The Little Church
The church has stood on Cook Avenue for 110 years and has a rich history in the Madison Community. We have joined forces with the commnunity to help causes nationwide, such as victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami and the Haiti earthquake.
Welcome to the ministry of First Baptist Church of Madison. We are a unique small-sized congregation striving to be both diverse and inclusive. In hearing God's Word, we work toward living responsible Christian lives in a complex world. Together we rejoice in embarking on our jubilee journey of faith. While we realize all our questions cannot be answered, we are nurtured in our beloved community as we seek to know the will of our Lord. The programs of the church are open to everyone.
In the early spring of 1895 a small group of baptized believers, desiring a place where they could assemble and commune together with their God, met in a hall at 10 Central Avenue known as Odd Fellows Hall for the purpose of organizing a Baptist Mission. In 1897 the Baptist Mission was organized as the First Baptist Church of Madison with Rev. R. L. Harris as its first Pastor.
As the church continued to grow in membership it was noted that a larger place of worship was needed. The lot on Cook Avenue upon which the church now stands was purchased from Mr. Warren B. Burnet for the sum of $400.00 and on the first Sunday in June, 1901, an appropriate ground breaking service was held. The church was completed in February 1902 at a cost of approximately $3,500.00.
For four months in 2005, from January until May, the First Baptist Church underwent major renovations at a cost of $350,000. The Church Congregation has made a commitment and pledged to raise funds towards the restoration and renovation of the 105 year old structure. Restoration of the sanctuary includes the stained glass windows, the original circular pews, and the Gothic architecture with slanting floors. The renovation includes new mahogany doors, state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, closed circuit television, new steps from the lower level to the balcony, a new round baptistery in a redesigned Chancel area.
The church is following through on the vision of our late Rev. Johnnie W. Brewster's vision to expand the church building and has undergone major renovations. Following through on that vision, the church is currently raising funds for a building expansion to include educational facilities.
“Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge and holiness; to give it a place in our affections, prayers and services above every organization of human origin; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, toward its expenses, for the support of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world.
In case of difference of opinion in the church, we will strive to avoid a contentious spirit, and if we cannot unanimously agree, we will cheerfully recognize the right of the majority to govern.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to study diligently the word of God; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just to those in our employ, and faithful in the service we promise others; endeavoring in the purity of heart and good will towards all men to exemplify and commend our holy faith.
We further engage to watch over, to pray for, to exhort and stir up each other unto every good word and work; to guard each other’s reputation, not needlessly exposing the infirmities of others; to participate in each other’s joys, and with tender sympathy bear one another’s burdens and sorrows; to cultivate Christian courtesy; to be slow to give or take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, being mindful of the rules of the Savior in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, to secure it without delay; and through life, amid evil report, and good report, to seek to live to the glory of God, who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
When we remove from this place, we engage as soon as possible to unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.”