Don and Helen Yates have served at Northside since the establishment of the church. They have been married since March 21, 1970.
Don has a Masters Degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans from 1976 to 1978. He also graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in history in 1970.
When describing his history as pastor among other churches, Don stated, “I was interim pastor of a small church in Eddiceton, Mississippi for the last few weeks I was at New Orleans. We were called to Dundee Baptist Church in Dundee, Fl in November of 1978 just after graduating from seminary. After six years with them seeing the Lord minister to them and doing some growing myself, I moved to Calvary Baptist in Arcadia, Florida in November of 1984. We had 11 fruitful years there and several building programs before we were called to First Baptist of Apopka, Fl in 1995. In 1998 we established Northside and we have been here to the present.”
Don was raised in Central Florida in the very small agricultural town of Frostproof, FL. He described it as,”It was a very small place I had a very quiet and uneventful boyhood, but I was influenced by some of the finest Christian school teachers and a good Baptist church from what one would easily categorize as “old school”. We were taught manners and integrity and respect for God and country. We were required to take a course called “Civics”. I saw people treat others with respect and kindness and somehow thought that this was the way one was to live one’s life. It was demanded that we obey authority and I thought that what my parents required of me was written somewhere indelibly. Drugs were a thing you took when you were sick and honesty was not an option that one could choose amongst many. Naive, perhaps, but I grew to love the Word of God and my relationship with Him grew till I have found it to be the essential of life. My exposure to liberal and atheistic thought came quickly and radically upon entering college but I have found that those people asked a bundle of questions without giving answers and my early training held far more resources for living and getting it right. I am grateful for being taught to work hard, play fair and be kind, love your family, remain faithful and pure. I have not always done those things but one cannot question the value of qualities like these that reflect their roots in my Lord Jesus Christ.”