At the time of the joining of Fort Walton Beach Wards 1 and 2 of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Spanish branch known as Fort Walton Beach Ward 3 was also formed.

The group of over 40 Spanish-speaking members gathers at 9 a.m. Sundays for a Sacrament meeting and a Sunday School lesson at 339 Lake Drive, Fort Walton Beach.

President Taylor Bingham and his counselors, Jared Garcia and Casimiro Ponce, are shepherding this group and helping them to grow in numbers and spirituality. Bill Bernier serves as their clerk and Elder Lenon and Elder McGhie, full-time missionaries who will serve for two years, also support this branch and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From the Stake High Council, is mentor Anthony Moeller, who learned the Spanish language while serving his mission in Paraguay.

President Bingham was born and raised in Orange County, California. He served a mission in Concepcion, Chile, where he mastered the Spanish language.

He and his wife, Katrina, met while they were studying at Brigham Young University, and were married in the Bountiful, Utah Temple.  They have three boys, August, 7; Ezra, 5; and Casper, 3.

After being called and set apart as president, he looked for counselors with qualities of kindness and a strong work ethic and found them in Ponce and Garcia.

Bingham's goal is to promote the growth of this branch to at least 55 members. He wants his congregation to know that what he lacks in experience and language skills he plans to make up for with hard work and sincerity in his service.

First Counselor Ponce was born in Mexico. He is a landscape artist and has been in the business for many years. 

His favorite Scripture is Alma 7:23 from the Book of Mormon: "And now I would that ye should be humble and be submissive and gentle, easy to be entreated, full of patience and long-suffering: be diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times, asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal, always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive." 

"When I first read this Scripture, it helped me understand what God would have me do. I also learned that I can ask God for help with things both temporally and spiritually," Ponce said.

Second Counselor Garcia is a full-time student at the University of West Florida. His major is business management.

His favorite Scripture, 1 Nephi 3:7, states, "And it came to pass that I, Nephi said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the things which he commandeth them."

Garcia was born in San Pedro, Honduras. His previous callings were counselor in the Sunday School Presidency and missionary to Chihuahua, Mexico. Garcia would like the branch to know that he has a firm testimony in the Lord Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He promises to do his best to serve them and increase their membership.

For more details, call the elders at 850-855-8454 or Elder y Hermana Sommers, 801-318-6136 or 801-836-9563.