Michael D. O’Neal
Pastor, Glenwood Baptist Church
4597 Tunis St.
Jacksonville, FL 32205
(229) 886-3796 – Pastor’s Cell
I was saved at the age of 14 (Feb. 11, 1968), and I surrendered to God’s call to preach at the age of 18 (Mar. 20, 1972), four months after I had married and six months after I had joined the U.S. Navy for four years. In 1972, I left the Southern Baptist Convention, never to return. From that day to this, I have not regretted that decision. The SBC was an apostate denomination with a corrupt Cooperative Program when I left it in 1972. It has not gotten better over the years.
Although I did not pastor, I did preach through my tour of military duty. God allowed me to preach on radio (I had a daily radio program on my ship as well), on the street, and in churches. My pastor, Jim Fellure, was kind enough to allow me to preach in the main service of our church about once a month in those days. I served as a bus captain, preached in junior church, taught Sunday School, and followed my pastor wherever he went. For about two years I stood a 24-hour Navy watch; then I was off for three full days. On those off days I went where my preacher went and did what he did. I value those years greatly.
Upon discharge from the Navy in 1975 I started pastoring my first church. I have pastored continuously, only independent Baptist churches, since 1975.
My training has been nearly entirely hands-on. During my Navy hitch, my pastor took me with him on all kinds of visitation and counseling calls. He allowed me to have a part in nearly every ministry our church had. He took me to bookstores, taught me how to study, and helped me build up a library while I was still in the Navy.
While in my first pastorate, the Faith Baptist Church in Bay Minette, Alabama, I attended a Faulkner State Junior College, and I was in my first year of Troy State University college extension classes when I took another church in another state. These classes were taken on the GI Bill, and, except for the opportunity to witness, were almost worthless. I was pursuing a degree in English Secondary Ed (since it was part of my GI benefits) in case I needed to teach on the side while pastoring. Through the years I have developed a disdain for state education of all sorts, and I would not now teach in a state school, period.
In my second pastorate at Emanuel Baptist Church in Sylvester, Georgia, I did correspondence work with Faith Bible Theological Seminary in Milton, Florida, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Theology.
I started Gospel Light Baptist Church, in May, 1986. We had over 26 wonderful years there. I left there to become pastor of Beacon Baptist Church in Lancaster, SC on Oct. 1, 2012. While pastor there I earned a Doctor’s degree in Theology from Anchor Theological Seminary in Texarkana, AR, with my commentary on the book of Jonah serving as my doctoral thesis. I left there to become pastor of Glenwood Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL on Mon., Aug. 10, 2015. My wife and I are very excited about witnessing and ministering to the multitudes in this city and encouraging the saints of God at Glenwood! If the Lord and the people here will let me, I would like to pastor this church until He calls me home!
My ministry and philosophy no doubt are greatly influenced by the first impressions I received after my call to preach, although fundamental Baptists have changed a lot as a group since then. I believe in
1. salvation by grace through faith;
2. the scriptures, inspired, infallible and inerrant, not only in the original writings, but in the King James Bible today;
3. separation from sin and worldliness;
4. soul-winning as the thing that causes rejoicing in heaven;
5. steadfastness (1 Cor. 4:2) as the key to pleasing the steward’s Master;
6. sacrificial service as the key to knowing and doing God’s will (Rom. 12:1,2); and
7. the second coming of Christ as being imminent, that is, the Rapture, possible at any moment, preceding the Revelation by seven years.
Mrs. O’Neal, my first and only wife, and I have two daughters, Grace and Joy, and four granddaughters, Hope, Melody, Hannah, and Jordan. Mrs. O’Neal and I were married Nov. 19, 1971.
My main desire is to please the Lord Jesus Christ and to make Him known to others. Please pray for us! God willing, on the first Sunday of October, 2015, I will celebrate the privilege, as well as responsibility, of 40 YEARS of pastoring Bible-believing, fundamental, independent Baptist churches!