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Fort Cooper Baptist Church


Fort Cooper Baptist was founded by the Stokes family in 1952, Fort Cooper Baptist Church was built in one day on the corner of Old Floral City Road and Fort Cooper Road and held services the next day, despite the lack of windows. It was constructed from lumber made from trees on the Stokes' property. Before 1952, four families and their preacher called themselves Fort Cooper Baptist Church and met in the Stokes family home. Clarence and Lillie Stokes founded it when they got tired of driving their large family to Oxford every Sunday. In the beginning, Sunday School met outside, under oak trees or in cars and the church pianist was Dolores Venero, the Stokes' daughter, who took the position at 8 years old, and wouldn't give it up, even when she got married and moved away. Fort Cooper Baptist eventually acquired a Family Life Center, which they re-modeled in 1998, and in April of 1999 a new church building was built, complete with steeple and cathedral ceilings. In 2005, Fort Cooper Baptist Church constructed a new educational building to hold new Sunday School classrooms and the ever growing Inverness Christian Academy. Fort Cooper Baptist Church has been a pillar and ground of the truth in the Citrus County area for over sixty years. Our church has a history full of God's blessings. Included in this history is thousands of lost souls won to Christ, hundreds of families built and strengthened for the glory of God, and scores of people serving God with their lives.



We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the entire Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. We further accept the Textus Receptus manuscripts from which came the King James Bible, and accept the King James Bible as God's divinely preserved Word of God for the English speaking world


We believe that God is a person, eternally existing as a Trinity, manifesting Himself in three Persons: God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We further believe that these three are one God, but separate in personality and work.


We believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, eternally existing yet born of a virgin. Being God, He lived a sinless life, whose death on the cross was both sufficient and substitutionary for the sins of the whole world. After making atonement for the sins of the world, with His own blood, He ascended into Heaven with a glorified body where He is seated at the right hand of the Father as Head of the Church, making intercession for the saints as our High Priest.


We believe that man is lost in sin and must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God. We believe that for lost and sinful men, regeneration by the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential. The salvation of a man's soul is by grace alone through personal faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.


We believe that the local church is a group of believers baptized in water; assembled together for edification, exhortation, and evangelism as commanded by Christ in the Great Commission; preaching the gospel to every creature. We believe God's program today is centered in the local New Testament church, which is independent and missionary minded.


We believe the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is coming again in the air at any moment to rapture His church and to reward their service. The unbelievers left behind will go through a seven year period called the Tribulation, after which Christ shall return visibly to the earth with His saints to set up His Kingdom of one thousand years of righteous rule. After this, the unbelievers of all ages will stand at the Great White Throne to be judged and cast into the Lake of Fire, separated from God forever, while believers spend eternity in the fullness of joy in Heaven with the Lord.


Pastor Marne Palmani grew up in Orlando, Florida and attended Monterey Baptist Church. Bro. Marne was saved in New York at a Youth Camp at the age of 7 and was called to preach at the age of 15. He has been preaching God's Word for over 30 years. Upon graduating high school, he moved to Crown Point, Indiana, and enrolled in Hyles-Anderson College. There, he met and married his wife, Miss Jacqueline on August 14, 1999. After graduating from Hyles-Anderson College in 2002, Bro. Marne was called to Fort Cooper Baptist Church to serve as an assistant pastor. As an assistant pastor, Bro. Marne lead the Youth Department and the Bus Ministry. God blessed greatly and we saw wonderful growth through the preaching of God's word. In January, 2007, Bro. Marne became interim pastor and in a couple of months, Fort Cooper Baptist Church called Bro. Marne to be their Senior Pastor in March. Pastor Marne Palmani is a man who genuinely loves people and preaches the Word of God with passion and without compromise.

If you would like to contact Pastor Marne, you can call the church office at (352) 726-0707 or email him at

Fort Cooper Baptist Church
4222 S. Florida Avenue
Inverness, FL 34450

Phone and Fax:
Main: (352) 726-0707
Fax: (352) 726-0782