First Baptist Church has been a vital presence of God’s hope and grace in downtown Jackson for more than 180 years. On the corner of South Jackson and Cortland Street, the congregation continues to live this legacy through mission and outreach to the community.
In 1834, thirteen Jackson pioneers established the Barry-Jackson Baptist Church in Sandstone Township. Five years later, on January 27, 1839, the Reverend David Hendee and seventeen members of that church met together in the local schoolhouse on the corner of W. Michigan and Blackstone to form the First Baptist Church in Jackson.
The church gathered in several locations until 1869, when construction began on the present church. J.R. Lewis provided the plans and specifications for this Romanesque Revival-style structure. When a lack of funds resulted in repeated construction delays, “Uncle Ben” Moser, a member of the building committee, agreed to erect the walls free if the materials were supplied. A donation from four church members in 1871 assured the structure’s completion. The church was eventually dedicated on March 10, 1872.
First Baptist is a place to be known by God and friends. Come, explore faith, find nurture for the soul, and a place of belonging.