Two churches merge into one
After months of prayer and planning, Tomoka Christian Church of Ormond Beach has merged with Palm Bay Christian Church.
On Jan. 3, 2017, Palm Bay’s independent status was dissolved and the two churches began sharing the name of Tomoka Christian Church. Sunday services in Palm Bay have continued during the transition at 10:30 a.m. weekly.
Plenty of fun, family-friendly activities are scheduled in Palm Bay to celebrate the partnership. The church is kicking off the new partnership not just with a launch day, but a launch season featuring the theme "This is Game Changing."
David Fitzgerald has been hired as campus pastor, overseeing the needs of the church family at the Brevard county campus, at 344 Emerson Drive NW. Its Sunday services feature live and live-streamed messages by Pastor David and other pastors from the Ormond Beach campus, where Joe Putting serves as senior pastor.
Pastor David formerly led First Christian Church of Winter Park. His 12-year tenure at the church began in 2004 with the position of children’s pastor. Over the years, he was promoted to youth pastor, to associate pastor and finally to lead pastor.
"I am honored to have been asked to partner with Palm Bay Christian Church," Pastor David said. "We want to reach people, love people and point people to Christ, because only He can save us."
The Palm Bay campus reflects Tomoka Christian’s mission mentality: Bringing the hope and love of Jesus to those locally and abroad who are struggling, marginalized or seeking connection. The church’s guide are scriptures such as Acts 15:19: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God."
"Our vision as a part of the body of Christ is to change the generation that we live in," said Pastor Joe. "We need to do everything in our power to help people find Jesus so that they are prepared for eternity."
In addition to Pastor David, the staff in Palm Bay includes an office manager and a maintenance director. In the coming weeks, two additional staff members will join them: a children's ministry director and a worship leader.
Palm Bay’s original building was dedicated in 1983, while an addition was constructed in 1998. Maximum capacity in the 56,000-square-foot facility is 1,194. About 120 people regularly attend weekly services. The building is situated on 3.5 acres located in an area of sprawling subdivisions. The Palm Bay facility presently is undergoing interior restoration and redecoration.
The church shares space with Palm Bay Christian Preschool, which the church launched in 2003. About 50 children attend the school. It will continue under its present name. Safety and décor upgrades are in progress.
Tomoka Christian Church is online at www.tomoka.cc. The Ormond Beach campus may be telephoned at (386) 677-6455. The Palm Bay campus may be reached at (321) 724-0491.