Jefferson Baptist Church ... The Early Years (1957-1964)
In 1955 the Southern Baptist Convention set a goal to establish 30,000 new churches and missions by 1964. Jefferson Baptist Church sprang from this ambitious campaign. In 1957, First Baptist Church, in cooperation with the Judson Baptist Association, purchased 8 acres and a cottage approximately 2 miles east of the city limits on Jefferson Highway for $32,500.00. A young, upstart preacher named Tommy French, armed with a degree from Southwestern Seminary, was called as the mission Pastor on November 16, 1958. The first service was held in the cottage with 17 in Sunday School. Later that Sunday evening, five people joined by letter.
In 1959 a small shell house was purchased, which served as an 85-seat auditorium for 2 years.
Fall of 1961
In the fall of 1961, a small frame auditorium was constructed with a seating capacity of 145. This building was the first one with a steeple and served in various capacities until March, 1991, when it was sold and moved.
In 1962, a shell house was purchased and converted to a nursery.
On March 31, 1963, Jefferson Baptist Church was organized with 140 Charter members. Some of these members are still here!
In the fall of 1963, the Boudreaux House and 1 acres at the corner of Partridge Lane and Jefferson Highway were purchased, which immediately added 3300 sq. ft. of educational space. $50,000 in bonds were sold on a 15-year issue to purchase the house and consolidate the debt remaining on the auditorium. It was called the "Faith House" and served as education space until 1976 when it was torn down.
Jefferson Baptist Church ... Our Church History (1965 - 1974)
In 1965, a long-range planning and building committee was organized and an architect was hired to draw a rendering of the future building complex.
In 1966, the first permanent unit of the plan was placed under construction at a cost of $133,000. The building was completed in 1967 and served as an interim auditorium until the new worship center was completed in 1991. The interim auditorium seated 500 and included a new nursery on the first floor and educational space on the second floor. This building was remodeled in 1995 at a cost of nearly $100,000 and now serves as the Educational West Wing. The funds used for the remodeling effort were raised through our Talents program and our Thank You for Our House program.
In 1971, our first Challenge to Build program raised $125,000 on a 3-year pledge and was used to construct our educational/activities building. It provided 10,500 sq. ft. of educational space and a 7,000 sq. ft. gymnasium. The gym area was remodeled in 1996 at a cost of approximately $100,000.
On September 15, 1974, our live Television Ministry began with the morning worship service telecast from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. We have broadcast our services every Sunday since that time.
Our Church History ... (1975 - 1990)
In 1976, our second Challenge to Build program raised $250,000 of the $500,000 required to construct a 20,000 sq. ft. educational building which now also houses the church offices, the nursery and the music complex. Also that year, the Newton property and house next door were purchased for $46,000, which added 2.82 acres. We also sold two acres at the rear of the property to Breighten School for $50,000.
In 1986 planning began for a new worship center. In 1987 our third Challenge to Build campaign resulted in $550,000 in 3-year pledges. In 1988 the church adopted final plans for the new worship center and we sold 15 feet of right-of-way along Jefferson Highway to the state for $42,000.
In May of 1990, construction began on the new worship center at a cost of $1.7 million. In October of that year, we purchased the remaining 2.83 acres of the Newton estate for $30,000 and sold another half-acre to the Breighten School for $32,000.
Jefferson Baptist Church ... Our Church History (1991-Present)
On April 21, 1991, the first service was held in our new worship center. In 1997, we completed work on our new Educational Annex which added over 2000 sq. ft. of new educational space.
Jefferson Baptist Church now has 1100 members, 12.83 acres of property, and facilities valued at $4 million.
In recent years, JBC committed itself to raise funds to meet our capital improvement needs on a pay-as-we-go basis. We are committed to be financially free and maximize the use of our tithes and offerings to reach as many people for Christ as possible.
Our church became debt free on February 9, 2001!