In November of 1998, with a handful of people, no buildings, and no money, Pastor Brian Hammond started The Church at South Lake with the desire to become a church for the un-churched. Understanding that many people don’t attend church because often it is “boring” and “irrelevant”, The Church at South Lake opened its doors with 18 people who were committed to showing people an accurate picture of God.
Driven by the belief that people really do matter to God, the church has grown from its initial 18 people, meeting in an 800 square foot room in 1998, to our permanent location on the corner of Hooks St and Hancock Rd. where people from all walks of life can fit in and find their place in God’s story.


At The Church At South Lake, our vision is simple… to help people find their place in the story of God. This simple vision lies at the heart of everything that we do as a church. But to really understand what we mean by this statement you must realize that knowing God extends beyond just believing that He exists or simply knowing certain things about Him. It is not about church attendance or obeying certain rules in hopes that He will give you special favor or blessing. We want to know God in a way that changes us. We believe that having a relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, actually changes who we are as we understand God’s story in the world and our place in that story.



To know God is to love Him. Through Christ’s love poured out on the cross we have been shown what love truly is and have been called to offer our love to Him in return through our personal and corporate worship. As in any relationship, love and affection grow as you come to know God more, which is why we place such high value on teaching the truth of Scripture to give every individual an accurate picture of God.


We value the image of God in everyone and believe that an essential part of living in connection with God is living in a renewed connection with each other. At South Lake, love for others is exercised through Compassion and Community.
COMPASSION / We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth by loving and serving those who are hurting.
COMMUNITY / We were created to live in community with one another, carrying each other’s burdens, sharing our possessions, serving, suffering and celebrating together.


We are each called not only to respond to the message of Jesus, but also to embody that message through the way that we live our lives. We do this by leveraging every opportunity, every commitment, every influence, every dollar and every relationship to further God’s mission of restoring and redeeming His creation. We believe that our salvation is not just about us; rather, it is about what God wants to do through us for the sake of the world. Our partnership in the kingdom of God infuses everything that we do with new meaning and significance, enabling us to live with purpose.


As we look into the scriptures, we come to know the Author of Scripture. Biblical truths become a window into the heart and mind of God. In today’s culture that tells us, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, just as long as you believe,” or “The important thing is to be sincere,” we believe that truth still matters. Even if the quantity of your faith is great, if the object of your faith is not true, then it is useless. God is personal and seeks a continuing love relationship with us that is both real and personal. He has told us about Himself and what He requires of us. The rich knowledge of God is expressed through His Word and we are called to center our lives around its truth.

The Bible is the historical record of God’s interaction with humanity, actually written by men but inspired by God’s Spirit and contains no error in it’s teachings. Understanding each of the 66 books in their unique and original context, helps us to interpret their meaning for us today. It is truth provided for the believer as a tool to know the heart of God. It reveals the plan, purposes and will of God for all time.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual and personal Being; the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver and Ruler of the universe. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit with distinct personal attributes but without division of nature, essence or being.
God as Father is the Sovereign Creator of Heaven and Earth. He is the Giver and Sustainer of life, the seen and unseen. He is all loving, all just, all wise and all powerful. He is the true God and the One who judges righteously and tests the heart and mind.
God as Son is the perfect representation of the Father in human form. He is fully human and fully divine. He is equal with God the Father but humbled himself by taking on the form of a servant and became obedient to a death on a cross. He knew that only through the shedding of His blood, as the sinless Lamb of God, could our forgiveness be secured and our shattered relationship to our Creator be restored. He arose on the third day following His death, as He declared, and now lives and reigns with His Father in glory awaiting His final triumphant return. He lives in all believers as the living, ever present Lord.
God as the Holy spirit convicts the world of sin and unrighteousness, works in the life of each believer to produce Godly character qualities and demonstrates Himself in the life of the church through special abilities given to each believer to carry out the work of the church. He is Comforter, Teacher, Wisdom and Counselor.
We believe that mankind was created in the image of God to share in a unique relationship with Him but became alienated in that relationship through sinful disobedience. As a result, humanity has fallen from its original state and is incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through it’s own efforts alone.
Salvation is a miraculous work of God in response to humanity’s inability to regain a right relationship with Him. It is a free gift of God that is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. It was obtained by the subsititutionary death of Christ on the cross for our sin and His righteous life attributed to us. We believe that those who repent, forsake sin and trust Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and made new.
Grace is the unmerited favor of God. It shows us His goodness. All who have trusted Christ and are set apart will never fall from grace but will endure to the end. True believers may sin and grieve the Holy Spirit, but they will be kept by the power of God in a relationship with Him.
Sin is any action that is contrary to God’s holy perfection. Sin separates us from a relationship with God, and is deserving of judgment and punishment. When one becomes a believer, he is free from sin’s penalty of death but not from sin’s temptation. A battle rages within the believer between the carnal and spiritual natures. Sinning grieves the Holy Spirit, brings shame on the cause of Christ and hinders a believer’s relationship with God and others, causing the believer to endure the consequences of his sin.
The church is a community of believers brought together by the Spirit of God to carry out the Great Commandment by practicing the Great Commission and observing the two ordinances of the church – baptism and communion. Each church is an autonomous body operating under the leadership of Christ as the Head of the Church.
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change that has occurred in the life of the believer. It is an identification with Christ; to the Church, oneself and the world, by picturing his death, burial and resurrection. While not essential for receiving salvation, it is the first commandment a Christian is given by the Lord and is an important step of obedience.
Communion is an opportunity for personal examination and reflection as we observe the “Lord’s death until He comes.” The bread and cup are symbols of His body and blood, which were broken and spilled out for our salvation, and are taken in “remembrance” of Him.
Worship could be defined as the redeemed person contemplating and praising God in his holy perfection. It can be expressed in many different ways, and is in no way restricted to the walls of the church building. It goes beyond simply singing songs of adoration, into our daily lives and our moment by moment attitudes and decisions. Both reverential adoration and committed service are prominent expressions of the Biblical concept of worship.
Spiritual gifts are abilities granted to every believer, at the point of their salvation, enabling them to fulfill a unique function within the church. Every Christian has at least one, determined by the Holy Spirit. We believe in the importance of helping Christians identify and develop the spiritual gifts they received at salvation, in order that they may minister in the church in ways that are both fruitful and fulfilling. We not only believe that each church ministry should be based upon spiritual giftedness, but that it is best expressed through groups or teams of people with like hearts. {1 Corinthians 12: 7, 11, 18}


The Church at South Lake is an independent, self-governing, local church led by a team of Directors, made up of our pastors and elders.



Realizing the importance of the Biblical example of being linked with other churches for the sake of teamwork, unity, effectiveness and accountability, The Church At South Lake is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Alliance with this organization provides accountability, opportunity and exposure to the largest association of churches in Florida and the U.S., as well as some of the best thinking in churches today. It allows us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.