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“First Baptist Church – Colored” First Missionary Baptist is the second-oldest African American Church in Decatur Alabama.First Missionary Baptist Decatur was founded in 1866 in the home of Sis.Jane Young who would later serve as one of our first church mothers. She was joined by 21 former slaves among them was Rev. Alfred Peters who serve as the church's first Pastor.
under the leadership of Rev.Alfred Peters at which point services were held in a rented store building
1865 – Marked the end of the Civil War
1866 - The United States Congress overwhelmingly passes the Civil Rights Act of , the first federal legislation to protect the rights of African-Americans
Following the pastorate of Rev Peters who served from 1866- 1872 Rev.Crawford hooks became Pastor in 1873 During the hooks administration in 1873 the church purchased a church building that formerly belonged to a white Methodist congregation that was located on Market and Canal Street NE
1895 – The statue of liberty first arrived in America
In 1895 Rev.Hooks resigned and Rev Simon Robinson accepted the call to Pastor First Baptist Church. In response to the growth in membership Pastor Robinson began preparations to build a larger church
1896 – Separate but equal was established
1908 – The first Model T Ford is produced
1909 – The NAACP was founded
In 1910 The First Baptist Church purchased a lot on the corner of Vine and Grove street from Rev.E.A Bacon. The land was sold to First Baptist for $1,460.00
During 1919 construction began on what is today known as our education wing which was completed in October of that same year. The following year in 1920 resigned after serving First Baptist for twenty-five years
Women were allowed to vote for the first time in a Presidential election
The Negro League was founded
Between 1920 and 1960 First Baptist invested more than $7,250 (Adjusted for inflation $87,376) into various church improvements
The 1960s witnessed The Civil Rights Movement and several landmark court cases. The struggle was everywhere, and First Baptist was a guiding light for the local and extended community during those turbulent times
Throughout the 1970’s First Missionary Baptist continued to evolve and grow as the Restoration Choir was organized, the fellowship hall was renovated and many other improvements were made
The 1980s were a time of great evolution, expansion and growth for the church as during Phase I of a renovation plan under the administration of then Pastor John Ewing included several exterior and interior modifications.
Renovations were made possible through the willingness of Trustees R.H Warren, Willie Smithers, Emma K Gray, Millie Campbell, William Jackson and Curtis Smith who trusted in God and secured a loan of $100,000 to finance the Phase I construction.
1990 was the year that the Alabama Historical Commission added the church to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage theby recognizing First Missionary Baptist Decatur as a treasured jewel not only to the city of Decatur, but to the entire state of Alabama.
First Missionary Baptist Decatur has been and continues to be a monument to the grace of God and to the faith of his people who served him have continued to serve Him. First Missionary Baptist Decatur was built and bettered by a community of people who served God and one another selflessly. We honor their legacy and reflect on their service as we go forward and continue to trust in God. The First Missionary Baptist Decatur family has always been a collection of people who love, lean on, and trust in God.