The first record of a Baptist work in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi was a sermon preached by Reverend Benjamin Whitfield in February 1846. After that date, several unsuccessful attempts were made to begin a church. It was not until the formation of the First Baptist Church on April 19, 1896, that a successful Baptist church was organized. It is unfortunate that these records were lost and we have no record of our founding members, however, in November 1902, the Reverend C. L. Corwin was elected pastor at a yearly salary of $75. For this sum he preached two sermons a month. Until 1947, the church was located on the corner of Easterbrook and Toulme Streets. As long as the church remained at this location, services were held two times a month.
On February 4, 1945, the church accepted a deed for a lot to build a new church on Main Street next to the US Post Office. In 1947 the church purchased an Army chapel at Centreville, Mississippi for $1,250. The chapel was dismantled and rebuilt on the Main Street lot. On November 7, 1947, the church held its first services in its new location. The Army chapel served as the church sanctuary until heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. When the church relocated, it also went to a full-time program.
Following Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005) the church witnessed one of the greatest movements in the history of Bay St. Louis as thousands of Christian volunteers covered Hancock County and shared the love of Christ with the community through disaster relief efforts. During this time, the church served as a distribution center, a laundry, a doctor’s office, a feeding center, and a hotel for volunteers. Through it all, the church did not miss a single Sunday of sharing the gospel of Christ. The church ended its relief effort in October 2008.
At first we focused on restoring our church family and our surrounding community, but on February 15, 2009, we entered into our new worship center and began a new chapter in our service to God.