First Baptist Church Booneville will be celebrating 145 years of service to the Lord on Sunday, Oct. 6.
First Baptist Church was first organized in 1868 under the name of Booneville Baptist Church. It is believed that there were 21 charter members. Today, the church boasts 1,004 members.
The church was located in "old Booneville." The church grew and in 1911 a new church was built at the present location. Improvements to the church campus since then include a parsonage, Education building (1957), new sanctuary (1972), offices and library (1972), Family Life Center (1998), Massey property Youth room, walkway (1990), additional parking lots, chapel (1979), renovated Education building after fire to house nursery, preschool, children and youth (2012).
Mission churches of First Baptist include Southside Baptist Church, Grayson Church, Blue Mountain Church, the Tuberculosis Sanitarium and a church at the old Rock Island Railroad.
Serving the Lord through missions has always been a priority at First Baptist. Some of the areas travelled to have been Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Arizona, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Peru, Guam, Taiwan, China, Ecuador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Russia.
First Baptist operated a kindergarten from 1967-1975 followed by a Learn and Play School from 1989-1996.
The youth program greatly increased due to a youth musical performance group called The New Life Singers. They were an interdenominational group of youth from the Booneville area. They travelled all around the United States in their own bus to present the Gospel. This group spanned from 1972 to 1992.
Many have gone out from this church as missionaries, children/youth/music ministers, pastors, etc. Some of those were Ron and Elinda (Tidwell) West to Taiwan, Prudence Amos Riffey to Brazil, Josephine Scaggs to Nigeria, Gina Godfrey to China, Neal and Kyle McNutt in music ministry, Josh Kimbrell in children/youth ministry and Jennifer (Johnson) Heathcote in children’s ministry. Others include Erroll and Hermond Westmoreland, Theron Price, J.O. Kincannon Jr., C.E. Bryant Jr., J. Cleo Byrd, Edward Byrd, Clyde Godfrey, Walter Watts, W. Weldon Grafton, O.M. Powell, Erwin Moshier, Ben W. Bledsoe, Harold Elmore, Charles Finch, Doug Dickens, Dean Dickens, Larry Heslip, William Earle Martin, Milton Graham, Lewis Daulton and Houston Graham.
First Baptist Church has such a rich history that reflects faith, God’s love, love for the lost and the saved alike, and that "all things are possible with Christ." The members will tell you that it’s all to the glory of God.
First Baptist welcomes everyone to celebrate this great day with them. The morning Celebration Service will begin at 9 a.m. in the sanctuary with former FBC pastor Dr. Ricky Lee, former FBC worship leader Skip Wofford and will feature the New Life Singers.
The afternoon Celebration Service will begin at 1:30 in the Family Life Center with former FBC pastor Dr. Mike Taylor and former FBC worship leader Tom McCone. Neal Guthrie, founder of the New Life Singers, will also be in attendance at the celebration services.