Lutz Campus

18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

Idlewild at The Springs

8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2

Pastor Edgar Aponte

Idlewild Baptist Church Names Ninth Senior Pastor


Dr. Edgar Aponte Elected by Congregational Vote

The membership of Idlewild Baptist Church this morning voted in favor of Dr. Edgar Aponte as the new Senior Pastor of the 89 year old congregation. The election is the culmination of a year-long national and international search led by a dedicated 12-member Pastoral Search Team and is based on their recommendation and that of the Personnel Committee of the Church.

Dr. Aponte has served at Idlewild as the Pastor of Global Missions for four years and has been a member of the church’s Pastoral Leadership Team. He has overseen Idlewild’s extensive missions initiatives as well as both the Idlewild at the Springs and Iglesia Bautista Idlewild campuses. Prior to joining the staff at Idlewild, Dr. Aponte served as the Vice President of Mobilization at the International Mission Board, and before that as a Director and Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Information regarding Idlewild’s Senior Pastor search criteria as well as Dr. Aponte’s personal, professional, education, and theological informational are available further down this page.

Dr. Aponte will serve as Idlewild Baptist Church’s ninth Senior Pastor, following Pastor Ken Whitten’s retirement in 2022 at the conclusion of his 33rd year in the role. He will lead the 15,000 member Lutz-based church forward in its mission of giving ourselves daily to help each one live in the rescuing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A small photo gallery is available for viewing at this link.

A mission-driven shepherd and Scripture-grounded teacher with almost two decades of leadership experience in working with people of different cultures. He is passionate about the glory of God through the local church, and committed to disciple-making and raising leaders within the congregation.

Before coming to Idlewild more than four years ago, Dr. Aponte served as VP of Mobilization at the International Mission Board where he led a team of 89 people and the overall outreach to pastors, churches, and relationships with national Southern Baptist entities. Additionally, he led the execution of all fundraising strategies, including the $158M Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Previously, he served as Director of Hispanic Leadership Development and Professor Of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).

Prior to SEBTS, Dr. Aponte served as a diplomat in Washington, D.C., on behalf of his home nation, the Dominican Republic. In addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees in business (MBA), he earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and a Ph.D. in Theological Studies.

Dr. Aponte is married to the love of his life Ms. Sara, who he met in Washington, D.C. when she was pursuing her LL.M. in International Business Law at Georgetown University. Sara is thankful and considers it a privilege to be a stay-at-home mom. Pastor Edgar is the father of three children, Edgar Miguel, Isabela, and Daniel, and he loves spending time and playing with them.

Senior Pastor Position Profile at Idlewild


The Senior Pastor’s Responsibilities Include:


  • The Senior Pastor would manage the business of the ministry and be skilled in good planning, organization, and delegation of the day-to-day affairs of the Church. With the support of the Executive Pastor, will serve as the overseer for the church staff.
  • The Senior Pastor would connect with the congregation personally, helping each one live in the rescuing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is a shepherd of his flock and cares for the spiritual well-being of his congregation & staff.
  • The Senior Pastor is expected to be a personal soul-winner and to lead the congregation in planned efforts for evangelism.
  • The Senior Pastor will have a passion for missions and lead the church in supporting missions, including association, state, national and international missions.
  • The Senior Pastor, in partnership with the worship team, should actively plan, coordinate and lead in conducting corporate worship, in addition to promoting family and private worship.
  • The Senior Pastor will meet with the staff and deacons on a regular basis to report on the spiritual, organizational, and financial health of the church.


In addition to the above, all Idlewild Pastoral Staff are evaluated on the following Characteristics:


Resourcefulness, Thoroughness, Wisdom and Knowledge, Flexibility and Cooperation, Judgment and Discernment, Diligence and Initiative, Timeliness, Attitude, Member Relations, Employee Management and Mentoring, Financial Management Planning and Communications.


What You Bring:


  • Education & Experience 10+ years of ministry experience, most of which is in a large church setting Senior Pastor experience strongly preferred Meets the Biblical qualifications (1st Timothy 3 and Titus 1)
  • Undergrad degree required.
  • Seminary degree is strongly preferred.
  • Commitment to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000
  • Has significant leadership experience in thriving ministries.


Personal Characteristics & Qualifications:


  • Engaging, biblically faithful teacher Ability to cast vision for the future as a disciple making church.
  • Demonstrates humility and compassionate relational skills.
  • Desires to  lead, mentor, and guide church leaders, ministry staff, and the congregation into a deeper walk with God.

Dr. Edgar Aponte Resumé

(Downloadable PDF)

Dr. Edgar Aponte Theology Questionnaire

(Downloadable PDF)