The FBC Huntsville Story
Reverend Z.N. Morrell organized the Huntsville Baptist Church on September 16, 1844 with eight members in what was then the Republic of Texas.
The original church met in Deans School House until 1851 when the church's first building was built on two lots purchased at the corner of what is now 13th Street and Avenue J. Rufus C. Burleson preached the dedicatory sermon using as his text, Proverbs 22:28,"Remove not the ancient landmarks which your fathers have set."
|Some of the most famous members of the church were General Sam Houston and his wife, Margaret. They joined in December 1855 bringing their letters from the church at Independence where Sam Houston had been converted. He built a baptismal pool near his residence in Huntsville, and it was there that this church met to baptize converts. They remained as members until July 1859 when Houston moved to Austin to become Governor of Texas.|
|The second building was torn down in 1924 and a four-story red brick building was erected on the same spot. It was a large church with tall white pillars on the front and stained glass windows in the sanctuary, which was located on the second floor. Rev. C.F. Andrews was pastor when this building was erected and chose as his text for the dedicatory sermon, Proverbs 22:28.|
Many Huntsville residents still remember Sunday, January 24, 1954 when a tragic fire destroyed this third church building. Church members rushed to save whatever they could. Church records, song books, baby beds and nursery furniture and even the organ and some of the pews were carried out and saved. The Mason-Hamblen grand piano, still in use by the congregation today, was carried down the steep front steps leading from the sanctuary. Arrangements were made for the evening service to be held in the high school auditorium, and First Baptist Church continued to meet there until the fourth building was dedicated on December 11, 1955. Pastor Gordon Clinard preached the dedicatory sermon using the familiar text from Proverbs.
On May 5, 1985, dedication ceremonies were held for the Family Life Center, which was constructed on the northwest corner of 13th Street and Avenue J. The multi-function facility, features a full-sized indoor basketball court with second-floor walking track, racketball court, exercise room, locker rooms, kitchen, and parlor. A great celebration marked the paying off of the debt for the Family Life Center due to the generosity of the estate of two members, George and Jimmie Ellis.
On February 18, 1990, a church steeple was added to the present building and was dedicated in memory of Willis and Beulahree Floyd. The steeple had been a part of the building plans in 1955 but was omitted at the time because of cost. This steeple with a cross at the top is a visible landmark for all of Huntsville and is the present logo of the church.
For more information on First Baptist Church Huntsville's history, contact the Church Library. Library hours and contact information is listed on the ministries page.