Tri County Baptist Church was started as a handful of people desired a local assembly of believers in their own neighborhood based on the Great Commission of Matt 28:18-20 and Baptistic distinctives, principles and traditional practices. They asked then-retired Pastor J.O. Purcell if he would consider helping them form a church – he and his wife Juanita prayerfully joined the others and eleven Charter Members established TCBC. The Church met in the Spruce Creek Professional Center, Summerfield, FL and had their first service December 5, 2002.
The ministry grew at a consistent pace under the Purcells’ love, leadership, and priority of biblical teaching and preaching. The small “church family” atmosphere and loving fellowship drew others into the ministry – they had to start going to two Sunday services within few years. Pastor Steve Poludniak was called by the church as Administrative Pastor, and he and his wife, Becky, started in January of 2007. Land had been purchased on Rolling Acres Road and designs for a first building phase of site work and an 8,000 S.F. building construction finished at the end of 2007. The church had their “moving day” to Lady Lake to start using the current site in January 2008 with room for about 350 people in the main sanctuary. God has blessed and the church became debt free in 2013 for the original construction and the building was then expanded by adding 1,800 S.F. of classroom and administrative area in 2014.
The church continued to grow and quickly filled especially during the winter months making two services again required. In January 2010 Pastor David Johnson and Susan came and for three months prepared a “daughter” church-plant to form a new church with about 40 people over the winter months. Woodbridge Baptist Church was planted on the southwest side of The Villages with the blessing and support of TCBC. God continues to use WBC in the north Wildwood area.
Pastor J.O. Purcell asked the leadership of the TCBC Deacons to form a Pastoral Search Committee in 2014 to help find and lead the church in transition to find a new pastor. Pastor George Prinzing was called in late 2014 and he and his wife, Michelle, started on January 1, 2015. A retirement day marked Pastor Purcell’s transition to Pastor Emeritus and Pastor George’s Installation as pastor leading TCBC into the next stage of ministry and service. October 2015 will be marked by the beginning of two morning services on Sundays (hopefully a year-long need in future) and approach to grow as much as possible at our current site and building. TCBC will maintain a strong focus on local and global missions’ emphasis for the church – expanding new ministries and community outreaches are also desired for the future – come grow with us!