In the summer of 1980, Pastor Rick Dinoff and his family moved to Toms River, NJ. for the purpose of starting an Independent Baptist Church. They spent several months visiting and sharing the gospel with families in Toms River. On November 30, 1980, Ocean County Baptist Church held it first church service in the East Dover Elementary School. The church had its Charter signing service in 1981 with sixteen families signing as Charter Members. Under the leadership of Pastor Dinoff, the church continued to grow. In 1982 they purchased the property on which the church is presently located for fifty-nine thousand dollars. The ground breaking ceremony for the first building, 8,352 square feet, was held on June 20, 1982. The congregation of our church would meet there and pray over the land for God’s blessing. The construction was financed through a bond program. Later they set up a thirty year mortgage with two points under Prime and redeemed all bonds.
In September 1986, Pastor Earl Thompson became the Pastor of Ocean County Baptist Church. The church continued to grow and the facilities needed to be expanded. The church approved a 6,693 square foot building consisting of classrooms and a fellowship hall. In 1992, while maintaining their present mortgage, they built the four hundred fifty thousand dollar addition, debt free.
In September 1995, Pastor Michael A. Weigel became the Pastor of Ocean County Baptist Church. Since his coming, the church has experienced consistent growth numerically, financially, and spiritually. Many new ministries were started: Bus Ministry, Nursing Home Ministry, Master’s Clubs, Youth Detention Ministry and the Deaf Ministry.
On the church’s twentieth anniversary, November 2000, the mortgage was paid off. The Sunday morning attendance has grown from two hundred in 1995 to four hundred in 2004. The Faith Promise Missions has also grown from forty-five thousand per/year in 1995 to one hundred thousand per/year in 2004. Since 1995 until the present there has been four hundred twenty-six people saved and three hundred thirty-one people baptized.
After six years of prayer, God opened the door for the establishment of a Christian school. In August 2003, the Ocean County Christian Academy (OCCA) began with eighty-three students. Because of the growth of our Sunday School and OCCA, the fellowship hall was converted into classrooms in the summer of 2004. The church approved a fifteen thousand square foot addition consisting of a gym and classrooms. Ground breaking for this new addition was on November 21, 2004. It was in September in 2005 that we were able to begin to use the new classrooms and gym. What a blessing for the Christian school and expansion for our Sunday School. November 2010 marked our thirtieth anniversary. What a privilege it is to see that after thirty years of ministry, the church is still evangelizing the sinner, edifying the saints and exalting our Savior.
- Pastor Rick Dinoff – came in 1980
- November 30, 1980 – church began.
- Church rented and meet at the East Dover Elementary School
- Organized in 1981 with 16 families as Charter Members
- 1982 Purchased 8.5 acres for $59,000.00
- Broke ground on first building – June 20, 1982
- People gave, worked, and prayed to complete building.
- Secured a 30 year mortgage at 2 points under prime & redeemed all bonds.
- Pastor Thompson becomes the pastor in September 1986.
- Church grew and the Fellowship Hall was added – Debt Free
- Pastor Weigel becomes the pastor in September 1995.
- Many new ministries were started: Bus Ministry, Nursing Home, Discovery Clubs, Youth Detention Center Ministry.
- 20th Anniversary – November 2000 paid off mortgage.
- 2003 approval was granted for a new building & a Christian School.
- August 2003 – Ocean County Christian Academy opens with 85 students.
- November 7, 2004 – church approves 1,200,000.00 loan for new building.
- November 21, 2004 – Broke ground for new building – with $40,000.00 offering.
- September 2005 – Opened the new building
- November 2010 – Church celebrates 30 years of ministry in the Toms River area.