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A Short History of First Baptist Church
Franklin, Kentucky

      When the United Baptist Church of Christ was constituted on July 13, 1833. Franklin as shown on the 1840 census, was a town of about 300 people. A cholera epidemic had raged for two years and many prayers had been said for its cessation. Twelve charter members chose Rev. Isaac Steele as their first pastor. The longest pastorate (17 years) was held by Rev. O. H. Morrow. The most recent pastor is Rev. Ray E. Cummins, who came to Franklin in 1986. Pastors were elected annually and were paid by free will offerings from the member­ship which met the fourth Sunday of each month. In 1836, the twenty-four members pe­titioned the Bethel Association for member­ship.

     It is generally believed the earliest church met in the small union building on the square. From 1860, the Baptist Church and the Chris­tian Church jointly occupied the upper floor of a small two-story frame building at the corner of College and Madison Streets.

     After buying the building in 1890, the 180 members replaced it with a brick structure. In 1905, an annex was added to accommodate the increased ministry of the church. An educa­tional wing was dedicated in 1941.

     The present church building is located on a large site at 303 East Cedar Street. It is a modern, newly furnished building which became debt free in 1969. A music program, second to none, is offered to all ages and a growth of mission organizations helps to meet needs of young people of the church.

     Franklin First Baptist has demonstrated great faith in its promotion of mission work. A South Franklin Mission, later to become Barbe Baptist Church was developed. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Jacob had gone as missionaries to China. Miss Minnie Berry served as a home missionary. By 1947, with 800 plus members, interest developed at Walker Avenue Mission. This mission became strong enough to consti­tute as Calvary Baptist Church in 1963.

     The fastest developing mission came into being as the effort at Fairview got under way in 1968. Rapid expansion mandated a new site and new building. This was dedicated by its 400 members in 1982.

     Franklin Baptist Church celebrated its ses-quicentennial in 1983 with a week of revival, reunion, homecoming, and fellowship. This church has moved from 12 to 1600 members and from quarter time to full time ministry. It has been guided by 30 different pastors and a dedicated church staff.

[From a history of Simpson County, KY.]

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