• In one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Galatians 4: 4,6; John 14: 16-17, 26
  • Our salvation is through Jesus Christ: His virgin birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection. John 14: 6-7; John 5: 24,6: 44-45; Luke 1: 36-28; John 20;
  • The Bible is God’s Word. Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 25;  John 20: 31
  • God desires a personal relationship with each of us though we have all fallen short of God’s expectation of us. This begins with the acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Savior. Romans 3: 23-24; 6:23;  John 3:16-17
  • Baptism by water is an outward expression of the inner spiritual change brought about through salvation. Matthew 3: 3-17; 28: 19-20; Acts 8: 36-39
  • All are welcome to participate in the Lord’s Supper who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, repent of their sins, and seek to live in peace with one another. Luke 22: 7-20; 1 Corinthians 11: 17-34
  • The Holy Spirit guides and directs us to spiritual growth, compassion, and service to one another and the world.                      John 3: 21, 32; Galatians 5: 22-26; James 2: 14-24 John 14: 15-21;


A Bible-based family of faith devoted to building and strengthening relationships with God through Christ while serving the community.


Sometime during the 1930s, a hurricane demolished the three churches (Methodist, Baptist, and Catholic) in Santa Rosa Beach.  People started meeting for worship in homes and public buildings.  In the late 1940s, groups were congealing, and the congregation which was to become The Community Church was meeting in a small building on what is now County Road 393 and Morrell Road.  Visiting clergy ministered to the people.

On May 31, 1948, the deed was signed to a parcel of land donated to The Community Church by Gamble and Leathie Williams and construction on a church building was begun.  All the work was done by volunteers, with no blueprints.  They made their own cement blocks.  The first worship service was held on October 8, 1950.

Additions to the building were made in 1956, 1984, and 1987.  The first addition expanded eastward to allow space for Sunday School rooms and a rest room.  The second expansion extended westward to enlarge the nave.  The third expansion again extended eastward and added offices and a fellowship hall.  The original plot of land was extended southward early in the life of the church by purchase of land from the Williams family.  Other land acquisitions were made in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

Pastor Thorvald Johnson, a Swedish Baptist, was the first full-time pastor of The Community Church.  He served from 1958 until his death in 1982.  Dr. Bob Edgar, a United Church of Christ minister, began his pastorate in the spring of 1982.  His wife, Nancy Drake, had inherited the family house here from her parents who were early members of The Community Church.

Because of failing health, Dr. Edgar resigned at the end of 1985.  Chaplain Robert Hendricks began preaching at The Community Church at the beginning of 1986.  Because of the need for a pastor here, he retired from the Air Force a few months ahead of schedule and answered the call from The Community Church in April.  Pastor Hendricks is a United Methodist minister whose home was Jay, Florida, in Santa Rosa County.  His wife, Barbara Ann Rodgers, was from Montgomery County in Alabama.

In the spring of 1991, Don Ullrich, another retired Air Force Chaplain, was hired as Associate Pastor.  Pastor Ullrich was from New Jersey and his wife, Beverly McFadden, was from Wisconsin.  He is a United Church of Christ minister.

Groundbreaking for the present church building and expanded facilities was on June 28, 1998, and the church was consecrated on October 3, 1999.  In late 2002, Pastor Hendricks retired for health reasons.  Pastor Ullrich, although also ready to retire, stayed on to minister to our church family while we sought a new pastor for our flock.

On October 3, 2003, the church welcomed Rev. J. Pete Hyde as senior pastor.  Pete is a United Methodist minister from Oklahoma.  His wife, Kay, is also from Oklahoma.  Pete and Kay have two grown children, Matt and Kelli.

In early 2010, the church again broke ground to expand its facilities, adding more space to accommodate its preschool, classroom, and meeting space.  The new two-story building, attached to the administrative wing of the main structure, opened in January of 2011, providing much needed space for the preschool, administrative office space, Sunday school classes, Bible study, children’s church, and family ministry activities.

The original church building has been retained as the “chapel” for a multiuse function throughout the year for several of the church’s outreach ministries. The chapel has also been the meeting place for the El Shaddai Hispanic Congregation on Sunday and Thursday evenings for over ten years. We host semi-annual services where the congregations’ worship together in English and Spanish all for the glory of God.

In April 2016, Dr. H. L. “Scooter” Ward, Jr., was hired as the associate pastor and minister of music. His partnership with Pastor Pete help began the start of a worship transition to create an environment for authentic worship that encourages all generations to concentrate on God, connect with Him through Christ and His Church, care compassionately for one another and continue growing in grace and truth. In 2019, the Church’s mission statement was revised with this goal in mind: A Bible based family of faith devoted to building relationships with God through Christ and serving the community.

