1945 – THE BEGINNING
The First Baptist Church of Hendersonville first assembled in the home of Mrs. J. H. Stephens in June 1944. Regular Sunday School meetings were held at First Presbyterian Church of Hendersonville. In 1945 the church purchased property on Gallatin Road near Imperial Boulevard. The first church building was erected on this property in 1947.
Previous pastors include Eugene Roberts, James Austin, Terry Davis.
1957 – COURTNEY WILSON BECOMES PASTOR
Brother Wilson served faithfully as pastor of First Baptist Church for 28 years. During this time, the church grew in membership from 300 to 3,533, and four major building phases were completed. He retired in 1985.
1987 – DR. GLENN WEEKLEY JOINS THE FBC FAMILY
Brother Glenn Weekley preached his first sermon the morning of June 14, 1987 and began his ministry here on July 12, 1987. During his time as pastor, Brother Glen led the charge on making First Baptist the church we see today.
1990 – CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON NEW BUILDING
A gift of 25 acres of land off Gallatin Road between Bluegrass Drive and Music Village was given to the church. A vote was taken to relocate, leaving the property that had been home to First Baptist Church for 42 years. Ground was broken at Bluegrass Commons on January 28, 1990 and construction began in April 1990.
1991 – Walk to the new Building
On July 14, 1991 the congregation walked all the way down Gallatin Rd. from the old FBCH building to the new to worship God, and celebrate His provision. There were over 3,000 in attendance.
1994 – 50 Year Celebration
In September, 1994 the congregation celebrated and gave thanks to God for First Baptist Church’s first 50 years.
1998 – Weekly Building Completed
In January 1998 the first two floors of the Weekley Education Building were completed, and in March 2001 the third floor was completed.
2002 – Chapel Built
The 500-seat Chapel was completed in February 2002.
2003 – BABB Counseling Center
In May 2003 the Smith Travel Research Building at 105 Music Village Boulevard adjacent to our campus was purchased and is now home to the First Baptist Church Counseling Center, The BABBCenter. A Preschool Building addition was completed in May 2005.
2005 – Plans approved for Family Ministry Center
Our Deacons unanimously approved the plans for a Family Ministry Center on January 10, 2005. The church voted and approved the plans for the Family Ministries Center on Sunday, April 10, 2005, and groundbreaking was held on March 19, 2006. The Family Ministry Center opened on October 15, 2007.
2007 – BROTHER GLENN CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
In July 2007 Dr. Weekley celebrated 20 years as pastor of First Baptist Church.
He served as pastor of First Baptist until he passed away on September 11, 2007. Over the course of Dr. Weekley’s ministry, First Baptist grew from a membership of 2,700 to more than 8,900.
2009 – DR. CHESSER JOINS THE FBC FAMILY
Dr. Bruce G. Chesser preached his first sermon the morning of July 19, 2009 and began his ministry here on August 16, 2009. He has been serving faithfully ever since and continues to move this church forward and lead members to the Lord.
2013 – Creekside Revitalization Launched
First Baptist began its first Church Revitalization project with a small church in Eastern Sumner County. First Baptist took on financial responsibility, sent families and volunteers to serve the small congregation, and supported the newly named, Creekside Fellowship, until they were able to stand on their own.
2016 – Vanderpool Farm Gifted
In September of 2016, Frank Vanderpool, a longtime member of First Baptist, gifted a 35-acre farm off Drakes Creek Road to the church. This addition enabled the church to have prime property to host Easter Sunrise Services, youth events, cookouts, and more.
2017 – Worship Center Refresh
For the first time since its construction, the Worship Center underwent a summer-long refresh and renovation, during which time services met in the FMC gym and Wilson Hall.
Creekside Becomes Independent
Creekside Fellowship officially launched as their own independent congregation.
Pastor Chesser Elected President of TBC
Pastor Chesser was elected to the presidency for the upcoming 2020 year.
Madison First Baptist Adopted for Revitalization
First Baptist had the opportunity to come alongside Madison First Baptist and provide leadership and support as they began the process of revitalization.
April 29, 2021 – Debt Free!
First Baptist became debt free!
2021 – Defining Priorities
Pastors Bruce Chesser and Bruce Raley defined seven priorities for First Baptist and the future of the church. These priorities include:
- Rebuilding the post pandemic church – The church must focus on ministering to a new culture.
- Intentional Community Outreach – First Baptist is committed to reaching Sumner County by going beyond the church campus to serve the community and engage in community events.
- Develop a Multifaceted Special Needs Ministry – The existing Special Needs Ministry will expand from Sunday morning classes to a full ministry with three main focuses: new Connect Groups and Wednesday Night groups, Weekday Ministry, and regular programmed social activities.
- Developing a Strong Men’s Ministry – In reaching men, the church reaches the family. First Baptist is committed to a greater emphasis on strong, biblical men and serving them well.
- Revitalizing Churches – Just as First Baptist has walked alongside Madison First Baptist and Creekside Fellowship, there are other churches that need help to become a strong, vibrant congregation again. First Baptist is committed to partnering with other churches in the future to do so.
- Plant Churches – One of the greatest legacies a church can have is of planting other churches. First Baptist commits to being in communication with church planters in the future as the Lord brings opportunity.
- Vocational Ministry Mentorship – First Baptist is praying that the Lord will call future pastors, staff members, missionaries and others who will give their lives to the Lord to be used for His Kingdom. As the Lord calls, First Baptist will accept the responsibility to help equip these future leaders.
NYC Church Plant Launched
Lifelong FBCHville church member, Chris Mills, and his wife, Sarah, planted a church in a community of Manhattan, New York, called Hell’s Kitchen. The church officially launched as One Community Church in 2020.
2022 – Church Ministry Essentials Established
As part of the Vocational Ministry Mentorship, First Baptist established Church Ministry Essentials, a mini-conference for pastors and churches held three times a year.
2022 – Feed Sumner Food Bank & Ministry Established
First Baptist established Feed Sumner Food Bank and Ministry to serve those families in Sumner County experience food insecurity and other immediate needs. Feed Sumner offers food assistance, spiritual support, and encouragement to over 300 families each month.
2022: CrossRoads Church Westmoreland Adopted for Revitalization
Located at a main intersection in Westmoreland, this church is in a prime location and the community is poised for growth. Chuck Workman was brought on as Lead Pastor.
Peer Place Becomes a Ministry of First Baptist
In August of 2022, Peer Place moved from being hosted at First Baptist to being a ministry of First Baptist. This developmental day program for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities meets four days a week and has total access to all of FBCHville’s facilities and resources.