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This will be a page to reflect on the history of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Our church has a long history, beginning in 1926!, of bringing people to Christ, serving the community and being a faithful lighthouse of God’s Word. If you know of important dates in the history of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, please email me @ david.arnold67@outlook.com. The tragedy will be mentioned and honored, but it will not be the central focus.

You may also visit the Sutherland Springs Historical Museum page, where Ms. Barbara J. Wood as collected some great photos of our church’s past. Much of the timeline below was derived from Ms. Barbara J. Wood’s “A Time to Seek The Lord 1926-1996“, a historical resume Ms. Wood compiled to preserve the history of our church.

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1851 – Dr John Sutherland home place – “The limestone cistern on the north side of First Baptist Church Sutherland Springs is the last remaining relic of the Doctor John Sutherland home place. The large concrete block protecting the opening of the cistern is a slab of the sidewalk from Hotel Sutherland” Credit: A Time To Seek The Lord, Barbara J. Wood

May 1919 – Alto Frio Baptist Encampment – 1909 “The Excecutive Commitee of the Southwest Texas Baptist Workers Conference chose Sutherland Springs to establish Baptist Encampment, Chautauga. The reasons given for Sutherland Springs were for the most beautiful scenery and trees in Texas, the beautiful Cibolo, inspiring mineral waters. Baptist Encampment, Chautauga never achieved the greatness planned. It has been speculated that the reason was the destructive flood of October 11, 1913. “A committee May 30, 1919 heartily endorsed the location and establishment of an encampment at Leakey, Texas known as Alto Frio Baptist Encampment. The Encampment was for Baptists of the entire Southwest Texas area. The beautiful, spirit-filled Alto Frio Baptist Encampment meet the criteria of the earlier designed Sutherland Springs Baptist Encampment” Credit: A Time To Seek The Lord, Barbara J. Wood

1926 – Pastor – Sam Zook and/or H.C. Reddoch…

1926 – Origins of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs – Per 50-year anniversary photo found on the Sutherland Springs Historical Museum page. “1976 The 50th Anniversary of the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church. Pastors and People who attended the church from years past came and celebrated.” 1976 50th Anniversary Photo

1949 – 1950 – Pastor – W.C. Binford

Feb 1949 – Construction of the sanctuary – “The new church building cost five-thousand six-hundred twenty-four dollars.” “The membership persevered in their labor of seeking the Lord. In 1949 they found themselves in another building program…. “…they tore down the old church building. They met in the Old Town Sutherland Springs School Gymnasium for worship services until the new church was raised. With most of the lumber from the old church and a grant from the Baptist General Convention of Texas, they built a beautiful House of Worship. This new, present day, church was completed in September 1949.” Credit: A Time To Seek The Lord, Barbara J. Wood

1955 – Baptistry oil painting is completed.

1960 – Frosted windowpanes installed

Aug 1973 – Sep 1980 – Pastor – Lindell Ferguson

1974 – Sanctuary oak paneling and suspended ceiling installed

1980 – Duplex added – This is where the church secretary and storage rooms currently reside (Jan 2022). Per photo found on Sutherland Springs Historical Museum page. Photo of duplex being placed

June 1982 – Dec 1985 – Pastor – Glenn Howard

1983 – Church Bell – “The first Sutherland Springs Baptist Church (1926) had such a bell. The bell was cast iron and in the characteristic bell shape. No one recalls where the bell came… In 1949, when the present day church was built, the bell was not moved…” It is currently privately owned. “The bell in the present church was a gift from Edgar Besch in 1983. It came from the vacated Sutherland Springs Methodist Church. Credit: A Time To Seek The Lord, Barbara Wood. 26 Aug 1911 -“Sutherland Springs Texas First Presbyterian Church was located in New Town that is across the Cibolo Creek high water bridge on FM 539. It is said that the bell that rang many years in the Sutherland Springs Methodist Church came from the Presbyterian Church which had a bell tower. The bell now is resting in the tower of the new First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. If these bells are the same, it is over a hundred years old.” Credit: the Wilson County Historical Society website.

Oct 1986 – Jul 1992 – Pastor – Charles Jennings

April 1990 – Dedication of Williard B. Mills Fellowship Hall – This is currently the Youth Building (Jan 2022). Per photos found on Sutherland Springs Historical Museum page. Breaking Ground , Setting Walls , Setting Walls-2, Dedication Sign

Jun 2002 – Present – Pastor – Frank Pomeroy

19 May 2019 – Dedication of our new (current) worship center – From our newsletter, The Witness, May 2019 ” The entire Sutherland Springs community is invited and welcome to join us May 19th at 11 a.m. as we dedicate our new worship center and education building, and all God is doing at First Baptist Sutherland Springs.”

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Summer 2020Vacation Bible School Photo Album

October 2021 – Purchase of Sweet Spirit Baptist Church – An opportunity was offered to First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs to purchase the Sweet Spirit Baptist Church facility at 15535 Miller Rd, St Hedwig, Tx. After much prayer, discussion, and a membership vote, the decision was made to purchase this facility.

9 -15 Apr 2021 – Kick off of First Baptist Church Sutherland Springs – North Campus – This was the name chosen for the former Sweet Spirit Baptist Church facility. The Kickoff started Saturday, 9 April with a car and motorcycle show, free BBQ, a bouncy house and more. Current parishioners greeted members of the local community. The Sutherland Springs Mayor was even in attendance! Click here for pictures!