Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pristine Spring Hill Baptist marks first anniversary with services, community lunch

Regina and the Rev. Emery Ailes. Emery Ailes is the founding pastor at Pristine Spring Hill Baptist Church.

Courtesy of Emery Ailes

Regina and the Rev. Emery Ailes. Emery Ailes is the founding pastor at Pristine Spring Hill Baptist Church.

SPRING HILL — When the Rev. Emery Ailes received his doctorate from Drew University in New Jersey in 2012, he thought he was poised to pastor a large church in New York City. Two years later, he found himself preaching under a tent in Spring Hill.

"We did not have Spring Hill, Fla., on our radar at all," Ailes said. "We were led here by the spirit of God."

Ailes and his wife, Regina, had served in churches in New York and New Jersey. When the pastor of a church they attended in Harlem died, Ailes was ready to become the new pastor.

"I had my eyes and my heart set on it," he said. "I was a member of that Baptist association and thought my path had been blazed for me."

But all that was to change when the couple visited Orlando with their granddaughter after Ailes' graduation. They felt a "pull" toward ministering in Florida, Ailes said. After six visits to Florida, they believed God was telling them to settle in Spring Hill and start Pristine Spring Hill Baptist Church as part of the Florida Baptist Convention and the Nature Coast Baptist Association.

"We found a house and closed on it on Oct. 7, 2013," Ailes said. "By the end of that month the Lord had delivered to us a list of 50 children in this area, whose parents were incarcerated, through a program called Angel Tree. It was through that first list of families that God started to lay the foundation of love and charity for Pristine Spring Hill Baptist Church."

The church's first meeting was a joint service with Antioch Fellowship Baptist Church. Gifts were given to the children and their families.

After a month of holding services in a parking lot along Spring Hill Drive, the church began meeting in the conference room of a local restaurant. Later, it meet in the youth center at Hope Community Bible Church.

A year ago, the church "kind of picked up steam," Ailes said, and several families joined. A service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday will celebrate the first anniversary of the church; another at 5 p.m. will be a pastoral installation service.

"It's a good time to celebrate all the Lord has done," Ailes said. "Also, now that we are a church that's been meeting regularly, the installation is the opportunity for pastor and people to publicly covenant that they are coming together as one, similar to a wedding ceremony."

The Rev. Stan Stewart, senior pastor of North Oak Baptist Church in Citrus Springs, a sponsor for the new church, will speak at the morning service.

Ailes is a "pretty cool guy", Stewart said.

"Emery really felt the need to sponsor a new work in the Spring Hill area, because it's such a growing area," he said. "It's a multicultural church, which is good. They reach out to anybody. He has a great desire to preach the Gospel and make Jesus known to people."

The Rev. Jesse T. Williams Jr., senior pastor of the historic Convent Avenue Baptist Church of Harlem in New York City, and the Rev. Fred Hinson, senior pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Hudson, will speak at the installation service.

The church already has been ministering to the community with pancake breakfasts that benefited children and the needy, backpack drives, arts and craft days and a movie night. The next scheduled community event will be a free block party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 21 at Anderson Snow Park, 1360 Anderson Snow Road, Spring Hill.

"We'll come out and bless the community with food and music and a message," Ailes said.

Ailes wants the church to go beyond sharing the Gospel.

"We are here to redeem children and families in crisis for the sake of Jesus Christ," he said. "But we not only want to be a church in the community, but a church of the community. We want to be that anchor, that safe place, that strong tower, that place where people can really find sanctuary and peace. And if there are physical needs, we want to meet those."

In addition to his pastoral duties, Ailes teaches humanities at Pasco-Hernando State College. Regina Ailes volunteers at the Dawn Center, the county's shelter for victims of domestic violence, and oversees the church's women's ministry. She is the proprietor of Traveling Mercies travel agency.

Pristine Spring Hill Baptist has a service at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday in the youth center at Hope Community Bible Church, 13241 Spring Hill Drive. There is Bible study and a prayer meeting at 7 p.m. each Wednesday.


If you go

Pristine Spring Hill Baptist Church, 13241 Spring Hill Drive, will celebrate its first formal anniversary at 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. There will be a community lunch at 2 p.m. Saturday at Northcliffe Baptist Church, 10515 Northcliffe Blvd., Spring Hill. The Rev. Timothy Beard, president of Pasco-Hernando State College and senior pastor at Progressive Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be the keynote speaker. The cost for the lunch is $35. Call (352) 515-4849. Visit

Pristine Spring Hill Baptist marks first anniversary with services, community lunch 04/13/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 5:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning approaches decision time for Mikhail Sergachev

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mikhail Sergachev had dinner with his host family from juniors Monday.

    The Lightning has to decide, as early as this weekend whether Mikhail Sergachev will stick in the NHL or return to juniors for another season. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
  2. Tampa man charged in hit-and-run crash that killed bicyclist on I-4 exit ramp in Tampa


    TAMPA — A 44-year-old Tampa man was arrested and charged Wednesday in a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist earlier in the day.

    Christopher Jerimiah Cole, 44, of Tampa was driving this silver Mercedes on Wednesday when it struck a bicyclist on the exit ramp from eastbound Interstate 4 to southbound U.S. 301, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Cole kept driving, troopers said. The bicyclist, a 45-year-old Brandon man, died at the scene. His name was not immediately released because troopers were working to notify his family. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  3. Quarterbacks, head coach targeting Vernon Hargreaves; 'I'm not producing,' he says


    Eli Manning gathered his receivers together during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and informed them of the weakest link of the secondary he planned to target that afternoon.

    Quarterbacks this season have a 128.7 rating when targeting Vernon Hargreaves. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Rick Baker's radio ad said Rick Kriseman missed NAACP event---but he didn't.


    A radio ad narrated by St. Petersburg civil rights activist Sevell Brown and paid for by a political-action committee supporting Rick Baker asserts that Mayor Rick Kriseman "couldn't be bothered to show up" for a recent NAACP event.

    Rick Kriseman didn't skip recent NAACP event, but Rick Baker radio ad claims he did
  5. Demolition begins on wing of Channelside Bay Plaza, making way for Water Street Tampa (w/video)


    TAMPA — The original developers of Channelside Bay Plaza at first wanted the name of the complex to include the word "Garrison." That would have fit, because the center turned out to be fort-like, inwardly focused and unwelcoming.

    A pedestrian bridge in the southwest wing of Channelside Bay Plaza was demolished in Tampa on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. [Gabriella Angotti-Jones  | Times]