THE HISTORY OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

First Baptist Summerville First Missionary Baptist Church was organized by Rev. Anthony A. Alston in March, 1869. Rev. Alston was ordained and sent out from Morris Street Baptist Church, Charleston, SC.

Rev. Alston began preaching under a bush tent on the grounds now owned by the Catholic Church. The present site was given to Rev. Alston and the organizing members by Judge Benjamin C. Pressley, an ardent Baptist.

Among the first deacons ordained to serve were Elias Johnson, Caesar Brown, Carter Rivers, Chalmers Adams, Simon Massey, Julian Boone and Moses Adams. Rev. Alston served faithfully until he was called to his great reward in the year 1912.

After Rev. Alston's passing, Rev. Elise Johnson was called to the church. He served faithfully until his passing in 1929. Other ministers who served as pastors were Rev. Chapelle, Rev. J.M. Marshall, Rev. Frank Everett, Rev. A.H. Clark, Rev. C. H. Bolger and Rev. Louis H. Simmons, Rev. R.M. Pitts, Jr., and Rev. Thomas H. Burns. During these pastorates, much progress was made both spiritually and physically within the church.

Under the pastorate of Rev. R.M. Pitts, Jr., the building fund was established. Plans for the structure that stands at 124 Pressley Street were developed and begun.

Rev. Thomas H. Burns succeeded Dr. Pitts in 1963. During his tenure, the church was completed and the church continued to improve its physical plant.

First Baptist SummervilleIn August, 1973, Rev. Dr. Willie E. Givens, Jr., became the Pastor. After Rev. Dr. Willie E. Givens, Jr., assumed the Pastorate of First Missionary Baptist Church, the church experienced tremendous growth spiritually, numerically and financially. Over 400 members united with the church. The Parsonage was refurbished and completely furnished. The deed and title of the Church property was obtained. A new land site adjacent to the church was acquired. The educational building was enlarged to twice its original size.

Ten new deacons were ordained during his early years at the church. Several choirs were organized. A Nurse's Unit and the Ruth Naomi Ministry were organized to better meet the needs of the congregation. Friends and Family Day became a major event in the life of First Baptist.

Also, an active, ongoing witnessing ministry was put in place with witnessing teams going out into the community every Saturday.

In 1983, the idea was born to build a new sanctuary. Construction began in September, 1991. The new edifice was formally dedicated on Sunday, June 21, 1992.

First Baptist Summerville In March, 1983, the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held for the Head Start Center which was housed in the newly renovated old sanctuary until June of 2011.

In August 23, 1994, an adult literacy program was added. On June 22, 1997, the mortgage for the new sanctuary was burned. In February, 1998, Tutoring and Homework Help Programs began. On December 4, 1998, the Young Adult Ministry held their kick off meeting. In October, 2002, the Teen Choir was organized. Four deacons were ordained in November of 2002. In February, 2005, a boys and girls youth basketball team played during the spring season. They were accompanied by a tiny tot cheering squad. In February, 2011, the church began tutoring persons interested in becoming computer literate. The church benefited from the leadership of its prestigious, dynamic, anointed and appointed leader, Rev. Dr. Willie E. Givens, Jr. In 2016, Rev. Givens retired as the Pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church after, 42 years of dedicated service.

On February 13, 2017, the membership of First Missionary Baptist Church called Reverend Adam Spencer, Sr., as its Pastor. Reverend Spencer was installed on May 6, 2017.