Our History

Faith Baptist Church came to life in 1979 when a small group of about twenty-four adults and young people banded together to form a church fellowship where they could honor and worship the Lord.  After meeting in homes and other places for a few years, they called a friend and retired pastor to come and help them properly begin a church fellowship.  This man, Rev. James Godley, and his wife, Thelma, came out of retirement to give themselves to the establishment of Faith Baptist Church.  The church was formed from the beginning to honor God in faithfulness to His Word, and that Palm Bay would "know the Lord."

In 1980, the church purchased a piece of property on Emerson Drive that was just under six acres in size, while incorporating under the name Faith Baptist Church of Melbourne, and committing to the support of their first missionary, Roy "Chick" Watkins, a missionary to Liberia, for fifty dollars per month.  God would bless this early act of love and faith as Faith Baptist would continue to invest in foreign missions.  Presently, the church supports over forty missionaries in prayer and communication, and financially at $100 or $150 per month.

The first building for worship and ministry was erected in 1982.  Though the structure was a simple building forty feet by sixty feet, the church was overjoyed to have a place to call their own and mark for ministry.  That same year a young man by the name of Louis Schulz was called as Youth Pastor, who came and began a bi-vocational ministry, working three days a week to supplement a small salary.  Pastor Schulz became Senior Pastor the following year when James Godley retired and served in the church as an assistant until his death.  Pastor Schulz's fruitful ministry at Faith continues to this day, as he presently serves in his twenty-seventh year as Pastor.  The Ladies Missionary Fellowship, a group committed to the organization of supplies and aid to missionaries also began in 1982.

In 1983, charter members Al and Linda Knipfer left for Bob Jones University to train for ministry, and then returned in 1991 to serve the church.  Al became an assistant to the pastor and LInda worked in the office. Al and Linda continue to serve in the ministry at Faith to this day, Al as an assistant pastor and Linda as an assistant in the Education ministry.

The church began a music and choir ministry in 1984 under the leadership of Fred Paulison, who served as a lay music director for seventeen years before moving away.  Thomas Burkett, another lay leader, led the music ministry for six years after Fred's departure until Jason McGrath came to the staff in 2005. In 1987, the church officially changed its name to Faith Baptist Church of Palm Bay.

Faith's third pastoral staff member came in 1990.  Ernie Merritt was called as the church's second youth pastor, later becoming the Minister of Children and Family.  The Lord used Ernie and Melissa's impacting ministry for sixteen years, when they were called to the Fundamental Baptist Church of Escondido, California, in 2006.

In 2005, Jason McGrath was called as an associate pastor to minister in the areas of music and administration, and in 2008 Matthew Thomas was called as a pastoral intern to minister in the area of youth and children's ministry. He  was added to the pastoral staff in 2011. 

Presently, Faith Baptist Church gathers every Sunday as approximately 300 worshippers, and at various other times in smaller groups.  Having gone through five building programs in the last thirty years and subsequently becoming debt-free, Faith Baptist has used its facilities to advance the Lord's kingdom work in numerous outreach ministries such as AWANA, Vacation Bible School, Harvest Festival, Missions Conference, and many other smaller-scale events.