We’re Saving a Seat for You

Visiting a new church can be a little scary and overwhelming. We invite you to explore the options below to make your visit something to look forward to.
Maranatha:  Our Lord Comes

The signature tone of the life and ministry of Maranatha Baptist Church is found within its name:  Maranatha.  Maranatha is a Greek word that means "come, our Lord" or "our Lord comes".  Our Lord, Jesus Christ, could come again at any moment.  When He does, He will receive believers everywhere unto Himself.

In anticipation of Jesus Christ's imminent return, Maranatha Baptist Church is here to proclaim the Good News and glorify God by meeting the spiritual needs of Maranatha Village, the surrounding community of Sebring, and many winter residents.  This is accomplished through teaching and preaching the Bible while providing multiple opportunities for Christian fellowship and service.  We are committed to maintaining a good testimony for Jesus Christ in our community by our daily living.

We also maintain a priority focus on domestic and world-wide missions through informational updates, dedicated prayer, and generous financial giving.

We want people everywhere to be ready when Jesus Christ comes again.  Are you ready?  Have you heard the Good News?


Who We Are

We are a unique community of senior believers who strive for an atmosphere of graciousness, a heart of worship, a ministry of discipleship, and a practice of service as we await the return of Jesus Christ.
A Unique Community

We represent a rich mix of backgrounds, occupations, and professions who have served the Lord with distinction either in full-time Christian ministry or in secular jobs and through local churches.

An Atmosphere of Graciousness

We seek to be a community characterized by grace. We pray for and actively strive for grace to permeate every aspect of our church culture. Because we recognize our deep neediness, we desire to extend grace to those in our church family and to the people of our community.

A Heart of Worship

We seek to be a church characterized by a full-hearted, participatory and unified, Christ-centered worship. Because we believe that the worship of the local church should be corporate, we see every aspect of worship as an act of the entire congregation joyfully joining together. We strive to sing, pray, and preach the Word in a way that encourages the participation of the entire congregation.

A Ministry of Discipleship

We seek to be a community characterized by being disciple-making followers of Jesus Christ. Because we believe that the mission of the church is making disciples of Jesus Christ, we strive to pray for and seek out relationships for that purpose.

A Practice of Service

Our practice of service expresses itself in the spontaneous loving care and selfless service regularly showered upon one another, as well as the joyful anticipation of the sound of the trumpet that will accompany our entrance into the presence of the Lord. Maranatha: Behold He cometh!


What to Expect

Walking into a church for the first time can be intimidating, so we want to help you know what to expect when you visit.
What to Wear

We are thankful for a God who does not look on the outward appearance, but upon the heart. He only asks that our apparel be modest.


Since we occasionally have children visiting our church, we offer Sunday School for children ages 5-12. Please notify an usher if you are visiting with children.

Sunday School

On Sunday morning at 9:00am, the church family comes together for Sunday School where we learn God's Word and its application to all areas of life. Following Sunday School, we have a 30 minute break for fellowship before our morning worship service begins at 10:15am.

Service Format

Our service is traditional in format. We sing several songs, offer congregational and pastoral prayers to God, hear Scripture read, and give our offerings and tithes.  We close each morning worship service with a benediction, with the typical service finishing around 11:30 a.m. 


Our service messages are generally expositional, meaning that they seek to systematically work through passages of Scripture, declaring the point of a particular Biblical passage. The practical application of that declared point is rooted in the Scripture passage. Sermons usually last around 35 minutes and focus on the explanation and application of the scripture passage. The preaching stresses the gospel, the Bible's message of God saving sinners through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.


Our music is traditional and conservative. We join in congregational singing of a blend of lyrically rich songs both historic and recent. This is accompanied by piano and organ and occasionally an orchestra. Each week, our choir provides special music to prepare our hearts for the preaching of God's word.

Meet the Team


Ernie Schmidt

Interim Pastor

Dr. Ernie Schmidt began servicing as Interim Pastor in March of 2020.  He was born and raised in north central Illinois where he was saved as a teenager.  He graduated from Pillsbury Baptist Bible College then received his M. Div. from Central Baptist Theological Seminary.  He enjoys both the roles of pastor and of teacher.  He served as pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Lindstrom, MN, Chisago Lakes Baptist Church in Chisago, MN, Grace Baptist Church in Owatonna, MN, Bozeman Baptist Church in Bozeman, MT, Parkers Lake Baptist Church in Plymouth, MN, Sterling Baptist Church in Sterling, AK, and Community Baptist Church in Ankeny, IA.   He taught at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, Northland Baptist Bible College, and Faith Baptist Theological Seminary where he also served as Dean and then later as Interim President.

Ernie also enjoys teaching on-site in the Bible lands. He led two tours to Greece and Turkey where he visited the sites of Paul’s second missionary journey and the seven churches of Revelation. He led 17 tours to Israel sometimes including Jordan and/or Egypt in the tours.

Ernie and his wife Gen enjoy reading and spending time with their two children and their spouses Cyndie (David) Mumford and John (Stacy) Schmidt. Their lives are enriched by their six grandchildren, one of whom is married.

Dwight Turbett

Administrative Pastor

Rev. Dwight Turbett has been involved in full-time and part-time ministry for over 40 years.  His ministry began during his Bible College and Seminary training years in the areas of youth, music, and preaching.  He was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, South America into a missionary family serving in Ecuador.  Upon returning to the USA, his family settled in St. Cloud, MN.   He was saved as a boy of 8 years at First Baptist Church of St. Cloud, MN.  He was baptized by immersion shortly after and was brought into the membership of the church there.

After graduating from White Bear Lake High School he attended Pillsbury Baptist Bible College.    Then he attended Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis.  Since 1974 , his ministry experience has included the pastoral ministry, assistant pastor, school administrator, and doing interim pastoral work.

Dwight and his wife of 50 years, Cheryl, have 3 grown children and 10 delightful grandchildren.  Their two daughters are involved in church ministry.  One is a pastor’s wife.  One is a Christian school teacher.  Their son is in law enforcement.  All three of the families live in Michigan.

Dwight and Cheryl came to Maranatha Village and Maranatha Baptist Church in June of 2018.

Carl Barton

Associate Pastor

Dr. Carl Barton serves as part-time associate pastor with his main responsibility being visitation.  Barton was born in Nauvoo, Alabama in 1941.  He married Selma Anderson Barton of Miami, Florida.  They have three daughters.

Pastor Barton is retired from missionary work having lived in Liberia, West Africa, Australia, Zimbabwe, and before his retirement he worked in the US.  All of his years of ministry were with Baptist Mid-Missions, Cleveland, Ohio.

Pastor Barton has a B.A. from Tennessee Temple University, a M.R.E from Temple Baptist Seminary and a D.Min from Luther Rice Seminary.

He very much enjoys his ministry with Maranatha Baptist Church.

What We Believe

Our beliefs are grounded in the authority of the Word of God. Feel free to explore each bullet in our Articles of Faith as it explains those beliefs.

Articles of Faith

The Scriptures
The True God
Jesus Christ
Holy Spirit
The Fall of Man
The Virgin Birth
Reconciliation for Sin
The New Testament Church
The End Times

35 Maranatha Boulevard
Sebring, Florida 33870

(863) 382-4301


Sunday School - 9:00a
Morning Worship - 10:15a
Evening Worship - 6:00p


Prayer Service - 6:00p


Morning Chapel: 8:00a