First Baptist Church - Jacksonville, FL
Posted by: lazyCachers
N 30° 19.922 W 081° 39.511
17R E 436699 N 3355761
Quick Description: Located in downtown Jacksonville, First Baptist Church covers about 11 city blocks between Union Street and Church Street and Main Street and Julia Street.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 1/17/2009 8:46:26 PM
Waymark Code: WM5KAY
The First Baptist Church of Jacksonville is a large Southern Baptist church located in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. At 28,000 members, it is the third largest of the 43,000 churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. Upon the retirement of pastor Jerry Vines in January 2006, Dr. Mac Brunson relocated from the First Baptist Church of Dallas to become the church's new senior pastor.
Former pastor Jerry Vines, along with his well-known co-pastor Homer G. Lindsay, Jr. (1927 – 2000), famously helped shift the Southern Baptist Convention to become a more conservative and fundamentalist group. Vines also received national attention in June 2002 for his controversial statements regarding Islam.
First Baptist Church of Jacksonville was established in July 1838. At the close of the Civil War, an effort was made to separate the Colored and White members but an agreement could not be reached over possession of the property. The opposing factions went to court and the decision was in favor of the Colored members since they were the majority. They retained the name of the Bethel Baptist Church and were the rightful owners of the Church Street property. From the separation, the White members established the Tabernacle Baptist Church, located on the corner Hogan and Church Streets, which was later named First Baptist Church (Downtown). The church building was destroyed in what has been called the Great Fire of 1901. Dr. Hobson, the senior pastor at the time, went across the country collecting funds for a new sanctuary. The cornerstone for the new sanctuary was laid in February 1903 and was completed the following year. At the time, the sanctuary was State of the Art and could seat approximately 1,500 people. Dr. Hobson remained pastor until 1923. The building was renamed the Hobson Auditorium in his honor.