In June of 1959, Pastor Gerald Cheney left Beaver Street Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, with little money in his pocket but with a huge burden on his heart. He believed that God had called him to establish an independent, Bible-believing, Baptist church in Tampa.
Pastor Cheney rented a local public school building and set out to fulfill the vision God had placed on his heart. Pastor Cheney worked hard, and the Lord blessed. People came to hear the wonderful message of salvation by grace through faith. Many were saved, baptized, and added to the membership of West Gate Baptist Church.
Under the leadership of Pastor Cheney and several of his successors, West Gate Baptist Church enjoyed many good years. Pastor Bruce E. Turner was invited to preach a revival meeting at West Gate. After preaching at West Gate, God began to stir the heart of Pastor Turner to leave a ministry that he had planted in Boston and go to West Gate. He surrendered to the Lord's call and became the pastor of West Gate Baptist Church in August of 1988.
In addition to the thriving church ministry, the campus of West Gate Baptist Church is home to West Gate Christian School, a K3-12 school. It has graduated many great students who are serving the Lord throughout the world.
In 2003, God expanded Pastor Turner's ministry at West Gate to include Florida Baptist College. In 2004, the Lord blessed West Gate with the opportunity to purchase 10 acres of land contiguous to its current campus. This additional property provided the land necessary for a new auditorium, much-needed office space, and classrooms for Florida Baptist College.
In 2010 following the leadership of the Holy Spirit of God, Pastor Turner stepped down from the pastorate of West Gate Baptist Church. Pastor George Pirt was immediately called to be the pastor of this great church. Having seen so prominently the hand of God in the ministry of West Gate Baptist Church, great anticipation exists to see God's hand work even more in the years to come at Florida Baptist College under the leadership of Pastor Pirt.