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Our History

     First Baptist Church was organized on January 4,1880 in the Presbyterian Church building located on Main Street. Founding members included W.W. Preston, John W. and Francis Endley, Benjamin McElroy, A.E. and Ellen Asbury, A.J. and Rebecca Horn, Mary C. Nutter, Annie Reece, and Lelia Mason. The church was originally named Second Baptist Church out of respect for the German Baptist Church which was already established in the community. The first business meeting was held on January 17, 1880 and the church called its first pastor, Rev. S.B. Whiting. The church grew and began to build its own place of worship. In February 1882, a new house of worship was dedicated. A review of the minutes from the early business meetings reveals a church committed to ministering to the needs of people and promoting missions giving and involvement.

     God continued to bless the church's mission and ministry and more members were added in the coming years. The church soon outgrew its church building and began construction on a new church located at the corner of Main Street and Fairground Avenue. On May 17, 1908 the corner stone was laid for the new church building. Four years later, on May 5, 1912 the building was dedicated to the Lord. Dr. John Priest Green, president of William Jewell College preached the dedication sermon. The beautiful brick building with the stained glass windows stood as a tangible testimony of God's faithfulness. Members gave sacrificially and faithfully and the indebtedness was paid off in 1922. In 1924 the German Baptist Church disbanded and many members joined Second Baptist Church. The name was later changed to First Baptist Church.

     In October,1958, the church purchased property on Peach Street in order to relocate and build adequate facilities to meet the growing demands of the ministry of the church. Years later under the leadership of Pastor Kenneth Harder the church voted to relocate to the Peach Street property. Groundbreaking for the new facility was held on November 12, 1978. On Sunday, February 24, 1980, the congregation gathered for Sunday School in the building at Main and Fairground Avenue for the last time. Following Sunday School they traveled by caravan with police escort to the new facility on Peach Street for the worship service. Attendance at this first service in the new building was 412.

     First Baptist Church has rich heritage of missions support and involvement. The church helped sponsor a church in Belarus, has sent mission teams to Thailand, Belarus, Chicago, Alaska, India, and China. Two families from the church are currently serving as missionaries for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The church also seeks to minister to the needs in our own community. In 1999 the church established Kids First, an after-school program for elementary school children. In 2001 that ministry expanded to include a summer day camp for elementary age children. The church participates in the Higginsville Ministerial Fellowship seeking to provide assistance with physical needs in the community. The church has sponsored a food distribution in the community and provided gifts and food to families at Christmas. The church donated money to purchase cots for the city of Higginsville's emergency response team. The church has also financially supported the needs of families through gifts to the Missouri Baptist Children's Home and Special Care Homes. In response to the growth being experienced by the church a second morning worship service was added in March of 2002. In honor of their 125th Anniversary the church is partnering with other churches in Higginsville and Habitat for Humanity to build a Habitat House in Higginsville in 2005. Currently the church is averaging approximately 300 people in attendance for worship on Sunday mornings.

     The current staff includes the pastor, Dr. Greg Fine, who began his ministry at the church in August of 1994. Dennis Million is the Minister of Music and Education and joined the staff in January of 2005. Mike Johns is the Minister of Youth and Recreation, and is also the most recent staff member, joining the team in January of 2007. Ruth Ann Perrin has been the Director of Kids First since its inception in 1999. Marilyn Wood has been serving as the church secretary since 1977. The church is located at 1907 Peach Street in Higginsville, Missouri 64037. The phone number is 660-584-7165. God's faithfulness continues to be revealed through the life and ministry of this great church.