In 1954, our church began as Normandy Baptist Temple. The first pastor was at the church for only a brief time. In 1955, Dr. W. A. McMillan was called as our pastor. He was influenced and trained under the ministry of Dr. Lee Roberson. After the invitation of the church, he moved his wife and daughter from Athens, Alabama, where he was the pastor of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church. He was the epitome of the word "faithful." For forty-five years, he was our pastor. During that time, our church's foundation of strong doctrine and a love for missions was established. Before his retirement, he recommended changing the name of the church. In May 2000, after prayer, counsel, and the approval of the congregation, we became the West Jacksonville Baptist Church. Dr. McMillan went home to be with the Lord in December of 2011. We cherish his memory and have the joy of knowing we will see him again.
Over those years, God sent many good men to serve in the ministry. In 1992, our current Pastor, Dr. Rodney Kelley, resigned from a pastorate in Birmingham, Alabama, and joined the pastoral staff. In March of 2000, he was elected unanimously as the Co-Pastor of the church and to be the pastor after Dr. McMillan.
On December 31, 2000, Dr. McMillan literally passed the torch of the ministry to Dr. Kelley in a very symbolic and touching service. Since 2000, God has continued to bless our church. Souls continue to be saved, as the church moves forward for the glory of God. Under our pastor's direction, and because of the goodness of God and the faithfulness of God's people, we have seen our missions giving increase and our missionary outreach has more than doubled.
We have healthy ministries that include all ages and more are coming. We have increased our properties and are preparing for future growth. We are grateful for the heritage of our church, yet we have not forgotten that we must continue to serve the Lord fervently today. God has been good to us, and we anticipate a great future whether here on earth or in heaven with the Lord.