History

In 1895, under the leadership of Rev. McCloud, a few Baptist believers in Christ Jesus assembled together in a small home and organized what is now a vital lifeline in the Binghampton community. It was under a bush arbor at the corner of Autumn and Hollywood that the First Baptist Church Family conducted its divinely-inspired worship services.

2old_churchaWhen a storm came and destroyed this location, the believers stood firm on their faith and beliefs and persevered through this minor set back. During the cold, harsh winter months, these faithful saints were determined to carry out the charge that God had birthed in their spirits, and they gathered together in a little wooden schoolhouse at Scott and Broad.

In 1896, FBC built its first building, First Baptist Church Colored. Unfortunately, another storm later destroyed it as well. God, in His inimitable style, spoke into the hearts of the Princeton Avenue Baptist Church, who opened its doors to the FBC family and allowed them to continue worship service. With four thousand three hundred dollars, God again confirmed that His hand was on the FBC family by allowing them to build a brick building. This endeavor began in 1916, and was completed in 1917.

It was under the leadership of the legendary Rev. L. O. Taylor in 1925 that the membership began to grow rapidly. During this time some land was purchased from Mr. Frank Peoples and the basement of the church was built.

Down through the years God continued to validate the First Baptist Church ministry as He opened up the windows of heaven and began to pour in more blessings. In 1931 Rev. I. S. Powell was elected and a parsonage was provided next door to the church. In 1940 under the leadership of J. J. Tillman, the church experienced an awesome growth in both membership and finances, and in 1945 construction began on the sanctuary under the administration of Rev. R. S. Rose. A few years later (1947), under the direction of Rev. F. L. McKia, the present sanctuary was finished. In 1950 with Rev. W. L. Patterson as pastor, the adjoining property, the pews, and the pulpit furniture were all acquired. Just four years later, directed by Rev. H. C. Cherry, the FBC family purchased a piano, an organ, a roof for the church, and the redecoration of the church auditorium. Pastor Cherry also organized the young adult usher board, the youth choir, and the male chorus. He emphasized tithing and called upon the membership for sacrificial service. Under Rev. Robert L. Cotton (1975) new windows and an elevator were installed. (It is the Lord’s doing; and it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:23).

On the second Sunday in May of 1978 the Rev. Oddie Breckenridge was called into leadership for the First Baptist Church family. Rev. Breckenridge became well noted for hosting one of Memphis’s weekly Christian radio talk shows. Under his administration he ordained the first women into ministry in the history of the church. But above all of his accomplishments was his dedication to the work of the Lord through his 20+ years of service that will never be forgotten. Rev. Breckenridge served as Pastor Emeritus until his death in 2001.

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