List of FBCH Pastors (CLICK HERE)
Upon the completion of the railroad from Macon to Brunswick the town of Hazlehurst began to grow. One of the first buildings completed was a one story frame building which served as a combination meeting house, school, and church. The Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterians each utilized the building one Sunday per month for their individual worship service and a union Sunday School was held each Sunday, as a result the church was known as Union Church. This arrangement proved sufficient for several years, but as the town and congregations continued to grow the building became inadequate and new arrangements had to be secured.
Thus in 1885, the First Baptist Church was organized and constituted and plans were made to build a new building in a more central location. The present site was selected and on June 10, 1885 was purchased for the sum of $75.00. Construction of a new building began in 1894 and was dedicated on May 16, 1896 and Mrs. Nelie Wilcox Christian was the first person baptized in the new church. Mrs. Nelie was also present 43 years later for the last service held in the building.
As the church continued to grow and decisions were made about how missions money would be distributed, a group of members, choosing not to send money through the State Mission Board, decided to withdraw their membership and begin a new congregation, forming what we know today as Grace Baptist Church. On August 22, 1965, the church again expanded her ministries, establishing the Ruth Chapman Mission near Edgewood Villa. This mission was supported by First Baptist Church until May 21, 1967 when North Gate Baptist Church was organized and constituted.
God has richly blessed First Baptist Church as she has been involved in Gospel ministry for over 125 years, as such we should thank Him for these blessings. He has given us a past to be proud of and a future to look forward to, but let us not forget the work of the Gospel is accomplished today!