Pastor Pete will be retiring from his role as senior pastor in July 2020, passing the role of senior pastor to Dr. Stephen Squires in August 2020. Steve is a non-denominational minister from Illinois.  We welcome him along with his wife, Missy, two daughters, Hannah and Josie.

Community Church is an active member of the South Walton Ministerial Association, which seeks partnership with other SoWal churches to build the Kingdom of God. Our weekly Ukulele and Bible study ministry our area’s senior living and memory care facilities continues to grow in its effectiveness. Our church also hosts several organizations throughout the year, including but not limited to Girls Scouts of South Walton, a local AA Chapter, a mental health support group, grief support ministries, KALEO Summer Ministry, various Snowbird events/activities, and an English as a Second Language Ministry.   The summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) is one of our most rewarding ministries.

The Community Church Preschool has been in operation for over 11 years, providing 50 kids (each year) with a head-start to their elementary education. The outstanding cadre of teachers and leaders has ensured the preschool’s continued success and relevance to all who attend. We are continually seeking ways to connect and grow with younger families in our community who do not currently have a local church.

The church believes that missions are the heart of the Great Commission and is involved locally and globally for the sake of the Gospel, providing support to Caring & Sharing of South Walton, Canaan Recovery Foundation, Camel Club, Benevolence & Disaster Relief and partners with Mission Aviation Fellowship, Student Mobilization, Wycliffe Bible Translators, and Samaritan’s Purse. In 2019, the church became a hub for the SoWal drop-off for the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry.

While the church understands it must adapt its methods to reach people in the 21st century, The Community Church stands by its commitment to preserving the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the Light and Hope of the world. Community Church has remained one of the oldest surviving churches in the local area and we pray it will continue to remain relevant and a vital part of our community for many years to come.






The Community Church of Santa Rosa Beach, Inc. is the legal name of this church located at 3524 US Highway 98 West, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida  32459.  For business purposes and daily usage it shall be known by the traditional name “The Community Church”. Herein afterward “Community Church” is used in this document meaning The Community Church.


The Purpose of Community Church is to foster and encourage fellowship in the person and gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to spread the message of salvation to all.


Section 1: Mission Statement:  A Bible-based family of faith devoted to building and strengthening relationships with God through Christ while serving the community.

Section 2: Statement of Faith


  • In one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Galatians 4: 4,6; John 14: 16-17, 26
  • Our salvation is through Jesus Christ: His virgin birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection. John 14: 6-7; John 5: 24,6: 44-45; Luke 1: 36-28; John 20;
  • The Bible is God’s Word. Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 25;  John 20: 31
  • God desires a personal relationship with each of us though we have all fallen short of God’s expectation of us. This begins with the acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Savior. Romans 3: 23-24; 6:23;  John 3:16-17
  • Baptism by water is an outward expression of the inner spiritual change brought about through salvation. Matthew 3: 3-17; 28: 19-20; Acts 8: 36-39
  • All are welcome to participate in the Lord’s Supper who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, repent of their sins, and seek to live in peace with one another. Luke 22: 7-20; 1 Corinthians 11: 17-34
  • The Holy Spirit guides and directs us to spiritual growth, compassion, and service to one another and the world.

John 3: 21, 32; Galatians 5: 22-26; James 2: 14-24 John 14: 15-21;


Section 1: Membership in Community Church shall be open to those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, desire to walk in His fellowship, agree to serve God and the church through their prayers, presence, gifts and service, agree with the church’s Statement of Faith, and agree to abide by the Bylaws of Community Church. Persons may retain their membership in another church and be full members of Community Church.

Section 2: Admission to membership is through presentation to the Board of Deacons and the congregation, by transfer of letter from another Christian Church, restatement of faith, or acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal savior. A personal interview with the pastor(s) will be conducted. Membership will cease upon written request, receipt of a letter of transfer of membership to another church, death or after three years of inactivity with notification sent to last known address.


Government of Community Church is vested in the Membership and shall be exercised through the Church Board, hereafter referred to as “The Board” or “Church Board”  elected by and acting for the Membership, as defined by these BYLAWS.

Community Church may cooperate with other churches or denominations in matters of mutual concern, but shall remain independent.


Section 1:  Qualifications and eligibility to serve on the Church Board. Consistent with the New Testament instructions, Board Members are to be servant leaders of the Congregation. To be nominated to serve as a Board Member, a person shall be an active member who is at least twenty-one years of age and has been a member of Community Church for at least one year. Nominees shall not hold membership in another “LOCAL” church (defined as a church within the bounds of Walton, Okaloosa, Bay and Gulf Counties).  Nominees shall have the qualities of spiritual leadership and good moral character, consistent with the qualifications found in the New Testament, and demonstrated through their actions, including regular attendance at worship services, support of other activities of Community Church and dedicated financial stewardship.

