In 1917, a group of Christian believers anxious to aid in the establishment of God’s Kingdom, formed and organized the First Baptist Church under a brush arbor on Lincoln Street, under the leadership of the Reverend P. S. Long. Reverend Long served the First Baptist Church as Pastor for thirteen years.
The chartered Deacons of First Baptist Church were Brothers I. Reid, John Robinson and Harris. The chartered members were Brothers Frank Patterson, Tom Bullocks and Sister Hattie Massey.
After worshiping under the brush arbor on Lincoln Street for some time, the church later moved to the dining room of a boarding house, then operated by Mr. and Mrs. Bob Robinson.
From the dining room of the boarding house, the church moved to the Community Building, which was also being used as a movie house.
In 1918, Reverend Frank Patterson organized the first Missionary Society, at the home of Sister Hattie Massey. Sister Matthew was the first president.
The first Sunday of May 1920 (May 2, 1920) was a great day in the history of First Baptist Church. On this day, the edifice on Roosevelt Street was settled.
The first church Choir was formed in 1931 and was changed to the Senior Choir in 1938.
In 1953, the church building indebtedness was paid in full and the mortgage was burned.
Those dedicated and consecrated Ministers who have served as pastors of First Baptist Church are:
Rev. P. S. Long – First Pastor and organizer
Rev. Elijah Graham
Rev. H. J. Walters – Served faithfully for eleven (11) years.
Rev. J. H. Bryant – Came to First Baptist Church as Pastor in 1957. During his pastoral time, Rev. Bryant diligently served the church and community.
In 1957, the members steadfastly labored toward progressiveness. In so doing, the need of a church parsonage was realized. The parsonage was purchased on Marion Street by the church.
Rev. A. G. Coley – Served as Pastor 1962-1965
Rev. A. S. Smith had a surging desire that First Baptist Church get busy and build a new edifice and he led the congregation to realize that it could be done. Before the final plans could be formulated, Rev. Smith was called from labor to his reward, in 1967.
Rev. Charles T. Miller strived to provide worthwhile leadership through his sermons, services and devotions, by encouraging the congregation to press on to a higher mark. During his pastorate, the realization of the current edifice on Wayne Street came to fruition. The first day of services at this edifice were held on May 17, 1970.
Rev. Wells and Rev. Stephens served as Pastors during the 1970s.
Rev. W. L. Owen served from 1979 – 1990
Rev. Clifton Parker served from 1990 – 1998
Rev. Harvey Marsh served from 1998 – 2003
Rev. Charles Allen served as the Interim Pastor from 2003 – 2006
Rev. Dr. C. R. Lee served as the Pastor from 2006 to 2012 until he was called home by the Lord.
Rev. Dr. Anthony E. Neal was elected as Pastor in February 2014.