History of First Baptist Church
In 1803 a group of thirteen members of the Bent Creek Baptist Church (now Whitesburg Baptist Church) met by Bethel spring and organize what would be known as Bethel-South of the Holston Baptist Church. This church would later become First Baptist Church of Morristown.
The first place of worship was a log cabin erected on twenty-eight acres of lance given by Benjamin Cox. The church would be organized fifty years before the city of Morristown. The property would later become Morristown College and the spring would supply the city with water. The first building would serve as a school and for community gatherings. One of the first teachers, Rev. William Rogers, would be the first president of Mossy Creek College, which later became Carson Newman College.
In 1883 due to more needed space a frame building was built. This building served as a hospital and school and would later become the Bethel church for our black members
In 1872 the church moved to a new red brick building at the present church site on Main Street at Jackson. Cost of the new building was $10,000, which was a considerable amount of money raised at the close of the war.
In 1913 a new auditorium and education building was built to house a growing congregation. The red brick building was taken apart with the windows going to Bethel Church and the brick used in the foundation of the new building.
During the years of 1951-52 additional education facilities were completed. The church also began a radio ministry, purchased lakefront property to be known as Harrell Park. In 1970 a television ministry and deaf ministry were begun.
In 1983 the church was led to build the present worship center with 1,400 seats. Facilities have continued to be increased and improved. In 1996 the Student Center was rebuilt. In 1997 a new 500 seat Fellowship Hall along with adult educational space was added. Currently the church is raising funds to build a new Preschool and Children’s building.
The church also provides a missionary residence for furloughing missionaries, and a “Prophet’s Chamber” for ministers needed R and R. During the last 200 years First Baptist Church has organized many churches in the area.
Known as a “Place of Belonging” where one can nurture his faith, strengthen his family relationships and build quality friendships. The primary goal of FBC is to reach out to the community, to demonstrate Christ and His love for everyone, and the main purpose is to see lost people saved.
Dr. H. Dean Haun is the 34rd Pastor to serve First Baptist Church.
October 5, 2008 will be Homecoming Day as we celebrate our 205th year as a church family. Information on many of the activities planned are available by calling the church at 586-0522 or visit our website.
Clay Krummel, Historian, along with other church members, keep an active display of past and present events in Room 231 (2nd floor beside elevator). You will find many pictures, articles and books not only on the history of FBC but the City of Morristown. Since our church is 50 years older than the city we have a lot of information on early residents that is not recorded in the city journals. Stop by and enjoy a trip through the past & present or contact Clay Krummel, Historian, at 423-586-0522