Island View began as a mission of First Baptist Church of Orange Park on July 7, 1957. The mission began in Jacksonville but moved one mile south to Orange Park ten years later due to the building of Interstate 295. There have been three sanctuaries built at the current site. The first sanctuary was built in 1967 and is currently used as the Fellowship Hall. The second was built in 1974 and was completely destroyed by fire (due to a lightning strike) in 1991. The third and current was soon built and then dedicated in 1993.
Several pastors have led Island View through the years. Rev. R. J. Johnson was the first pastor and was called in 1958. Rev. Grady Williams served for more than twenty-five years, from 1961-1986. Dr. James F. Hoffman, Jr. served nearly eleven years from 1987-1998. Dr. William Scott Conner served eight and half years from 1999- 2008. Rev. Richard Phillips then served Island View for two years as an Intentional Interim Pastor. Rev. Kevin Collison began his ministry among us in June 2010, and we look forward to many more years of his leadership.
Island View Baptist Church is located approximately 15 miles southwest of downtown Jacksonville, 1 mile south of Interstate 295 and 3 miles south of the Main Gate of Jacksonville Naval Air Station on U.S. Highway 17 in the Northeast section of the city of Orange Park. The incorporated city of Orange Park is relatively small, with a population of 9,043 however, the surrounding area of Clay County including Fleming Island and Middleburg continue to expand with a current population of 185,000.
Several major employers are located in the area, including CSX, U.S. Government (Navy), Jacksonville Electric Authority, Winn Dixie Food Stores, and the school boards from both Duval County (Jacksonville) and Clay County (Orange Park and surrounding area).
There are several major hospitals located in the Area, including The Mayo Clinic and two trauma 1 hospitals operated in conjunction with the University of Florida, one in Jacksonville and the other in nearby Gainesville. There are many public and private elementary and secondary schools in the area with Clay County Schools ranking 13th of 66 Florida school districts. There are also several major Colleges and Universities.
In addition to the Senior Pastor, Rev. Kevin Collison, other staff members include Rev. Ron Feener, Associate Pastor - Minister of Music, an Administrative Assistant, a part-time Financial Administrator, a full time custodian, a part-time pianist and part-time organist and a full time Director and staff for our Child Care Center.
Located on Park Avenue (U.S. Highway 17) in Orange Park are the Sanctuary, Education facilities and Fellowship Hall. The Sanctuary is a modern facility built in 1993 with a seating capacity of 800, and includes administrative offices, a choir rehearsal room and a small library. The educational facilities were built in 1974 and consist of three separate connected buildings. Two of these buildings were completely gutted and remodeled in 2007-2008. The remaining facilities are continuing to be updated.
MEMBERSHIP AND ATTENDANCE
The church currently has an active residence membership of 330 with the majority of the members living within 15 minutes of the church. Morning worship service attendance averages 150-200. Our congregation has diversity with respect to income, vocation, age and talents.
Currently there is one morning worship service on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Bible study for all ages takes place from 9:15 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. To meet a variety of needs, on Sunday nights the church alternates between small group studies, special events, fellowships, and discussion groups. The church also has a Wednesday night family dinner followed by an informal prayer service/Bible study. The adult choir of 25 to 30 members meets after the Wednesday night supper for practice from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and provides special music at Christmas and Easter. The music ministry has several instrumental musicians who accompany the choir on Sunday mornings and for special presentations. We also have children’s activities on Wednesday night, including Children in Action, Mission Friends and Kidz Muzik.
IVBC Childcare Center: The Child Care Center is a Christian center for approximately 75 children from our community. It is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families. The Director is responsible for its daily operation and the implementation of policies established by the Department of Children and Families, as well as the IVBC Child Care Committee. Funding comes from the tuition fees paid by parents. This ministry is self-supporting.
Young at Heart: This program established in 1976 is a program designed to help the senior citizens of our community with a hot lunch, Bible study and fellowship each Wednesday between September and May. A nominal fee is charged for the lunch making this a self-supporting ministry with an average attendance of about 100 seniors each week.
Deacon Family Ministry: The Deacons are assigned a group of families within the church for ministry and visitation. They keep in contact with these families and assist in notifying the church of any ministerial needs that may arise. They also assist the Pastor in visitation and crisis situations. The Deacons at Island View consist of single, married or divorced individuals and both men and women may serve as Deacons.
Additional Ministry Activities Include: Annual community events such as an Easter Egg Hunt, Vacation Bible School, Trunk-R-Treat, and Turkey Express, a program that takes Thanksgiving meals to those who may not otherwise have one. The first Sunday of the month is “Food Sunday” when we collect items for the local food pantry. We also have a very active and dedicated Women’s Ministry, a special education ministry, and we participate in several other local and international mission projects. There are special musical presentations held throughout the year and advertised to the community. One specific presentation is a visit at Christmas to Moosehaven, a local retirement community.
The church’s current annual budget is $443,000, excluding designated gifts and capital improvement funds. Ten percent of undesignated offerings are given to missions. Since the church has chosen to be dually aligned with the Southern Baptist Convention and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the missions giving is split between the two organizations unless specifically designated. In addition to these organizations the missions offerings also support Quigley House (a Clay county home for abused women and children), BASCA (a home for special needs children and adults), Hosanna House (a home for girls in crisis), and the Clay County Clothes Closet.