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Looking Back, Looking Forward

praising God on how He has truly blessed FBCB


The First Baptist Church was organized in 1833 by William Cate and T.J. Poindexter, who were at the time, members of Muddy Creek Baptist Church. It began as a mission effort of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. For the first ten years, meetings were apparently held in different locations. One site appears to have been in a two-room log school building and another was a store building near where the first church was erected.

In June 1843, land was acquired from Laurence Snapp of Blountville and the first building of the church was erected. Mr. Snapp gave the land with the stipulation that the land revert to his estate if it ever came to be used for anything but a house of worship.

Noah Cate, older brother of William, came from Middle Tennessee, where he was a missionary, to serve as the first pastor. The first frame church building was erected during his pastorate. In 1851, Pastor Cate made a motion that the Association become involved in foreign missions. This seems to be the first time foreign missions were advocated by formal motion by an East Tennessee Baptist pastor.

In 1848, the Laurence Snapp family sold the land on which the first parsonage was built. n 1910, a two-story frame building was erected to serve as the home for pastors and their families. Later, two additions were made on the church for Sunday School rooms and part of the two-story pastorium was also used for classrooms. In 1912, with the help of money left by a former church clerk, Mr. N.J. Phillips, grandfather of Mrs. Ella Kate Holt, a new church was erected at our present site. In the same year, T.I. Cate was called as pastor.

On Sunday, May 1, 1955, a special groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Educational Building following the worship service. On December 4, 1955, the first services were held.

Sunday morning July 31, 1966 was homecoming day, and groundbreaking services were held for the new sanctuary and addition to the Educational Building. Construction was started in August, and the first services were held on December 25, 1966.

In January 1982, a note-burning ceremony was held signifying the repayment of the loan for the construction of the new sanctuary.

First Baptist Church celebrates 150 Years of Ministry on August 28, 1983.

In April 1991, First Baptist Church broke ground for the construction of a new Family Life Center. Located behind the 1955 Educational Building, this facility houses a nursery and preschool area, nine additional classrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, office, stage and full basketball and volleyball courts. This facility was dedicated on May 31, 1992.

On May 5, 2002, a note-burning ceremony was held in the Family Life Center signifying the repayment of the loan.

In 1998, February 4, a new Constitution/By-Laws was adopted. It was a completely new document in which the church studied for over a year. It contains the Vision, Mission and Goal of the church, nine Statements of Faith, a Members’ Covenant, and six Ministry Councils consisting of thirty-five teams.

In May 20, 2007 First Baptist Church dedicated Fellowship Park. This marked a two year volunteer effort to complete this first phase of the park development. Fellowship Park

now consists of a Chapel, The Steele Pavilion, and a historic log Church and walking trail. 

The Chapel which seats approximately 55 people is a replica of our original building. It is used for weekly student service, weddings, conferences and special services. The pews were given by church members in memory of family and loved ones. The Steele Pavilion was dedicated in memory of John Steele. John was a faithful member, deacon, and servant of Christ. The plaque reads: In Memory of John H. Steele Faithful member and servant, First Baptist Church, Blountville, Tennessee. The Pavilion features a large

stone fireplace, bathrooms, kitchen and storage area. It is used for many church and family functions. 

The historic log structure from the late 1700s was built in an area possibly known as Sapling Grove in Johnson County, Mountain City, Tn. In the late 1950's it was moved to Elizabethton where it was part of a tourist attraction which included a house that belonged to Andrew Johnson (seventeenth president of the United States). The church was purchased and donated to First Baptist by JoAnn Steele in memory of her husband, John H. Steele. It was relocated to Fellowship Park after spending a year in her barn. JoAnn has been the driving force of "re- creating" this historic church. In features antique handmade pews and handmade furniture from the Steele family. The doors were made from wood removed from their barn which over a hundred years old. The floors came from trees cut and sawed on their farm by her husband. Most of the hardware is original and made by a blacksmith. The Walking Path is approximately one half mile concrete track following the outline of the park. It including a walk along a creek and behind some of the most historic buildings in Blountville. 

First Baptist Church celebrates 175 Years of Ministry on September 7, 2008.

On December 29, 2013 First Baptist broke ground for the construction of a new sanctuary and additional rooms for the building.

In 2014, renovations began on the new sanctuary and building expansion. The addition was added to the back of the building which included new classrooms, an elevator and the sanctuary was renovated which included a new entrance to the building.

On Sunday, April 26, 2015 services were held and First Baptist Church dedicated the newly renovated sanctuary and building.

First Baptist Church celebrates 37 Years of Ministry for Pastor Clay Austin on Sunday, April 2, 2023.

First Baptist Church celebrates 190 Years of Ministry on September 24, 2023.

LOoking back 1950-1989: connie moody

LOOKING BACK 1950-1989: edna quillen & phyllis mccamy

LOOKING BACK 1990-2010: pastor clay austin

LOOKING BACK 2011-2022: john & carolyn mize

LOOKING forward 2023-future: adam sells