First Baptist Church
Old First Baptist Church, December 2011
|Location||NW corner of 12th and E. Broad Sts., Richmond, Virginia|
|Area||0.3 acres (0.12 ha)|
|Architect||Walter, Thomas U.|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP reference #||69000349|
|Added to NRHP||April 16, 1969|
|Designated VLR||November 5, 1968|
First Baptist Church is a historic Baptist church in Richmond, Virginia, United States. Lott Carey and Colin Teague (missionary) were members. Established downtown in 1780, it is currently located on the corner of Monument Avenue and The Boulevard. The current senior minister is the Rev. Dr. Jim Somerville, former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C..
The original church building was designed by architect Thomas U. Walter and built between 1839 and 1841. In 1841, a group of members formed the First African Baptist Church. It is a stuccoed temple-form Greek Revival style building with the two fluted Doric order columns of its portico in antis. During the American Civil War the church building served as an emergency hospital for Confederate Army soldiers. In 1938, the congregation sold the church to the Medical College of Virginia.
First Baptist Church offers two traditional Sunday services, the one at 11:00 am being broadcast live on a local ABC television station. Most aspects of the church reflect traditional Baptist churches including Sunday school prior to worship and evening bible studies throughout the week. The music during worship is several hymns, an offertory song (usually instrumental) and a choral anthem. Other music that may be added is children or youth choir, English handbells or various soloists on instruments. Wednesdays offer a meal and activities for everyone.
The Youth Group takes up the whole third floor and is 8th to 12th graders. There are usually a minimum 50 people a Sunday.
Not only was it the first church of any denomination to be organized in Richmond, the first Baptist church organized in a Virginia city, and the first church in Virginia to organize a missionary society for women, but it also was the first in the city to organize a Sunday school for children, the first in America to send her own members as foreign missionaries to the continent of Africa, and the first in the Southern Baptist Convention to have a church library.