Shortly after the Civil War (1860’s) a small settlement known as Vilonia was formed in Faulkner County. Around 1869 a Baptist Church was established with a wood structure serving its needs for a worship place. This building was typical of its time with two front doors, and was heated by a pot-bellied wood stove.
The original location of the church was north of the main part of town on North Church Street (thus the name of the street). In the 1920’s through the 1970’s it was known as “Vilonia Missionary Baptist Church” and it was affiliated with the American Missionary Baptist Association (ABA). The church moved to its current location and started building a new brick building in June 11, 1955 and it took until August of 1957 to complete. (This building is now completely enclosed by other buildings and serves as our Children’s Church).
In the 1970’s the church gradually withdrew its affiliation with the ABA and became an independent Baptist church. It is now affiliated with the Baptist Bible Fellowship International: a group of independent Baptist churches that network together for fellowship and to support missions. The church changed its name in 1974 to “First Baptist Church” to reflect its place as the first Baptist church in the city.
It seems that every decade has brought the need for a new building of one kind or another. A new and bigger auditorium was added in 1964 (this auditorium presently serves as our Fellowship Hall). In the 1970’s the church added another addition for education space (which now serves as the nursery, office and Sunday School space). This addition also wrapped around and connected all the older buildings together by means of the arched walkway on the north side of the building. In the 1980’s the Family Life Center was built to allow the church to start the Awana program. God continued to grow the church, leading FBC to build the present auditorium and the first service was held there on March 14, 1999. We continue to look to the future and have faith that the Lord will continue to use our church for many more years to His glory.
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