…black and white Christians worshipped together. Later, some leaders of the white Baptists thought it was wise to separate in 1833. Thus, the First Baptist Church became two congregations -one black (First Baptist Church on Clinton Street) and one white (First Baptist Church at the Singing Bridge) First Baptist Church was led by able pastors throughout the years and a strong laity which has helped ensure the progress of the congregation. The congregation worshipped in various homes until they could build a permanent church. In 1844 land was donated by John Ward and in 1898, Reverend Robert Mitchell and the Church’s Trustees purchased the present lot for $4,000.00 and a legal struggle ensued.
The City Council of Frankfort ignored the construction petition to build a sanctuary. Adjacent proport owners refused to sign the petition and the City became actively involved with preventing construction Even with this obstacle confronting them, First Baptist Church proceeded to have the old building torn down and started negotiations with a contractor to build the edifice. The City Council disapproved of this action and issued warrants for the arrest of the contractor and the Board of Trustees citing violation of City Ordinances.
…the Court of Appeals granted a historic victory to First Baptist Church and allowed construction of the church, The court stated that the City’s opposition was largely based upon race prejudice.” In 1908. under the leadership of Rev. W. T. Silvey, construction was completed on the current edifice located at 100 Clinton Street. In 1919, the church parsonage located at 104 Clinton Street, was purchased under the leadership of Rev. H. W. Ballew, and the Board of Trustees.
A succession pastors, each with their own God-given vision has led First Baptist Church in good and bad times: Rev. Henderson Williams (1838-1843); Rev, James Monroe (1845-1864); Rev. Robert Martin (1864 1884); Rev. George W. Patterson (1884-1887); Rev. Eugene Evans (1887-1894); Rev. J. W. Hawkins (1894 1898. Rev. Robert Mitchell (1898-1903), Rev. C. C. Wakefield (1903-1904): Rev. W.R. Payne (1904-1905): Rev. W. T. Silvey (1905-1919); Dr. W. H. Ballew (1919-1932); Dr. J. Welby Broaddus (1932-1938); Rev. RE S. Litterback (1938-1945); Dr. Reggie H. Johnson (1948-1949); and Rev. W. R. Hutchinson, Jr (1949- 1960)
…Dr. K. L Moore, Jr. of Chicago, IL, became the 16th pastor of First Baptist Church. Under Dr. Moore’s leadership the Lord added souls to the congregation and he initiated the Men’s Chorus, Gospel Choir, Pastor’s Aid Club, Youth Choir, internal decorations of our church, roofing repairs, Church annex refurbishing, gas furnace installation, HVAC installation, and purchase of pianos. In 1973, First Baptist Church received “Historical Site designation by the Kentucky Heritage Commission. The church became active in community affairs and hosted some of the largest community events. The congregation was active in the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, Consolidated District Baptist Association, Kentucky State Fellowship PNBC, and united with the new Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc., where he served as Recording Secretary. Dr. Moore pastored faithfully for 46 years and went home to be with the Lord in 2006.
…Pastor Robert Earl Houston became the 17th pastor of First Baptist Church He and his wife, Jessica Georgette Houston, moved from Nashville, Tennessee and his pastorate began on April 1, 2009 under the energetic leadership and compassionate heart of Pastor Robert Earl Houston, many accomplishments have been made including: Systematic/Thematic Preaching Series; Strengthening of denominational ties: hiring of additional staff, including the first female Assistant to the Pastor, Reverend Anna T. Jones (who is the first African-American Baptist female ordained to Christian Ministry in Frankfort of January 4, 2015): Increase in Bible Study attendance and creation of Power Lunch Wednesday Afternoon Bible Study, Praise Team. Dance Ministry, Media Ministry, Former Radio and Television Broadcasts, Pink Out Sunday benefitting the American Cancer Society, Community Vacation Bible School and New Year’s Eve Service with our sister churches (First Corinthian Baptist Church and St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church and collectively has given over $2.300 to Resource Office of Social Ministries, Corporate and Telephone Prayer Ministry, Early Morning Worship, Marriage Ministry, purchase of new tables and chairs, restructure of women’s ministry, men’s ministry, young adult ministry, restructure of Sunday School, purchase of modem sound, CD and DVD equipment and printer/workstation, remodeling of kitchen, expansion into internet ministries, new external doors and other enhancements to First Baptist Church. Pastor has also ordained six men as Deacons. The church has given to local and national charities and responded to natural disasters, and participated in religious and civic activities.
First Baptist Church has also made a concentrated effort to honor our past and our members. In 2015, the Christian Education Department sponsored a grand Banquet to honor those individuals who have made a meaningful contribution to our congregation in teaching, transportation, food service, and leadership. In addition, we now honor a Man and Woman of the Year during our Church Anniversary celebrations and this year we have added a Mary Jones Washington Community Service Award to recognize those in the Frankfort community who are making a humanitarian contribution.
We look toward the future of our congregation. As with any congregation, our future is embedded with the children, youth, and young adults. First Baptist Church has a long-term commitment and has done so by providing Sunday School classes, trips and retreats, seminars, the Scholarship Fund (which has been finded by contributions and offerings during Tuesday Night Bible Studies), the Next Generation) Choir under leadership by Sis. Angela Winkfield, the former Young Adult Mission and our newest addition, the Intercession Young Adult Worship Service which begins next month, coordinated by Minister Jamil Campbell. Our young people participate in Music Ministry, Sound System, Dance Ministry, Ushers Ministry, and we have made an effort to include them in our weekly worship services. Further, we have welcomed the students and faculty of Kentucky State University and have entertained the KSU Band and various athletic teams.
…the church continues a restoration of our historic building including restoration of the sanctuary to the Glory of God. The project was led by our Trustees and the previous project manager, Bro Freddie Johnson and the newly appointed project manager, Sis. Joette Fields. We look to the future. The Pastor has a vision for installation of an elevator, projection screens in the sanctuary, new church bus, new wood flooring for the sanctuary, and an Educational Building constructed adjacent to our existing building which will contain classrooms, office suites, and a gymnasium/walking track for the Frankfort community.
In summation, God has truly blessed First Baptist Church. First Baptist is a congregation that is “Preaching, Reaching and Teaching Since 1883″ and is making STEPS (Studying, Tithing, Evangelism, Prayer and Saintly Peace). And of course, if you visit First Baptist Church, you will hear these words: “I love you and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.”