HISTORY OF PASCO COUNTY
Sandhill (Sand Hill) Baptist Church (1882-84)
Copyright by Judith R. Jolly 2015 – Used With Permission
Sandhill Baptist Church, organized in 1882, existed for one year, perhaps three. Located in then Hernando County (present-day Pasco), it was a member of South Florida Baptist Association.
“Petitionary letters were then called for, when letters from the following named churches were presented by their respective delegates, to-wit: Bethany, Sandhill and Goodhope, in Hernando county . . .” (1882 South Florida Baptist Association Minutes, page 3)
The 1882 South Florida Baptist Association’s statistical table lists Sand Hill with 13 members and a $2 contribution. The church’s delegates were J. I. Spivey and J.B. Trowell.
“We notice that Sand Hill church desires the ordination of brother J. I. Spivy to the ministerial office, we would advise that church to consult a Presbytery of ministers, in regard thereto.” (1882 South Florida Baptist Association Minutes, page 5)
In 1883, the Sand Hill church is listed in the church statistics table, but with “no letter nor delegate.” The membership of 13 repeated the prior year’s report. In 1884, the Sand Hill church is listed in the finance table but with no report. It is not listed in the church statistics table.
No further mention of the Sand Hill church occurs in South Florida Baptist Association, nor was it one of the churches that withdrew to organize Hernando Baptist Association in 1885.
The location of the short-lived, small church remains a mystery. It is possible that Sandhill (Sand Hill) church was on the west coast of (then) Hernando (now Pasco) county in an area known today as Aripeka Sandhills Preserve. It is west of U.S. Highway 19 near Aripeka and Hudson and “includes dense hardwood swamps and piney sandhills.”
Judith Richbourg Jolly Dade City, Pasco County, Florida April 20, 2015
Chair, Board of Directors Florida Baptist Historical Society