson, Paul Eubanks, Doug Tackett, Mike King , Joe Wells and Ryan Tuten. John Farber was selected as the congregation’s first associate/youth minister in May 1999 and was succeeded by Tom Lucas and later by Andy McDonald. The congregation has also had many deacons through the years to carry on the daily ministrations and work programs.
Support has been given to missionaries all over the world with predominant support given through the years to the work in Central America and Paupa New Guinea. We are currently the sole external financial supporter of the church in Estili, Nicaragua. In addition to Estili, we currently support Truth for Today, Christian Productions International, and the World Bible School. Over the years, Lakeside has supported the Mount Dora Christian Home, Georgia Christian Orphans’ Home and Rainbow Omega Home for the mentally challenged. We also participate and conduct services for those in the Taylor Care Center. Lakeside holds two gospel meetings annually. We also have an extensive Bible School Program that includes an annual Vacation Bible School, a Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes Program and a Bible Bowl program, in addition to classes on Sunday Morning and Wednesday nights for all ages. Classes are also held on an occasional basis for special interests.
Our benevolent program has also been able to help many through the years who have either had a need on a short term or a longer term basis due to natural disasters or financial difficulty. Our prayer is that as a congregation of Christians (Acts 11:26) we will grow spiritually (Romans 8:6) and be able to further broaden the borders of the kingdom of Christ (Ephesians 5:5,32). On that final judgment day (Matthew 12:36) we hope to be able to hear as individuals, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things. . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21), and that as a congregation we are known for our good works, labor, patience, charity, service, faithfulness, watchfulness and for keeping His word (Revelation 21:2, 9, 13; 22:3).