Our Story

Founding Pastor

Jim & Esther Wilder

On October 4, 1987,  Jim and Esther Wilder met with 12 other people for the very first worship service, in a small 103rd Street storefront, on Jacksonville’s Westside.  With a passion to lead others into an authentic pure hearted walk with God, and to know and live in His presence and favor, Jim and Esther embraced a pursuit to find and bring salvation to the lost, heal the broken, and reconcile the misplaced to God’s divine design for their lives.

 

Located in a predominately military community, Westside Family Worship Center provided a place of refuge through worship, word and relationship which was so needed in the lives of military families moving in and transferring out on a regular basis.  26 years later, the passion for serving this Westside community has not diminished, rather remaining faithful to the call of loving and reconciling families to God’s purpose.  

 

The ministry has adapted through the years and changes as military closures (ie. Cecil Field NAS) were followed by years of a gutted, gang and ghetto environment.  In 1990's, the ministry was able to purchase property and build facilities with a master plan for the future.   As the city of Jacksonville implements a long-term redevelopment plan (including new schools, better zoning, new residential communities and business enterprise zones), Westside Family Worship Center anticipates great opportunity for expanded ministry moving forward.

 

Grateful for God’s faithfulness through the years, Westside moves forward with renewed vision to Honor God, Develop People and to Share Christ here at home and around the world, until He comes!