In 1894, God, in his infinite wisdom, gave Sam Burkett a vision. This vision was to build a church where family members and others who wished could worship the “True and Living God.” Sam knew that in order for a church to be built there must be land on which to build it. Therefore, he donated the land at the comer of Third Avenue and Parker Street here in Bartow, Florida for the church to be built.
Since Sam needed help to construct the building, he conversed with Isaac Chapple, the father of Leonard Chapple and the husband to Lela Chapple. In agreement with the vision that God had given Sam the two men came together and made plans to build the church. From the fruit of their labor, one would be inclined to believe that they must have stood on the words of Matthew 18:19 which says, “Again I say unto you, that two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”
Although they were not contractors, they had a reverence and love for God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They used their God given skills and talents, bought and hauled lumber and any other needed materials to build the church.
The first Burkett Chapple Church which was a wooden church building was built by Sam Burkett and Isaac Chapple in 1894. It was organized by the Reverend B.J. Jones, Trustees of the church; Sam Burkett, Nelson Johnson and K. Swindell, Deacons of the church; I.C. Chapple, L. Hill, K. Swindell and the Reverend J.G Washington who was the pastor. Thus the name of the church was none other than Burkett Chapple Primitive Baptist Church. The 1900 Tax Roll for Polk County Florida Property shows that Sam Burkett paid the taxes for the church.
Nancy Burkett, the sister to Sam Burkett was the grandmother of Mother Genette Daniels, great-grandmother of Dr. Sheila Daniels-Jones and Dr. Velenaia Daniels-Koffi (former member), great-great grandmother of First Lady Dr. Monique Jones-Floyd and Jamar Curtis (former member). Today God has blessed four generations (Genette, Sheila, Monique, and Milania) to still be an active part of this great legacy. “To God Be The Glory.”
Before the church had a pool for baptism, candidates and members (who wished to go) were taken by members’ trucks and baptized in the lake located East of Highway 60. Every “Sunday Morning” before Sunday School children of Lela Chapple, Lela Davis, Annie Harris, Deacon Steve White and Lula Woodruff (church pianist) would meet in front of Burnett’s store to buy candy. This site is now the Willie Jones’ Parking Lot. During Reverend Bullard’s era, it was customary that when a member of Burkett Chapple died, Deacon Lewis Hill would go to the church and ring “the bell” to let the people of East Bartow know that Burkett Chapple had lost a member.
In 1952 the current sanctuary was built under the leadership of Elder Spencer P. Kilpatrick. At that time there were three Deacons; Deacon Lewis Hill, Deacon Willie Jones and Deacon Jerry Wheaton, four Trustees; Trustee Berry Allen, Trustee Ernest Green, Trustee Will Jimerson and Trustee A.C. Williams. The Financial Secretary was Mrs. Ollie Burkett Boykins (Sam Burkett’s granddaughter) and the Recording Secretary was Mrs. Viola Williams.
Former and current Pastors include the Reverend J.G. Washington (1894 – 1938), the Reverend Ennis N. Bullard (1938- 1945) the Elder Spencer Paul Kilpatrick (1946 – 1995), Elder Lawrence W. Moore (1995-2013) and Elder Marcus D. Floyd (2014-Present).
Our current Pastor Elder Marcus D. Floyd was called and elected unanimously by the members of Burkett Chapple Primitive Baptist Church to serve as pastor on January 13, 2014. He was officially installed during a special installation service on April 6, 2014. Moderator Charles L. Hendley of the East Florida District Primitive Baptist Association officiated and delivered the installation sermon.
Pastor Floyd’s leadership has led to the growth of the church spiritually, numerically, and financially. Pastor Floyd has implemented new ministries that reach people of all ages. Under his leadership, the Go Ministry for community outreach, the Marriage Ministry for those who are married or engaged, the Seniors Ministry for those 65 or older, the Sewing Ministry which makes dresses for children in Africa, the Diamond 2 Diamond Women’s Ministry led by First Lady Dr. Monique Jones-Floyd, and an accountability system have been implemented. The church building has been painted and a new roof has been installed under his leadership.
Elder Floyd serves faithfully in and outside the walls of Burkett Chapple Primitive Baptist Church. He is a proponent of “life-long learning” and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He serves faithfully in the East Florida District Primitive Baptist Association and was elected in 2015 as the Bible Expositor for the Church School Convention.
Pastor Floyd is technologically gifted and works diligently to ensure that Burkett Chapple Primitive Baptist Church has a social media presence. He created the church’s website and maintains it with constant updates. The church also has a PayPal component on our website that was created by Elder Floyd to allow donations to be made locally as well as world-wide. Also, prayer requests can be submitted to Pastor Floyd through our website. He also created and maintains Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages for Burkett Chapple. Elder Floyd named the weekly announcements section of our service, the “BCPBC News” and uploads the dynamic broadcasts to our social media sites weekly. He also has secured an on-line church component for Burkett Chapple Primitive Baptist Church to ensure that individuals throughout the world have access to our Christ-centered and spiritually uplifting church services.
Elder Floyd is a loving pastor who has been gifted by God to be able to preach and teach in a way that touches the lives of individuals of multiple generations. He leads with a servant’s heart and creates a loving, family type atmosphere for all. Pastor Floyd encourages each member to reach their fullest potential in Christ.
Pastor Floyd is married to Dr. Monique Jones-Floyd. They are the parents of one daughter, Milania (MiMi) Floyd.