Our History

Wayside Baptist Church has been serving our community for over 30 years.  Please check out this brief history.  

Wayside's Humble Beginnings

From the very beginning, Wayside’s was assembled by a group of Christ-minded individuals who saw the need for a Bible-believing church in eastern Lake Wales. We began as a prayer group under the name of Wayside Chapel that was led by the pastor and staff of Frostproof First Baptist in July of 1985.

At first, this small group would meet in a local residence for prayer and Bible study. These Tuesday meetings began to grow in number and soon they found themselves searching for a property on which a building could be constructed. Three acres of land was purchased just one year after the group was founded. This property fronted Camp Mack Road and was purchased from Progressive Homes Inc. Financial resources were donated by friends, Ridge Baptist Association, and the Florida Baptist Convention.

Groundbreaking took place on February 1, 1987. Many friends provided hours of their time in the construction of the facility. Upon the building’s completion, the first service was held on October 4, 1987, and a formal dedication of the debt-free chapel was held on November 1, 1987.

Wayside Chapel became Wayside Baptist Church by congregational vote on March 18, 1992. Since the church was founded, it has had three pastors.

A New Chapter for Wayside

The current pastor, Herb Schlenker was voted in by the congregation in January 2008. The church has witnessed numerical growth, but more importantly, it has experienced spiritual growth.

In addition to the main building that houses the sanctuary, offices, kitchen, and nursery, an annex was built behind the church to create more classroom and fellowship space. Wayside has plans for a newer, larger, and state-of the art facility in the near future. The lot next door was purchased in an effort to provide more space for the larger building.

In 2012, a new state-of-the-art LED sign was installed thanks to a generous donation. The sign informs those who drive by the church of our ministry times as well as important events. In 2015 a pavilion was built also thanks to a generous donation. This pavilion has become a central hub for church events including:

  • Annual Easter Sunrise Service
  • Youth Activities
  • Church yard-sales
  • Special Events
  • Church Picnics

Most recently, our building committee envisioned a high-quality playground that would provide a safe place for families with young children to play. A 30′ by 8′ Noah’s Ark themed playground was installed inside a secure fence. The Ark Playground was formally dedicated on August 19, 2017 along with the church pavilion. The Ark is an outward display of our inward commitment to upholding the truth of God’s Word.

The Future of Wayside Baptist Church

Our main focus is always to fulfill the Great Commission and we often refer back to the three pillars of the Church.

1.  The Exaltation of God

2.  The Edification of the Body

3.  The Evangelism of the Lost

 While growing numerically is important, it is even more vital that we continue to grow spiritually.  Through our various ministries, we are constantly improving how we serve Jesus Christ and the community of Lake Wales.