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 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 2002. 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 entered into a period of decline. But, instead of giving up, we chose to believe that God is not finished with our church yet.
We started a church revitalization process back in 2017 and casted a vision to see Muscatine and the World live in light of the gospel. God has since done a great work in us to worship Him, grow in Christ, and start sending disciples out to reach our community and the world for Christ. We are regularly baptizing new believers, lives are being changed in small groups, and we are even getting ready to plant a church here in the next year.
There is still much work to be done, but we believe God is just getting started with His work in and through us. We serve that kind of God and invite you to join us in serving Him towards this vision.