Constructed in 1853, this is the oldest church building in Kalamazoo. Titus Bronson, the city's founder, donated this site on Church Square. The Baptist faith reached the Kalamazoo River Valley in 1826 when missionary Leonard Slater preached to the Indians. In 1836 fourteen settlers led by Jeremiah Hall, a Baptist minister from Vermont, met in the home of Ezekiel Ransom to organize the First Baptist Church.
The history of the First Baptist Church and Kalamazoo College are closely interwoven. The same year that the church was organized, the Reverend Jeremiah Hall persuaded the Michigan and Huron Institute, now Kalamazoo College, to settle in this city. The second pastor, Dr. James H.B. Stone, was an early president of the college and many of his successors in that office have been active in this congregation. Over the years the First Baptist Church has served as the parent church of several parishes in outlying areas.