Our Story

How it all started...

Ten years after Carthage became the county seat, a group of pioneers assembled to organize a Baptist Church. In April, 1858, the Reverend J. H. Whitmore was called as its first pastor. By the end of the year, the congregation had agreed to support mission and join the Central Baptist Association; church membership was 21, including a slave named Margaret Moore.
The Baptist congregation dwindled during the Civil War and in 1860, the remaining members decided to disband. They did not meet again until 1867, when the Reverend G. W. Butler reorganized the church.
Consecration services for the Baptist Church building were held in June 1878. August 1901 brought a split over the dispersal of missionary offerings. Dissatisfied members formed the Central Baptist Church, while the original group adopted the name First Baptist Church.
The new century was difficult for those who continued with the First Baptist Church. The Ladies’ Aid Society tirelessly raised money for the pastor’s salary and other necessities throughout the early years and the depression.
Decades of prosperity came with the 1940’s. A new building was dedicated in 1947; a radio ministry began in 1952. Pastors who followed included Harold Brunson, Douglas Laird, Charles Hall, Richard Walters, John Duggar, Nolan Summer, John Gregson, and Jerry Burnaman. Jerry Burnaman served as pastor for 21 years, from 1977 to 1998.

Expanding the vision...

In 1999, Dr. Allen Tilley took the reins as Senior Pastor. To accommodate the growth, the church voted to build a larger sanctuary. On March 23, 2003, one year after breaking ground, First Baptist Church moved into its new sanctuary. Built on the site where the church parsonage formerly stood, the 13,800 square foot building seats approximately 700 comfortably.
In the spring of 2004, the church, with continued growth, added a second morning service. A record 144 new members joined in one year, between September 1, 2004 and August 31, 2005. Easter of 2006 saw 931 in worship. First Baptist Church presently has a membership of  over 1,800 and averages approximately 525 worshippers each Sunday morning.

Where we are headed...

We are excited about what the Lord is doing in the life of our church. We continue to see kids, students, and adults come to know the Lord.  It's our heart and prayer that as we continue to reach out into our community, share the gospel, and make disciples that we might an eternal impact on the city of Carthage and surrounding communities.

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 8:30am and 10:30am.