First Baptist Paducah has been in this community for many years, dating back to December 1839 when the church was established as a mission of New Bethel Church. Twenty-one charter members made the constitution official on December 14, 1840.
With no funds available for a building of their own yet, the church met at the McCracken County Courthouse for two years. By 1842 they had raised enough money to build a new building on the south side of Broadway, between 3rd and 4th Streets. First Baptist Paducah was the second church to be built in Paducah, the first being Broadway United Methodist Church in 1840.
The congregation of First Baptist Paducah would use this building until March of 1861 when plans were approved to build a new church building at the southwest corner of 5th and Jefferson Streets. This was at the same time that Union troops, under the leadership of General Ulysses S. Grant, occupied Paducah. Though still unfinished, the building was converted to a Civil War hospital and was not returned to the congregation of First Baptist Paducah until 1866.
Due to the war, the structure was badly damaged; however the congregation eventually found the funds to repair and complete construction of the building and it was dedicated in 1868.
This 5th and Jefferson Street location was home until 1917 when a new building was constructed in its place. In 1965, the church relocated again to its current location at 2890 Broadway and in 1973 added a television ministry that is still active today.
Just as First Baptist Paducah was built from the fruit provided by another congregation of believers back in 1840, the church has also been blessed to help start other churches in the area.
- 1855: Washington Street Baptist Church was established as the first African-American church in Western Kentucky.
- 1894: Second Baptist Church, now Immanuel Baptist Church, was formed.
- 1903: Twelfth Street Mission, now Twelve Oaks Baptist Church, was established.
- 1919: West End Baptist Church and Grace Baptist Church were started.
- 1951: Park Avenue Baptist Church was formed.
- 1998: West Paducah Mission, now Hillcrest Baptist Church, was chartered.
Though this is the story of our past, it is still our desire to share the gospel message in the present and future and to help support other gospel-centered ministries around the globe.