FBC Griffin was founded on March 7, 1841. We will observe Founders’ Day during our worship services on March 5, 2023. During this special service, we recognize those individuals who have been members of our church for 50 years. Each 50-year member will receive a special medallion to commemorate the occasion.
A Brief History of FBC Griffin
When General Griffin laid out the City of Griffin, he specifically designated an acre of land bounded by West Solomon Street, South Hill Street, and Bank Alley to be set aside for a Baptist church. In 1846, the Baptists built a small wood church at that site. The land was then sold in 1859 and the present site was purchased.
While we do not have the original minutes of the church, they were reconstructed by an appointed committee in 1867. This committee found that 14 Baptists met in Griffin on January 30, 1841 to begin the process of forming the church. On March 7 of that year, the fourteen members were subscribed to twelve Articles of Faith and were constituted as a Baptist Church. Reverend Joshua S. Callaway, a founding member, accepted the call to Pastor the following week. That fall, the church joined the Flint River Association.
During a major renovation of the sanctuary in 1926, a pipe organ, new pews, two balcony windows, and new front steps were installed. The columns on the front of the building are original to the building from 1861.
Bramblett Chapel—then called Bramblett Building—was built in 1938 by the Young Men’s Bible Class to be their meeting room and named for its teacher, Percy L. Bramblett. At its centennial in 1941, membership of First Baptist had reached 1,600.
The Library was inaugurated in 1944 under the leadership of Reverend Byron C. Wilkinson and at the urging of Miss R. B. Newton and Mr. J. H. Cheatham. Sara McDowell Joiner served as the first FBC librarian. Mrs. Ruby Blake served as librarian for many years.
During the 1960s, the church could not comfortably accommodate the increased attendance and voted to build a new sanctuary. Following the demolition and subsequent rebuilding of the sanctuary, the church installed a limestone cornerstone at the left corner at the belt line beneath which they placed a copper box containing historical records.
The new sanctuary was dedicated over three days in 1966: March 18, 19, and 20. The building featured stained glass windows that had been part of the church dating back to 1890. Much later, in 2012, stained glass windows from the Nichols Building that had been torn down to accommodate the new sanctuary were installed in Bramblett Chapel.
Music also plays an important role in FBC Griffin’s history. Although a controversy ensued in the late 1860s until 1870 over the use of an organ for worship, Rev. J.H. DeVotie restored harmony among the congregation. The church obtained its first pipe organ in 1891. Several upgrades later, our current organ has 2,912 pipes and 49 ranks—all the better for lifting praises to our God.
Blake, Alice. Personal Interview. 2021.
Goddard, Jr., John H. History of the First Baptist Church of Griffin, Georgia 1841-1977.
Atlanta, Cherokee Publishing, 1978.
Morgan, Bruce. Narratives of Grace. Macon, Nurturing Faith. 2016.