The city of El Dorado, a small trading post in south central Arkansas, had been laid out as a town and county seat in 1843. First Baptist Church was organized in the winter of 1845 by a small group of seven people plus ministers S. D. Worthington, John Meek, MD, Franklin Courtney and R. A. Hargis, MD. The church was deeded property to construct a building, but did not use it for three years, meeting instead in the little log courthouse that was located on the northeast corner of North Washington and Elm Street. In 1848, when the congregation had grown to twenty-eight in number, the first church meeting house was built on the south side of East Peach Street. That 30 x 40 wood frame structure served the congregation for forty-six years. During that time, the pastors of the church were itinerant preachers who divided their time among other churches in the association.
In 1894 the church acquired the property where it is currently located (the block bounded by West Main, North West Avenue, East Elm and North Cleveland) and constructed a 50 x 80 foot building complete with stained glass windows, a baptistry, factory-made pews and a foot pedal organ.
The present church building was erected in 1921-22. Around this time, the foot pedal organ was replaced by a beautiful Skinner organ, which helped to greatly enlarge the music ministry. The main building has been added onto several times over the years and in 1969-70, it was extensively renovated. The renovations included replacing the opalescent glass windows with faceted stained glass windows and adding a pipe organ that was built into the architecture of the room. Since that time, First Baptist Church has added a daycare/family life center (located across North West Avenue and connected to the main building by an elevated pedestrian bridge) and a separate youth facility, “2fifty2”, which is located across Main Street from the Sanctuary.
For more information about the history of First Baptist Church, please visit our Heritage Room, located on the first floor of the main building, inside the Reception Hall. There you will find many types of documents, photos and other artifacts including original floor plans and architectural drawings of the buildings, information on the symbolism of the Sanctuary windows, a gallery of ministers up to the present, plus many other items of interest.
Join us Sunday at 9:00 AM for LifeGroups and at 10:15 AM for Worship