For the past two decades, Pastor William Hild, Jr. has given leadership as Lead Pastor of FirstSarasota, the Downtown Baptist Church. Arriving in Sarasota during the summer of 1997, Pastor Bill has overseen a historic and significant enlargement of the church congregation, local ministries, staff, international missions and the physical campus.
Because of his father’s military career, Pastor Bill grew up traveling to many parts of the U.S. and internationally, including a three year experience in Okinawa, Japan as a teenager. He says that relocating so much, attending fourteen different schools by the time he graduated from High School, helped him gain a great respect for people of various backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences. While born in Savannah, Georgia, Pastor Bill moved from there at an early age. He fell in love with Tennessee while beginning his post high school education at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN and now claims Tennessee as his home state. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Religion at CNU (1978) and then a Master’s of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theology Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina (1982). Pastor Bill has previously served as Lead Pastor at Ball Camp Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee (1982-1992) and First Baptist Church in Dade City, Florida (1992-1997).
Pastor Bill enjoys reading, fishing, quail hunting, collecting biblical antiquities and doing archeology, having taken graduate level courses in archeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and participating in archaeological excavations at Tel Migne (Old Testament Ekron, 1990) , Kursi (New Testament Gergesa, 2004) and Et-Tell (New Testament Bethsaida, 2011, 2016). He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East including Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. He was named curator of the William Hild Collection of Biblical Antiquities on the campus of Carson-Newman University in October of 2016.
He is married to the ‘love of his life’ Beverly Glass Hild since 1979. Beverly is a graduate of Florida Southern College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Speech Communications and a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Tennessee. She had worked as a specialist in the area of speech and language needs of Autistic children since 2001. She is involved in many areas of ministry within the church including teaching an adult woman’s Bible class and working in the preschool and nursery. The Hilds have one son, William (Will) H. Hild, III, a graduate of the University of Florida with a B.A. in Political Science and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C. Will is married to Dr. Cheryl Silverbrook-Hild, MD, Ob/Gyn
You can contact Pastor Bill by email, on Facebook (William Hild, Sarasota, Florida) or call him at 941-365-2846