Church of Greenfield First Baptist

RR 1 Box 399 Greenfield, IL 62044 (217) 368-2690

Sunday Morning Worship 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Sunday School 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

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History of First Baptist Church of Greenfield

On May 31, 1851, a group of Baptist friends met and held an organizational meeting.  At this date it was known as the Greenfield Baptist Missionary Church of Christ.


The old church was a two story building located near the center of town.  This building was sold in preparation to build a new building.  This money earned 10% interest and when needed, it amounted to $600.00.


            During this time, meetings were held in the Presbyterian Church and homes of members.


            In August 1886, the church trustees were empowered to purchase the lot where the new building was to be located.  The church building was completed in 1887 at the corner of College and Mulberry Streets in Greenfield.  The dedication was held on November 13, 1887 with Rev. E.S. Graham of Springfield giving the dedication sermon.  To quote the church record, “all were pleased with the new house and the church was very much encouraged by the services of the day.”  It was a day of rejoicing since the building fund had been attained by several means including a group of ladies who canvassed Greene County via horse and buggy to raise money.  Among the charter members were Emma and Katie Duncan, Aunts of Lucy Lahr.


            One item of human interest found in the old minutes was am allowance for materials and labor to mend the fence which enclosed the parsonage lot.  Fences were necessary at that time because livestock roamed the streets.


            A committee called the “Helping Hand” was appointed to look after the children not attending Sunday School or church service and the group was directed to provide them with necessary clothing, if they were needy.  The church bought a wheelchair for one disabled lady so she could be wheeled to and from church.


            Methodists will smile at the entry of August 2, 1880 stating that Baptist services would commence at the ringing of the Methodist church bell. There was not Baptist bell at that time.


            The Baptist bell was first tolled for a funeral and E.M. Middleton, an accomplished blind musician, tuned in with its sound and declared it to be a B natural tone. (This bell has now been relocated beneath the LED marquee sign at the current church building.)


            In 1908, the first furnace was installed, doing away with two black stoves which had heated the building.  Two new classrooms were added to the east of the sanctuary in 1941 and 1942.  A large program of improvements was carried out in 1947 including painting, floor refinishing and cathedral lights installed (these lights have now been relocated to the east and west sides of the sanctuary in the current church building).


            In 1954, the vacant lot across the street was purchased and the parsonage was moved to it.  After the parsonage was moved to the north side of Mulberry Street the educational building called the “Annex” was erected under the guidance of Rev. F.V. Wright and was used for Sunday School classrooms for the first time in November 1956.


            In the early 1960’s other improvements were made to the church which included the new baptistry, furnace, roof and aluminum siding on the church building.  At this time, a new Baldwin electric organ was purchased for the sanctuary.


            On June 1, 1969 a birthday party for our church was held, it being 118 years old on May 31.


            In 2002, discussion began on the need for a new facility to accommodate a growing congregation, adequate parking, Sunday School classrooms, fellowship hall, a larger sanctuary and youth activities area. The church received a gift of land to build a new facility from a member of the church in 2004. The congregation was contacted by Cross Pointe Church in Trussville, AL in 2004 asking if we would be interested in allowing them to bring their mission group of carpenters to come and building our new building in the spring of 2005. The church accepted the offer and started the process in designing and coordinating the construction project. In June 2005 a group of approximately 200 from various states arrived to begin the process of building our new facility. The group was in Greenfield for one week and when they arrived all that was existing at the new church building site was a concrete slab and steel structure for the sanctuary. When the group left we had all of the walls erected, the roof trusses set and the roof decking down. The construction continued for several months to finish the new building with other small volunteer groups from neighboring community’s churches as well as tremendous volunteer labor from our own members. 


           The congregation moved from the building located in town out to the current location in 2006. Since moving into the new building the church has sold the old building, but it is now being used as a great ministry to the rest of the community as the ACTS headquarters.  This is where all churches in Greenfield come together to serve the people through clothing ministries, summer feeding programs, benevolence, building ministries, etc.


Our membership has increased from the original 15 members 1851 to 366 in 2017. We continue to build up people and bring others to Christ through a variety of bible studies, small groups, Sunday School classes, AWANA, outreach programs (like LOL for the youth and Judgement House), sponsoring local and overseas missions, and organizing mission trip teams to go out and serve.