Historic Markers Across Florida

Conway First Baptist Church/Fort Gatlin

Marker ID:  
Location: on S Conway Rd south of Gatlin Ave, Orlando, FL
County: Orange
Coordinates: N 28° 29.674    W 081° 19.860
  28.49456666    -81.331
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMK6TM


Conway First Baptist Church

The Conway First Baptist Church was organized in 1910 and first housed in a clubhouse on Arnold Avenue and Anderson Road. In February 1911, the clubhouse and lot were sold or exchanged for five acres of land owned by the Matthew Burkett family. Church members donated money and labor to build the congregation's first church on the newly acquired land. During the next decade, additions such as a wood-burning heater, pews, and white paint improved the little frame building. A variety of pastors made long trips to the church, some even crossing Lake Conway by boat, until a full-time pastor was hired in the late 1920s or early 30s.

Construction of Sunday school rooms was started in 1940 and on May 4, 1941, a homecoming day was celebrated with ten classrooms dedicated. In the fall of 1949, the Business Men's Class of First Baptist Church of Orlando gave $1,500 requesting it to be donated to Conway Baptist Church for building purposes. Much support and sacrifice led to the dedication of a new sanctuary on November 19, 1950.

Fort Gatlin

Fort Gatlin was built in November 1838 during the Second Seminole War. It was named in honor of army surgeon Dr. Henry Gatlin who was killed at the beginning of the war in the Dade's Massacre. The fort stood on a triangular piece of land surrounded by lakes Gatlin, Gem Mary, and Jenny Jewell. Its location made it easier for the army to protect it from attack. Typical of Florida forts, it was constructed of pine poles fitted close together with a peephole about every five feet. The fort was an outpost that was part of a supply line for army troops rounding up Seminoles, who were resisting resettlement in the West. The army protected Fort Gatlin for eleven years during which times skirmishes between settlers and Indians occurred. After the fort was abandoned in 1848, settlers remained, and the area was still referred to as Fort Gatlin.

Richard T. Crotty, Mayor-Linda A. Stewart, Commissioner District 4-Orange County Board of County Commissioners


More Information:
Wikipedia - Seminole Wars
Florida Center for Instructional Technology - Seminole Wars