First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church (HM1MG6)

Location: Memphis, TN 38112 Shelby County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 8.424', W 89° 58.944'

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On April 3, 1839, 11 Baptists met in the home of Spencer Hail to organize a Baptist church. The next day, the group met to sign articles of faith. On Sunday, April 7, the group was organized as a regular Baptist church and baptised its first new member, Mary Mosby. L. H. Milliken was the first pastor. In 1845 Geraldus Buntyn gave the church a lot at the corner of Second and Adams, where a building was constructed and opened in 1847, in 1849, Pastor P.S. Gayle left the church and organized Beale Street Baptist Church. During the Civil War, First Baptist was used as a hospital by the Union Army.


In 1865, after the Beale Street Church building burned, its members and 49 members of First Baptist organized Central Baptist Church. First Baptist lost many members to yellow fever in 1878 and 1879. The building at Second and Adams was remodeled during 1886-1888, and was subsequently sold in 1905 as the new site for the Shelby County Courthouse. The church began radio station WGBC-believed to be one of the earliest church-owned radio stations. In 1951, the church moved to its present site at the corner of Poplar and East Parkway.
HM NumberHM1MG6
Year Placed1991
Placed ByFirst Baptist Church and the Shelby County Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 at 10:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 228275 N 3892685
Decimal Degrees35.14040000, -89.98240000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 8.424', W 89° 58.944'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 8' 25.44" N, 89° 58' 56.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)901, 931
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2336-2346 US-72, Memphis TN 38112, US
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