4500 Faucett Road ~ P O Box 8806 ~ Pine Bluff AR 71603
The First Baptist Church (White) was organized on October 6, 1853, by a Baptist Missionary with nine (9) charter members and one free colored woman, Sister Hannah Flanagan. On May 13, 1854, a meeting was held in the newly built church sanctuary. By the end of this year, the roll included 81 whites and 57 colored members.
In 1864, the First Baptist Church (White) joined the Baptist Convention of Arkansas, and on this same date, the first minister ordained from the church, Reverend James Strogan, a Negro slave, was given the right to preach. First Baptist Church (White) was located on West 6th and Cherry Streets.
In 1865 at the close of the Civil War, the First Baptist Church (Colored) was organized by the Reverend Ben McGuire with 168 chartered members. Reverend Ben McGuire and members built the First Baptist Church at the corner of Pullen and Laurel Streets. The land was deeded to the Negroes by the First Baptist Church (White) who said, “May our blessings and prayers be with you.”
In 1867 the Baptist State Convention was organized at the First Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, with the following churches: First Baptist Church, Fort Smith, AR; First Baptist Church, Little Rock, AR; First Baptist Church, Helena, AR; and First Baptist Church, Monticello, AR, representing.
In 1934, the Regular Arkansas Baptist Convention was incorporated, and its first session was held at First Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, AR. As a direct result of this convention, the Morris Booker Memorial College of Dermott, AR was formed.
The First Baptist Church’s name was changed to the First Missionary Baptist Church in the early 1960’s. Twenty-four (24) Baptist churches grew out of the First Baptist Church (directly or indirectly) during the period of 1865 to 1968.
The previous location of First Missionary Baptist Church at Second and Poplar Streets was formerly known as Temple Anshe Emeth. Members of the Jewish faith held services there until 1967. The First Missionary Baptist church bought that site in 1967 and held the first service in that edifice on Sunday, February 11, 1968.
In 2007, the First Missionary Baptist church located at 1001 West Second sold its edifice to the True Vine “E” congregation. The pastor, officials, and members of this congregation relocated to the A. O. Smith Chapel at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on the first Sunday in November for its worship services.
The third Sunday in February 2008, the pastor, Reverend Charles Samuel Boyd, Sr., officials, and members of this church body met at the A. O. Smith Chapel for prayer. The Pine Bluff police escorted this congregation by the previous church site as the motorcade continued on to 4500 Faucett Road to a beautiful new church which was the culmination of years of prayers, planning, and sacrifice.
The First Missionary Baptist Church Dedication was held on Sunday, April 20, 2008, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a Grand Dedication Program. The beauty of this new building inspired our church mission as we looked forward to worship and service. For we sought to glorify God and edify humanity through Kingdom Building and in our "in-reach" and "out-reach" ministries.
The architectural design and the floor plan of the First Missionary Baptist Church consist of two drive-thru porticos; vestibule; east wing; the educational end, which consists of several classrooms; west wing, the administrative end, which consists of several offices; fellowship hall; baptistery; sound and intercom system; kitchen; eight laboratories. The sanctuary is an octagon structure with 40 feet arched beams and is located in the center of the building. The building, grounds, and parking lot comprise approximately three acres.
First Missionary Baptist Church @ 2015