Founded in 1890, First Baptist Church Portland has been a consistent beacon of Gospel light. Today the congregation has over 1000 members.
The original church was organized on August 31, 1890 following a series of revival meetings led by Rev. A. Malone of Franklin, Kentucky. The church first worshiped at Austin Schoolhouse and met only once a month until April 1891 when Rev. V.K. Witt of Franklin, Kentucky was called as the first pastor. His salary was $50.00 a month. By August 1895, the new church had grown sufficiently to warrant a building of its own. A white frame building was erected on Church Street and served the church well until 1923 when the church built a beautiful new sanctuary. Although that building was gutted by a fire in the late 1970’s, it is still used today as a fellowship hall and houses several classrooms.
In 1957, a new educational building was built complete with classrooms, nursery, choir room, library and offices for the pastor and staff.
2007 will be remembered as a banner year for the First Baptist Church. The new gymnasium and educational building was completed and quickly put into use as classrooms, Upward Basketball, racquetball, the walking track and expanded youth facilities. As soon as one section of the building was completed, renovation of the old building began. The Worship Center was also renovated.
Over the years, the church has sponsored two missions which have constituted into churches. Fountain Head Baptist Church was our mission from 1948 – 1956 and Oak Street Baptist Church was our mission from 1972 – 1993. Both of these fine churches are actively serving Christ in our community.
Our church has been led by many wonderful pastors. They include Vernon K. Witt (1891 – 1901), E. N. Dickens (1901 – 1907), A. H. Huff (1907 – 1913) and (1919 – 1924), G. B. Bush (1913 – 1917), J. O. Hill (1924 – 1929), H. T. Whaley (1929 – 1932), Frank Collins (1932 – 1937), Lofton Hudson (1937 – 1943), Burch Cooper (1943 – 1946), Charles Jolly (1946 – 1949), Dewey Roach (1951 – 1954), Eugene Fleming (1955 – 1962), Richard Patton (1963 – 1993), Greg Bowers(1994 – 1997), Greg McCoy (1998 – 2014), and Tim Colovos (2015- present).
Today, members of the church and the community play basketball, walk on the track, and use the weight lifting facilities.
The FRC is frequently used for larger community events including National Day of Prayer breakfast, Strawberry Festival events, Chamber of Commerce events, school activities, and much more.
First Baptist Portland’s ongoing recreational ministries includes Upward Basketball, Flag Football, and Cheerleading, Fit Club, basketball camps, Summer Day Camp, community walking, cardio, fitness, and racquetball.