Section 2:  The Board and Term of Service:  The Board shall consist of nine (9) Members, ratified by the Board and elected by the membership for three-year terms at a Congregational meeting. A normal term of service will begin on January 1st of the New Year. These terms shall be staggered so that three people are nominated each year in order to provide revolving membership of the Board.   Chairmanship of the Board of Deacons shall be by election of the Board, with the objective that the office will be rotated at least every two years. Board Members may serve no more than three consecutive terms, after which a lapse of one year is required before a person may be re-elected to another term as a Board Member except when a Board Member has served an unexpired term of less than one-half of a regular three year term, in which case the requirement for the lapse of one year is waived.

Section 3: Responsibilities: The Board of Community Church shall assist the Pastor(s) with the moral and spiritual welfare of its members and those who come within its influence; and in determining the use of the facilities by other groups in the community. It shall assist the Pastor(s) in administering the ordinances, sacraments and in performing any other pastoral ministries as requested by the Ministry Staff. In the absence of the Pastor(s), it shall be in charge of administering such ordinances and sacraments, if needed.  The foregoing responsibilities will normally be accomplished by Board assignments to Chair the standing committees of Community Church such as, but not limited to, missions, worship, Christian education, buildings, grounds, personnel administration, finance, family ministries, fellowship and any others deemed necessary.

Section 4Nominations and Elections: The Chairman shall appoint a Nominating Team at the September Board meeting. The Nominating Team shall consist of one Board Member and two members of the congregation at large, and the Senior Pastor serving ex-officio. On the last Sunday in September, the Chairman of the Board shall announce that the opportunity to nominate Board Members for the following year will be open to the Congregation from October 1st through 31st.  Any Member may nominate as many persons as they desire to fill Board Member vacancies.  These nominations, with the agreement of the nominee(s), shall be in writing and signed by the member who submits the nomination.

Each nominee will go through a vetting/interviewing process to ensure service eligibility as specified in Article VI,  Section  1 of the Community Church Bylaws and that  they meet the qualifications as outlined in Acts 6 and 1 Timothy 3.  Emphasis will be placed on the use of time, talents, finances, support of services, ministries of the Church and gifts in ministering to persons. A personal interview with the Pastor(s) will be conducted.

Upon completion of the interview and vetting process, the slate of qualified nominees will be presented to the Board for ratification and subsequent presentation to the Membership for vote by secret, written ballot no later than the third Sunday in December.  If the ballot has more nominees than available vacancies, the Membership will be directed to vote only for the number of vacancies available.  The nominees receiving the most votes shall be elected. If, after completing the interview/vetting process there is not a sufficient number of nominees, the nominations will be reopened.

Section 5:  Board Member Vacancies:  Any Vacant positions that occur during the year shall be filled at the discretion of the Board.  Due consideration will be given to the time remaining in the vacated term and the ability to conduct the nomination and election process in a timely manner.

Section 6: Replacement of Board Members: If at any time the Board shall find that a Board Member is failing or refusing to function properly, they shall declare the position vacant and report such action to the Congregation.

Section 7: Meetings: All meetings will be open except when an executive session is deemed necessary by the Chairman, Pastor(s) or any three Board Members to deal with such matters as personnel issues, legal matters and other very sensitive issues.  Regular meetings of the Board shall generally be monthly, with due notice to the congregation.  Pastors and staff members may not vote at any Board meetings.  They may vote at all other meetings including authorized Church committee meetings where all-member voting is acceptable.  A majority of Board Members present will constitute a quorum.

Special Board meetings may be called by the Chairman, Pastor(s), Vice Chairman in absence of the Chairman, or any three Board Members, with as much notice as possible, to deal with matters specifically stated in the call. When notice cannot be given, the business transacted shall be reported at the next regular meeting.


Section 1: Board Officers: Officers of Community Church Board shall be the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer and such other officers as authorized and selected by the Board. The Chairman will preside at all meetings of the Board and Congregational meetings. The Vice Chairman will preside in the absence of the Chairman.  The Church Board may select its recording Secretary from among the Board Members currently serving or according to its desires. The Secretary and Treasurer need not be members of the Church Board.

Section 2: Board Secretary: The Secretary is responsible to the Board and shall record and preserve the minutes of all meetings, all reports submitted by various boards and committees; and records of importance.

Section 3:  Treasurer:  The Treasurer is responsible to the Church through the  Board and shall oversee the receipt of all monies and be responsible for the financial records of the Community Church; make expenditures, consulting when advisable with the Board, and keeping accurate records of the same; preserve cancelled checks, receipts, invoices, and other documents; and give a financial accounting at each business meeting. The Church Board may authorize the approval and expenditure of funds by the Chairman of the Board, the Vice-Chairman or the Treasurer, up to a stated maximum level as stated in the official policies, without need to obtain Church Board approval on individual expenditures. The Treasurer shall oversee the records and maintaining of all pledge records and issue quarterly pledge summaries.

