Our Story

Where we began.

In 1883, Pastor Theophilus Shuck Powell rode a horse from Bunker Hill down to Columbia with a burden for the people of Columbia and with the hopes of finding people who would join him in planting a Baptist church. Columbia in the late 1800s was a thriving river city that was known for her saloons and loose living. The city was lost without a light to guide them. Theophilus and 7 others would covenant together to start a baptist church in Columbia. Their first worship gathering took place in the Marion County Courthouse. The 7 trailblazing members were Dr. and Mrs. M.L. Banks, Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Mobley, Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Fortenberry, and Mrs. Elizabeth Fenn. In 1890, the first house of worship was built on Dale Street near the city cemetery and the church had a total membership of about 50 members. 

In 1912, FBC moved to 900 High School Avenue and a new state of the art building with classrooms that were erected in 1913. FBC Columbia hosted the MS Baptist Convention Meeting in 1913. In 1960, the current sanctuary was built. The sanctuary was renovated in 2018. 

Through the years.

For nearly 140 years, FBC Columbia has been pointing the thirsty people of Columbia to the fountain of life found in Jesus our Lord. For most of these years, FBC Columbia has been one of the leading baptist churches in our state. In 1979, a young South African couple sold everything they owned and purchased one way flights to NYC. With only their suitcase and a few hundred dollars to their name, they came by faith on a journey to study at an American Baptist Seminary. Once in NYC, they called the only American phone number they knew. They called the church office of FBC Columbia on a Saturday. It just so happens the pastor at the time, Dr. J. Roy McComb, had come by the church office for just a few minutes and heard the phone ringing. The rest is history. Dr. Don Wilton served on staff for 2 years while attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Soon after FBC Columbia licensed, ordained, and commissioned the Wiltons to a lifetime of faithful ministry. Dr. Don represents so many young people who have been raised up and sent out by FBC Columbia. 

One of our greatest ministries through the years has been to furlough missionaries serving around the world. We currently have three missionary homes. 2 retired missionary homes and one for active missionaries. We host missionaries usually 6 months at a time. 

Where we are headed.

For us, it’s the nations or bust. Jesus gave us our mission in Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” For over 140 years, the heart of FBC Columbia has beat for the nations. We expect every member to be engaged in carrying out the great commission. FBC is proud to raise up, mobilize, and send out disciples to make disciples. Our secret weapon is Christ in us, the hope of glory. Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 We believe his power came at Pentecost and his power now indwells us as His body. Our clear aim is to send disciples to the city of Columbia, America, and the nations. 

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather together for small groups at  9:45 am and  worship at 11 am.