East Taylor Street and South Hill Street
In 1845 or 1846 a house of worship was erected on the lot set aside by General Griffin, one acre of land bounded on the north by West Solomon Street, on the east by South Hill Street, and on the south by Bank Alley.
In 1858 the old church lot and building on West Solomon St were sold for $15,000 and the lot where the church sanctuary now stands was purchased. In 1860 construction on the main body of the church sanctuary was begun. The inspiring brick citadel, which resulted, was to be used by the church for more than one hundred years. It is interesting to note that for the duration of the Civil War the Church did not fail to hold its services regularly.
In November 1864 General Sherman set the torch to Atlanta and started his march to the sea. Sixty thousand soldiers in four columns, marching thirteen miles apart, left a path of utter destruction seventy miles or more in width. Griffin was spared, but injured and dying soldiers from the Battle of Atlanta and the Battle of Jonesboro were rushed to Griffin by train or wagon and the First Baptist church was used as a hospital. Many women of the church acted as nurses and made bandages and helped as best they could to care for the wounds, pain and suffering of the injured.
In 1870 the Church had been divided because some of the members favored having an organ in the church and others opposed it. Apparently the melodeon had been disposed of, and there were those who desired to purchase an organ. Those opposing the organ protested that musical instruments were unchristian, pagan and papal. One faction left the FBC and located on the site now occupied by the old Second Baptist Church.
Ironically, the pipe organ of today is one of the finest features of the sanctuary with a heavenly sound from around 2,000 thousand pipes.
In 1884 the Church was struck by lightening. Workmen who climbed up the steeple discovered the lightning rod atop the steeple was actually a large hand with its index finger pointing toward heaven. None of the church members knew it was there and since all the earliest records have been destroyed, no one knows the origin of the hand. That hand is still on the church steeple.
The origin of the stained glass windows in the Church sanctuary is recorded in the official minutes of February 19, 1890. The windows cost $850 and are still in the church today.
In 1964 the church building was demolished and an enlarged version begun. Added to the complex that comprises the First Baptist Church is the Family Life Building on the corner of West Poplar St and South 8th St. It was completed and dedicated on October 18, 1981. One story red brick structure with 25,3000 square feet. It has a commercial kitchen, gymnasium with 5,824 square feet, auditorium with 4,592 square feet housing theatrical state with lighting and sound systems, leisure room, fitness training center, hobby rooms and various meeting rooms.
The Boy Scout complex was added on the opposite corner of West Poplar and S 8th street The FBC has sponsored Boy Scout Troop 2 since 1920’s.
First Baptist Church of Griffin