FBC History

Church Sanctuary in March 1951FBC first opened its doors on June 5, 1866. In 1855, Florence existed in name only, as there was nothing to denote a town except the junction of the two railroads, the Wilmington and Manchester and the Northeastern. In 1860, a Presbyterian brethren who lived in a neighboring county began to build a church here in Florence, and, when completed, it was the only church here for six years. The people of every faith met here to worship when they could get a minister to preach.

After the bombardment of Fort Sumter, many refugees came to Florence. In the fall of 1865, a few Baptist's gathered at the church, and naturally, had a desire to hear some Baptist preaching. John H. Husbands wrote his childhood friend Rev. J.A.W. Thomas of Marlboro County, and not soon after they held their first Baptist worship service. A few weeks later, Dr. D.M. Breaker, who was preaching at Ebenezer Baptist Church, came to hold services once a month in the afternoon. We still continue the tradition of the evening worship service.

In 1876, the well-known steeple was added to the church, and the Northeastern Railway Company gave the church a bell to call to worship. As the church grew spiritually, financially, and in number, there became a greater need for a larger church. Soon after, plans were made to build a new church. On March 10, 1875, the first service was held in the new church. The first service was conducted by Brother Sanders. Since 1875, many new additions have been built onto the church. As worship continued, several pastors served First Baptist Church. Many years later, on September 21, 1928, Dr. Walter Alexander served as pastor, until 1942 when he left to help with the Southern Baptist Convention. At the time, Dr. Alexander had served the church longer than any minister. Our church went through another re-build in 1941, and on March 18, 1951, the new (and current) sanctuary was complete. By January 18, 1962, the church building program in its entirety was finished and dedicated. Since its completion in 1962, we have done some minor remodeling, but the integrity of the church still remains.

Former Pastor EdwardLBird

 

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