History of Our Church
First Baptist Church of Collinsville’s congregation was organized in 1857 and officially incorporated in 1874.
Early on, the church met in a small brick house on Clay Street in Uptown Collinsville, on property now owned by the local Telephone Company. The church then met in Temperance Hall after the completion of Collinsville’s City Hall, beginning in July 1905. Construction on our first building at the corner of Clay and Hesperia was started June 2, 1903 and completed June 7, 1912. The pastor, Reverend Colbert, and his two sons constructed the church themselves from concrete blocks made by hand.
Beginning in 1914, the church gradually grew during a succession of short pastorates.
In 1929, The Reverend Percy Ray was called as pastor and served First Baptist until his death in 1954. Under his strong evangelistic leadership, the church experienced its most significant growth to date, as the gospel message reached the Collinsville community.
In 1931, First Baptist started a Summer Camp for students and children. The camp has run every summer since its inception, and has presented the Gospel of Jesus Christ to thousands of kids.
In December 1952, catastrophe struck when the church building was gutted by a fire. Because of the congregational growth, the church was rebuilt and the adjacent parsonage was remodeled to accommodate a significant increase in Sunday School attendance. During the mid-1950’s, a program for future expansion began with the church engaging an architect to draw plans for a new, modern building.
After the land was purchased, we broke ground in 1957 at our current location: 723 St. Louis Road in Collinsville. The first worship service was held in our current building on January 18, 1959.
Since establishing the church within the heart of the St. Louis Road neighborhood, we have continually added on as the needs of our community evolve. Originally, the building included a large worship sanctuary seating almost 450, a large multi-purpose room with kitchen (“Fellowship Hall”), and multiple classrooms and meeting spaces. A children’s education wing was added later which includes a modern nursery and preschool facility. Also, a separate Ministry center was constructed which includes a full-size gymnasium and student ministry facilities.