First Baptist Church believes in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the authority of scripture, the priesthood of the believer, and the autonomy of the local church. First Baptist is a traditional Baptist Church that seeks to impact the community through ministry to the people of Chester and Chester County. We have a desire to lift up Jesus and make Him known.
Come and learn more about us as we all seek to grow closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, following Him in our lives each day.
Our church has three main buildings: The Sanctuary, Education Building, and Fellowship Building.
The Sanctuary, built in 1958 and renovated in 2006, is a comfortable and inviting place to worship God. The Sanctuary combines traditional features with the latest in technology. The worship space conveys the awesomeness of God while reminding us that God comes near to us as we open our lives to Him. Our varied worship experiences make it a place for diverse people to gather and meet God. Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:55 AM as we lift our hearts in praise to God.
Our Education Building
Our Education building houses most of our Sunday School classes, adult and children’s choir practice rooms, and our church offices. The Four Year Old Kindergarten ministry and a small chapel are also located in this building. The building was built in 1969 and a renovation was completed in 2015.
Our Fellowship Building
Our Fellowship building has our social hall as well as a large kitchen, a few adult Sunday school classrooms downstairs, and our youth center and classrooms upstairs. The building was built in 1922 and a major renovation was completed in 1994.
The Willie Gregory Library, named for its founder, offers a wide selection of books and DVD’s for both Christian study and reading and viewing enjoyment, all focused on Christian growth and development, as well as a Christian approach to daily life.
The non-fiction section includes various translations of the Bible, Bible study and commentary, and many books devoted to living a Christian life and facing problems and concerns in modern life. There are also books on history, biography, travel, etc.
The fiction section features books by Christian authors in many categories (historical, Amish, mystery, romance, etc.) that offer, in an entertaining format, Christian solutions to situations in today’s world.
The children’s section contains many books to guide and entertain the young reader, kindergarten through early childhood. The juvenile section is currently being updated.
The library sponsors an adult book club that meets the 2nd Thursday of each month in the afternoon and a summer reading program for children. Vacation Bible School participants also have an opportunity to visit the library during VBS week.
The library is open on Sunday mornings from 9:00 to 9:45, and Tuesdays from 9:00 to 11:00 am, and other times by request and/or appointment. Books are also available on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month during Wednesday Night Supper and Bible Study.
The First Baptist Church of Chester was formed on November 30, 1833. The first sanctuary was built in 1836 on land donated by Major John Kennedy. The church buildings continue to be located at the same site even today. In 1875 a Women’s Missionary Society was formed. First Baptist was instrumental in the formation of the Chester Baptist Association in 1878.
On February 19, 1884 the church building was destroyed by a cyclone. The church moved quickly to replace its building and by June of 1884 work had begun on the second sanctuary. The first service was held in the new sanctuary on March 15, 1885.
The well-known Baptist pastor, Dr. R. G. Lee, served First Baptist from April 1921 until September 1922. During his tenure, on one Sunday afternoon, 120 people were baptized in the Sandy River. Later that evening, 22 more people were baptized at the church. While Dr. Lee was pastor, construction began on the church’s first educational building.
During the 1950’s the church looked to the future. A new church sanctuary was planned and built. The new sanctuary was dedicated on January 31, 1960. In September of 1960 the church established a kindergarten ministry that continues to impact the lives of children today. In 1969 a new educational building was built and dedicated.
Beginning in the 1960’s and continuing even today, the church emphasizes ministry to youth and children. Countless young people have been influenced by the many dedicated individuals who work with the youth and children of Chester.
In 1993 and 1994 the older educational building was renovated and refurbished. The social hall and kitchen were expanded and a youth center was added. The church renovated the sanctuary in 2006. A new audio-video system was added, the lighting was improved, the foyer expanded, heating and air conditioning was upgraded, and the pulpit and choir area was reconfigured. In 2015 the 1969 Educational Building was updated.
First Baptist is always looking to the future even as the church seeks to build on the strong foundation of the past. Come and be a part of the First Baptist Church of Chester as the next chapter in the history of the church is being lived and written.