175th Anniversary of First Baptist

Celebrating Our Past, Anticipating Our Future

This year marks the 175th Anniversary of First Baptist Church, and we have chosen for our anniversary theme, “Remembrance & Renewal: Celebrating Our Past, Anticipating Our Future.” Obviously, this theme has a twofold emphasis of both remembrance and renewal, a focus on both the past and the future. We believe this is the right time for us as a church not only to look backward, but also to turn our attention forward to the days ahead.

A historical occasion as significant as a 175th Anniversary is certainly an appropriate time to reflect on the past. It would be unwise to neglect the rich history that is ours, and it would be chronologically arrogant to ignore the sacrifices and labors of those who have gone before us to help make First Baptist Church what it is today. But more importantly, it would be the height of ingratitude to completely disregard the past faithfulness of God seen and experienced during our long history. So we want to do all we can to remember, reflect, and celebrate everything that God has done in and through First Baptist Church over these last 175 years.

Having said that, we also do not want this occasion to be merely a celebration of the past. We realize that this is a prime opportunity to look ahead. That is why we want to think strategically about how First Baptist Church can be poised for the future – to continue making a lasting impact for the sake of the gospel here in our city and to continue building a rich legacy for decades to come. To do otherwise, in our opinion, would be short-sighted and a colossal mistake. The work of God always brings about renewal, and we hope to see His renewing work imprinted deep in us.

Remembrance and Renewal
But these two concepts are more than just opposite ends of a chronological spectrum. We believe they can actually work together. And therefore, we hope to see renewal come through remembrance. In other words, we believe there are things that First Baptist Church did in the past that were biblically sound and made our church stronger and healthier, and we hope to recover some of those practices (i.e., utilizing the church covenant). Then, there are other things in our past that we need to recognize as unhealthy and unbiblical and unChristian, and we want to make sure we learn from the mistakes of our forbearers so that we do not repeat them (i.e., justifying slavery).

We hope you will join us throughout the year for the different events we have set aside to celebrate this momentous occasion in the life of our church. And we definitely hope you will set aside the weekend of September 29-30 to be present for our Homecoming and Anniversary Celebration.

May the Lord bring us renewal through remembrance!

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