Organized with 17 members on September 26, 1901, Central Baptist has been a significant part of Carthage's religious and cultural heritage through the years. Formed under the leadership of the Rev. H. E. Harris, the early congregation included members of the Harris, Butler, Comer, Gillaspie, Kirkley, Collins, Nelson, Neal and Bowman families. They very quickly formed a Sunday school and a Ladies Aid Society, and by the end of the year had invited J. M. Wright to be their first pastor.
Central Baptist Church held its worship services and other meetings in rented space until its first sanctuary was completed in 1911. Although the congregation struggled with financial hardships in its early years, by the 1940s, membership was large enough to initiate plans for the construction of a new building. Completed in 1949, it contained a 450-seat auditorium and served until 1987, when an even larger building was constructed.
Out of its own growth, Central Baptist Church sponsored a mission congregation in Carthage, which became Southside Baptist Church. Members have participated in other mission projects, both in and outside of Texas. Throughout its history, the congregation has developed programs and ministries of education, outreach, music and worship, as it continues to uphold the ideals and traditions of its founders.