William H. Hild, Jr. has served as Lead Pastor of FirstSarasota since June of 1997. With God’s help, many things have been accomplished under Pastor Bill’s leadership, including a marked increase in attendance, financial stability and blessing as well as the development of the downtown campus with the addition of new properties and the refurbishment of the existing facility. He believes that pastoral ministry, quality preaching and visionary leadership with innovative programs mostly characterizes his ministry.

A native of Savannah, Georgia, Pastor Bill’s educational background began at Brandon High School. He then went on to Carson-Newman College for a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, and received his Master’s of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theology Seminary at Wake Forest, North Carolina. Pastor Bill started his ministry as an associate pastor at the First Baptist Church of Auburndale, Florida. He has served at the Kathleen Baptist Church in Kathleen, Florida, at the Ball Camp Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, and at First Baptist Church in Dade City, Florida. On the state denomination level, Pastor Bill has been a trustee for the Pembrook Foundation of the Florida Baptist Convention and Vice Chair of the Baptist College of Florida Board of Trustees. Pastor Bill enjoys being involved within his local community. He also enjoys reading, fishing, quail hunting, collecting biblical antiquities and archaeology, having studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and participated in archaeological excavations at Tel Migne (biblical Ekron) and Kurshi (Gergesa). He has traveled throughout the Middle East extensively including Israel, Egypt, and Jordan.

Pastor Bill has been married to 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 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 and who is presently attending Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C.

Pastor Bill is a person of vision and ideas. God gifted him with leadership qualities that help bring people of a local church together to focus on winning people to Christ and teaching them how to develop as Christians. In addition, he gives leadership to ministry and facility development which broadens and deepens the church outreach to its community and beyond.

Bill Hild Blogs

Memorial Day:Where Do We Get Such Men (& Women)?

May 27, 2008 by Bill Hild

Watched the movie, “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” this weekend. An adaption of a James Michener novel about the Korean War. The hero, U.S. Navy Lt. Harry Brubaker played by William Holden dies at the end of the movie along with two other soldiers attempting his rescue. The film ends with Admiral Tarrant receiving confirmation of Brubaker’s death. Alone and introspective, he verbally wonders where Brubaker and all the others under his command could have found the bravery to do what is asked from them. The movie ends with a famous quote: “Where do we get such men?” Couldn’t help but be thankful for our Memorial Day weekend worship service at FirstSarasota. The spirit of our fellowship in support of all those who have loved our country and devoted themselves in service to it is absoulely amazing! Tonya Hutchinson did an incredible job with the music medley, ending with God Bless America. WOW! The spontaneous expression in the early worship service was powerful and touching. Thanks Tonya for the incredible blessing! In the second service we had an amazing number of people who came forward at the beginning of the service to stand in for a loved one or relative who had served America through the Armed Forces and who is now gone. It was a humbling thing to realize the price paid by so many to insure that we can live as we do today! Growing up in a military family, I had friends whose fathers did not come home. In the Air Force, there is an honor reserved for pilot’s called the “missing man” formationa group of airplanes fly in formation with one of the positions vacant and empty. I have watched on numerous occasions as this formation flew over our home or military base in honor of a fallen pilot. It is the Air Force’s way of saying farewell to one of their own. Yesterday we had our day to say in our way, thanks to all the “missing” men & women who served in days past to keep us free!

Remember the joy is in the journey!


Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

May 15, 2008 by Bill Hild

Found the top of my desk today! Things have been piling up for a while now. In the midst of so many details, large and small it is easy to lose touch with the priorities. Keeping the main thing the main thing has been and will always be one of the great challenges for leaders. It is for me. Here are some helpful hints on how to do just that…. 1) Set a time each day, week or month when you stop whatever you are doing to get reoriented on what is important. Write down your goals & dreams, then hide them and pull them out on a systematic basis and see how you are doing. Proverbs 29:8 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.” 2) Develop a method that works for you (a daytimer, a large desktop calender, your outlook scheduler, etc.) to look at the large picture, the next three-four months. Make sure you see the forest not just the trees! 3) Create an environment that consistently reminds you of your primary purpose. Place a picture, a witty saying or some other image or symbol that keeps you centered on God’s priorities in you life. Remember it’s about people not paper! 4) Finish something today! Go out and sweep the front porch. There is nothing so energizing as finishing something. If you have a big project, cut it up into workable parts, but accomplish a part of it today! The wisdom of proverbs say “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1) Of the five thousand new companies that are started each year, only one thousand remain two years later. After five years, only two hundred are left. Corporate consultants say that the common denominator among all those failed companies is that they have no clear purpose; they lack a specific goal and direction. Keep the main thing the main thing! Remember, the joy is in the journey!


“Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!” Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

‘We cover our deep ignorance with words but we are ashamed to wonder, we are afraid to whisper “mystery”‘ A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy