First Baptist Church was started in 1841, by missionary Ezra Fisher and six charter members. The church held their first meetings in the Iowa House, then the various homes of members, and the court house, before finally building their own facility in 1846.
The church began organizing Sunday School in 1844, and as we continued to grow a need for a new facility arose. The church began construction at our former downtown location, and held their first services in the facility in 1923.
The Next Era
The next several years were characterized by great outreach. First Baptist members began a mission to the East area of town, which would later become Hillcrest Baptist Church. They started vacation Bible schools at the various elementary schools. A radio program was launched to teach the Bible. And finally a mission was established in Tournata, Liberia.
An aging downtown facility led the members of First Baptist to purchase land at our current location. A majority of the work was completed by our own members, and the building was dedicated in 2001. Since then, it has been used to host our various programs and ministries, including Camp Muscatine, an evangelistic outreach to area youth.
During this era, the church also began increasing their focus on world missions, supporting several missionaries and helping build a church in Haiti.
As we moved to a new neighborhood and the culture of Muscatine shifted, we did our best to stay relevant in reaching our community with the gospel. However, change is not always as easy, nor as quick, as we would like. As a result, First Baptist has been in decline for the last couple of decades. Yet, we have great faith that God is not done with our church yet!
We casted new vision in the Fall of 2017 to become a church that is living in light of the gospel. We started new groups to help equip each member to make disciples. And we are currently sending out several teams to reach schools, apartments, and assisted living facilities with the gospel.
There is still much work to be done, but we are holding onto the hope that our best years are still ahead of us. We serve that kind of God and invite you to join us in this mission.