Our History

Gulf Stream Baptist Association was organized on May 30, 1948 after quite a bit of discussion.  Nine churches came together in the first annual meeting on November 9. Those churches, in order of the history of their organization as churches, were: First Baptist, Ft. Lauderdale; First Baptist, Deerfield Beach; First Baptist, Delray Beach; First Baptist, Pompano Beach; First Baptist, Dania; First Baptist, Boynton Beach; First Baptist, Hollywood; Dania Heights; and Immanuel.

During the early years, the association shared a missionary with other southeastern Florida associations.  Since 1953, with the arrival of Al Dawson, the association has had its own ministry leader (though Dawson worked with the then Palm Lake Association for a number of years).  Dawson was one of the most significant figures in the history of Gulf Stream Association for two primary reasons.  First, he served Gulf Stream for longer than any other associational executive.  26 years. Second? Tanna.  Al's wife.  She continued to minister in Gulf Stream as a member of First Baptist, Ft. Lauderdale in many positions (State Board of Missions, Board of Trustees, WMU Director) even after Al went home to Christ.

Dawson was followed by Peyton Moore.  Rev. Moore served from 1980 to 1985.  Under his leadership, the association's office was moved to a central location: 20 NW 46th Ave. in Plantation, Florida.  This is important because, after a series of moves initiated in the early 2000s, the offices have returned to this same central location.  Moore would take a similar position in Texas in 1985. Additional information about Rev. Moore can be found here.

Peyton Moore would be followed in 1986 by Dr. Joe Courson. Courson would serve for the next five years.  Dr. Courson passed away in 2007.  You may find a copy of his obituary here.

One of his most significant decisions would be to bring aboard Bill Hinds as his Associate and Director of Volunteerism. Hinds would follow Moore as director in 1992. 

John W. Fleming came to leadership of Gulf Stream Baptist Association in May 1999.  He retired after 8 years as Executive Director. John continues to exert influence in the arena of assocational ministry as Congregation Wellness Director of the Montgomery Baptist Association in Montgomery, Alabama.


H. Michael Petty, Sr., joined Gulf Stream Baptist Association as Executive Director from the pastorate of First Baptist Church, Marianna, Florida.  Petty's administration was affected greatly by the impact of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  His love for Haiti is a mark of his missionary spirit.  He left Gulf Stream in August 2012 to begin planting CHRIST Fellowship in Panama City Beach, Florida. In 2018, Dr. Petty returned to associational ministry as Director of Missions for Ridge Baptist Association in Winter Haven, Florida.