Since 1952, Lakeside Presbyterian Church has been a congregation of men, women, and children in the south end of West Palm Beach, Florida, who have been dedicated to carrying out Christ’s commands to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as we love one another.
We are a diverse community of disciples of Jesus Christ. We are cradle Presbyterians and sojourners from other Christian traditions. We are charter members and new believers. We are nonagenarians and newborn infants. We live and work in the south end of West Palm Beach, and we are scattered from Jupiter to Boynton Beach and from Palm Beach to Royal Palm Beach. We are retired, we are raising a family, and we are single. We are plumbers, accountants, homeschoolers, teachers, professors, paramedics and businessmen. We are native Floridians and we come from almost every state, as well as from countries such as: Norway, Argentina, Cuba, Colombia, Trinidad, Lithuania, Sweden, Thailand, Spain, Scotland, and beyond.
Every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. to we come together from north and south and east and west as one family of faith as we seek to worship and serve the triune God.
There is a place for you at Lakeside, and we would be honored and blessed by your presence among us!
Over 60 years ago the session of the First Presbyterian Church of West Palm Beach, under the leadership of Dr. Winslow S. Drummond, set up a survey looking forward to the possible organization of a new church in the south end of West Palm Beach. Following World War II there was a great deal of new construction and new families moving into an area south of Southern Boulevard and east of the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks. In September, 1951, Reverend Richard E. Neumann of Rosco, New York, made a house-to-house survey and conducted several morning services in the homes of First Presbyterian Church members living in the south area of the city.
On October 29, 1951, Reverend Neumann reported to a group of interested Presbyterians at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph E. Williams on Colonial Road. This report was so promising that the session of First Presbyterian Church elected to proceed with the necessary steps for the formal organization of a new church. A number of young couples and families from First Presbyterian Church of West Palm Beach and the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Worth made up the new congregation. This group became too large for home meetings and the Braille Club located on South Dixie Highway agreed for the new group to use their building without charge. Sunday school and church services began in the Braille Club in November, 1951 with Reverend Dr. Charles B. Wingerd supplying the pulpit under the direction of the Presbytery’s Committee on National Missions.
In a congregational meeting the name of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church was adopted by a vote of 23 - 9 because of the fact that the new church hoped to be in the area of Forest Hill Boulevard. The new group continued to meet at the Braille Club and Reverend Richard E. Neumann was installed as the first pastor on February 25, 1952. On that same date, the Charter Membership Roll was adopted with 67 new members. On February 12, 1953, Circuit Judge Joseph White legally incorporated Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, USA.
The Session took a leap of faith on October 31, 1953 and signed a contract to purchase a very beautiful piece of property on Lake Worth for the total sum of $18,276.00, where the church now stands. This property was 152 feet on the lake and 412 feet deep. At that time Flagler Drive dead-ended at Edmor Drive and the property was paid for by February 28, 1954. However, the entrance to the lot was still blocked.
Effective February 28, 1955 Reverend Neumann resigned and was replaced by Reverend C. J. St. Clair Jeans. At that time the church membership numbered 158 with 129 children enrolled in Sunday school.
On October 18, 1955 the Session authorized a building fund canvas for the new church building and thereafter requested permission to borrow $60,000 for the first unit. Ground was broken on June 3, 1956 for the construction to be known as “Fellowship Hall”; it would cost approximately $75,000 with a seating capacity of 400 persons and would include Sunday school classrooms, kitchen, lounge and church office.
On November 19, 1956 the Session changed the name to Lakeside Presbyterian, USA, a name most befitting the location on beautiful Lake Worth. Dedication of this first unit was held on December 9, 1956 at which time church attendance was averaging 159 worshipers. In fact, because of the growing Sunday school and crowded conditions, Lakeside Presbyterian Church undertook the building of a second floor to the wing of the first unit for additional Sunday school classrooms. The Reverend Jeans resigned in 1957 and was replaced by the Reverend Donald W. Scott as pastor on April 1, 1958. Reverend Scott continued to serve until February 15, 1970 and Lakeside Church continued to grow.
In March of 1960 the church mortgage was retired after a capital funds campaign. The campaign continued during 1962 and 1963 and a congregational meeting in November, 1963 authorized building plans and construction of the new sanctuary. Ground breaking for this sanctuary took place on April 26, 1964 at which time the initial ground breaking took place with the entire congregation pulling a plow symbolizing that it would take the help of all members for this project to be successfully completed. The present sanctuary was dedicated November 29, 1964, with the central theme of the three interlocking circles indicating the eternal Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Reverend Harold Ogden served in the pulpit from August 1, 1970 until August 31, 1977. He was replaced by the Reverend Robert L. Piper, Jr. who was installed on July 1, 1978 and died as a result of an unfortunate accident on December 29, 1983.
From July 16, 1985 to December 31, 2006 we were very fortunate to have the Reverend Robert J. Collins in our pulpit and as our pastor. In 1996 the congregation had a Project 2000 campaign, raising $1,000,000.00 for a new wing adding Christian education classrooms and new office space for the pastor, as well as repairing and remodeling the kitchen. The new wing was dedicated on November 7, 1999 and included a memorial walk with the names of many supporting members. At that time the original twin cross on the steeple was replaced with a new lighted Celtic cross which shines out across the Lake Worth Lagoon.
Following Reverend Collins' retirement, interim pastor Reverend Donna Wrzescz served Lakeside from June 3, 2007 through June 1, 2008.
Reverend Ryan Baer began his ministry on June 2, 2008 and served until October 7, 2012. In February of 2012, Lakeside celebrated it's 60th anniversary.
Reverend Nathan McConnell served Lakeside as interim pastor from 2013 through 2015.
Reverend Beverly Brock, daughter of members Nancy Brock and Harlan Carroll served as interim minister form 2015 to 2017.
In March of 2017 Reverend Jack Noble joined our church to lead us into the future.
Time line of Lakeside:
- On February 24, 1956 our church was born when the Forest Hill Presbyterian Church was incorporated, which later became Lakeside Presbyterian Church;
- In 1964 the present day Sanctuary was built;
- In 1987 major renovations were done;
- In 1999-2000 the 2-story southeast wing was added that we now call the Christian Education building, on the second floor of which the church offices are currently located.