HISTORY of THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

BRIDGEPORT, TEXAS

1200 Cates Street

In 1856, Wise County was established, and the city of Bridgeport (Old Town) was born on the north bank of the Trinity River in 1873. It was only fitting that a church be established along with the town, and on November 18, 1882, the First Baptist Church was organized with 23 charter members. The first pastor was Alphus Hawkins. A list of a few Charter Members can be seen by clicking on Charter Members. A list of Pastors by years of service can be seen by clicking on Pastors. The church met in Old Town , located near the river, in the two-story Masonic Hall building. The location of the Masonic Hall can be seen by clicking on Masonic Hall.

In 1893, the Old Town of Bridgeport moved two miles east to its present location to be closer to the Rock Island Railroad and to avoid the periodic flooding of the Trinity River.

Click on Images to Enlarge
In 1894, the church held services in quarters over Ratliff's Grocery in down town Bridgeport. Then in 1895 the church moved into its first real home, at 1201 Cates Street . The wooden structure shown on the left was constructed in 1895. Additions were added as the membership grew. A listing of membership by the year can be seen by clicking on Membership List.

In 1912, a pastor's home was built at 1208 Cates Street .

During the early 1900's the membership grew steadly and was approaching 300 when a new facility was deemed necessary. In 1925, the original wooden building was razed and replaced with a modern brick two-story building. The building also contained a basement. The new building can been seen enlarged by clicking on the photo on the left. An educational building was added between this building and the alley in 1947.
A new auditorium was added to the church facilities in 1959 and is located east of the 1925 brick building. The new auditorium can be seen in the two photos on the left. Click on images to enlarge.
The church continued to prosper, and in 1980, the educational building and gym on the east side of the property was dedicated. These facilities can be seen in the photo on the left.
The 1925 Red Brick building with the basement was demolished in the early 1980's. In 2000 a two-story educational space was constructed on the site and can be seen on the left.
The First Baptist Church complex now covers the entire north side of the 1200 block of Cates Street. A panorama of the block can be seen is the photo at the top of this page.
The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport, Texas held its 125th Anniversary on 18 November 2007. The church published a booklet describing it history from 1882 thru November of 2007. The cover of the booklet is shown on the left. The detail history of the church was omitted here-in since you can visit the church web site and view the complete anniversary booklet along with a Microsoft Power Point Presentation. The presentation was presented to the congregation during the celebration on 18 November 2007.

The link to the First Baptist Church web site is shown below.

The address of The First Baptist church

web site is:

http://www.fbcbridgeport.com/

Return to Churches Home Page