First Baptist Church of Lake Charles  

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Our History

1878 - 1900 

As early as 1878, Bible Studies were held in homes of some Baptists, and Sunday School in the old two-story frame Court House. The First Baptist Church was formally organized on January 25, 1880. There were eighteen charter members, and to date twenty-six ordained ministers have served as pastor.


Before the end of 1880, the contract was let for a house of worship on Ryan Street at the corner of Iris Street. The total cost was $3,000 and newspapers reported it to be the most beautiful building in the city. Six new members joined the first year, five by letter and one by baptism. By 1897 the membership was 154 and the Sunday School enrollment was ninety-five. First Baptist Church was one of the six charter churches when Carey Baptist Association was organized in November 1892.


1900 - 1950 

A historic moment for First Baptist Church was on February 12, 1908 when the cornerstone for the "new" church building located on the corner of Hodges and Pujo streets was laid. This building was of brick in a modified Gothic style with a seating capacity of 700. There were beautiful stained glass windows and a stained glass skylight. The building was dedicated April 24, 1910. This was the day after the historic fire on Ryan Street that destroyed the Court House, and would undoubtedly have destroyed the new church building if it had been built at the site of the original building.



fbclc__122-X2.jpgIn mid to late 1940s, definite plans were made to enlarge facilities. A two-story educational building on the west side of the sanctuary was planned. During World War II, when all construction had to be postponed, $75,000 was accumulated in the building fund. Groundbreaking for this first educational building was in early 1949. The building was completed in 1950.


In February 1953, a major building fund drive was launched for a structure which was planned to house a new sanctuary and additional educational building. October 1954 saw the completion of this educational building which was three stories high. The front of the building bears the inscription from II Timothy 2:15, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed." The Fellowship Hall, Kitchen, Library, and many classrooms were included in this complex, which cost over $300,000.


1950 - Present

The old auditorium was demolished in August 1955 and the congregation held services in the fellowship hall until the new sanctuary was constructed. Groundbreaking ceremonies for this building were held December 4, 1955. Formal dedication of the new building was held October 16-20, 1957 with a five-day program of services. Former pastors and Southern Baptist Convention as well as Louisiana Baptist Convention leaders participated in this event with the laying of the cornerstone on Sunday afternoon, October 20, 1957.



Because of continued growth in church membership and a desire to provide better facilities for the youngest segment of our church family, in June 1960 the Church voted to begin a Nursery Education Building Program. In October 1962 groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the $490,000 building. The building was dedicated on August 18, 1963. At this time a gym was also added onto another building.


In our vision to continue reaching our community for Christ, our "Preparing for the Future-Now is the Time" campaign was begun in 1994. Funds were used to renovate our worship center and build a Family Ministry Center west of the present educational facilities. The lovely facility was completed and dedicated on Sunday afternoon, January 26, 1997.  Following the completion of the Family Ministry Center renovations to the Old Fellowship Hall were made to provide more space for Sunday School. The total cost for this entire project was approximately $3,000,000.


Mission churches started by First Baptist Church have been Second Baptist Church (Calvary), Eastdale Baptist Church, Baghdad Road Church (Westlake First), and Ford Street Baptist Mission.


Through the years as the vision continues, we look forward to how God will continue to move throughout the various ministries offered here at First Baptist Church.



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Address: 830 Hodges St Lake Charles, LA 70601  |  Phone Number: 337-433-1443
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