There shall be an audit or financial review of the books and records of Community Church at the close of each calendar year and a report made to the membership at a business meeting.


Section 1.  Senior Pastor.  The Senior Pastor serves Community Church and Community Church only, he/she shall provide leadership and direction for all current and future personnel, and shall have jurisdiction over liturgy and order of worship, and counsel with the Board as deemed necessary.  In the Senior Pastor’s absence, the Associate Pastor and/or the Board shall be responsible for the supply of the pulpit.

Section 2.  Calling a Pastor(s).  When the Community Church has occasion to select a new pastor, the Chairman of the Church Board shall, in coordination with the Board, appoint a Pastoral Search Committee, composed of equal numbers of both Board Members and Church Members, to seek candidates, and when narrowed to two or three, present the candidates to the full Church Board for their approval to proceed with contractual negotiations. Once the Church Board has selected the primary candidate, the Pastoral Search Committee shall present the selected candidate to the membership for approval of a call. Approval to call a particular candidate is granted through secret ballot by two-thirds majority of Members in attendance at a Congregational Meeting. Approval shall constitute authority for the Church Board to call such candidate and complete a satisfactory contractual arrangement.

Section 3:  Additional Pastors.  Additional Pastors may be called from time to time and serve on the ministerial staff with specific duties pertinent to the time at which they are hired at the will of the Church Board and under the direction of the Senior Pastor.  The process of calling additional pastors shall be the same procedure used to call the Senior Pastor and all guidelines apply equally.

Section 4: Pastor/Congregation Relationship: If at any time relations between a Pastor and the congregation are unsatisfactory, the Church Board shall counsel with the Pastor to remedy such unsatisfactory relations. If, after diligent and prayerful effort, such relations cannot be changed, the Church Board shall take further action as may be required.


These Bylaws may be amended or revised by a two-thirds vote of the Membership present in any Congregational Meeting, provided such intention has been announced to the Membership two weeks in advance. Changes to these Bylaws shall become effective immediately upon adoption by the Board and Congregation.  These BYLAWS shall be reviewed and updated every four years.


Congregational Meetings shall be held as deemed necessary by the Church Board and shall be announced to the Membership at least two weeks in advance.


The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall govern meetings of the Church in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these BYLAWS or any special rules of order, which may be adopted.

Approved by the Board of Deacons on  April 17, 2017

Approved by the Congregation on June 18,2017.



Rev. J. Pete Hyde
Senior Pastor


Pastor Pete became our Senior Pastor in October of 2003 after spending 20 years as a pastor in the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church. Pete holds a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northeastern State University and a Masters of Divinity degree from Phillips Graduate Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pete is married to Kay and they have two children – Matt and his wife Ashley who live in Oklahoma City, and Kelli and her husband Omar who reside in Niceville, Florida.

Rev. Dr. H. L. “Scooter” Ward, Jr.
Associate Pastor


Pastor Scooter became our Associate Pastor in April of 2016.  He earned a B.A. in Theology from Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, Alabama, and received his commission as an officer in the United States Air Force where he served on active duty for nearly ten years as an air battle manager on the E-3 Sentry (AWACS). A decorated combat veteran, Scooter also received an M.A. in Christian Studies and an M.Div. from Luther Rice Seminary in Lithonia, Georgia, and a Doctor of Worship Studies degree from the School of Music at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  He also serves as the president of the South Walton Ministry Association, a Kingdom-oriented, Christian cooperative of participating churches and parachurch organizations.  He also volunteers on the board of  Gulf Cemetery Association as vice president to assist in management and upkeep of the Historic Gulf Cemetery.  Scooter and his wife, Amy, have been married for seventeen years and currently reside in Freeport, Florida. They both enjoy spending time with family, playing card games, swimming, and walking. When the opportunity presents itself, Scooter loves performing with his big band, Cloud 9 Orchestra, where he creatively shares the Gospel through music in patriotic and Christmas outreach events. He also leads two ukulele orchestras weekly at the church, and they perform monthly as an outreach ministry to two local memory care facilities.

Support Staff

Tiffany Clark
Church Administrator  churchadmin@srbcc.com

Robin Vaughn
Preschool Director

Rob Dickson
Facilities Manager

Jan Rundquist
Church Organist

Brandon Boutwell
Church Pianist


Church Board

Jim Hopson
Board Chair & Missions

Morris Davis
Finance & Vice-Chair

Rob Stainback
Human Resources

Betsy Stout-Jones

Fran Eckert


Dr. Fred Smith

Buildings   buildings@srbcc.com

Jean Rice


Leola McCall
Congregational Care
     Gayle Lockwood

At-Large atlarge@srbcc.com


Community Church of Santa Rosa Beach

3524 US Highway 98 West

Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Located at the northeast intersection of Church Street and US Highway 98 West

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