In 1858, Reverend J.R. Graves, a well-known and respected preacher, author, teacher, publisher, debater, and the editor of the Tennessee Baptist (later the Baptist and Reflector) came to Gallatin and preached a series of sermons that drew considerable attention from the Baptists in the area to see if there was an interest in organizing a church.

On the third Sunday of March 1859, a Baptist Church was organized with fifteen members. From this humble and modest beginning arose the First Baptist Church of Gallatin still in its original location at the corner of East Main Street and Boyers Street. One of the original members, Mrs. Susan Miller, deeded the property to the congregation where the current church now stands.

The church has had 38 pastors over the years and three different church complexes. The formal dedication for the first church was July 1, 1860. That church was taken over by Union forces in 1862 and was used as a hospital until cessation of hostilities in 1865. The United States government paid the congregation $1,000 in September 1865, for damages done to the church during the Civil War. That church was struck by lightning during a severe thunderstorm on the night of July 15, 1897, and burned to the ground. The church held services in the Opera House two blocks away while a new church building was constructed. The new church faced the intersection of East Main and Boyers and was dedicated on May 21, 1899, when all other churches in the city dismissed their services to come to the dedication.

That church remained with an addition of educational space in 1929 until 1948 when it was razed, and the current sanctuary was constructed with a dedication service on October 19, 1949. The church was built to handle crowds of over 600 at a time when the attendance was around 200 causing the townspeople to call it “Chandler’s Folly” since the deacon chairman, W.T. Chandler, and Pastor Clyde Bryan felt that the church would grow to fill the new space.

Laying of the cornerstone of our current Sanctuary (1949 Sanctuary).
Praise be to God that Deacon Chandler and Pastor Bryan were right! Now in its 165 year of ministry in downtown Gallatin, First Baptist Church continues to share and shine the light of Christ in our community, state, country, and world.

While additional buildings and ministries have been added over the decades and while the methods for ministry have changed in 165 years, the message and mission to tell others the Good News of the Gospel of Christ remain the same.

Pastors Who Have Served FBC Gallatin on Main St.

J.R. Graves......1858-1860
D.B. Hale.....1860-1867
J.F. South.....1867
G.W. Griffin.....1867-1873
E.N. Osborne.....1873-1874
William Shelton.....1874
J.N. Butler.....1874-1876
A.D. Phillips.....1876-1880
J.P. Kincaide.....1880-1883
Roy Goodrum.....1883-1884
J.J. Porter.....1884-1885
F.C. David.....1885-1888
P.H. Goldsmith.....1888-1890

H.E. Truex.....1890-1896
R.N. Barrett.....1896-1898
C.E. Burts.....1898-1900
William Wilkes.....1900-1901
G.W. Sherman.....1901-1902
W.L. Howse.....1902-1904
W.W. Payne.....1904-1906
I.J. Van Ness.....1906-1909
A.H. Huff.....1909-1911
Wilson Woodcock.....1912-1917
M.B. Smith.....1917-1918
C.H. Bailey.....1918-1920
T.C. Singleton.....1922-1924
L.S. Sedberry.....1926-1934
W. Dawson King.....1935-1943
L.W. Hart.....1944-1945
Clyde C. Bryan.....1945-1949
John Huffman.....1950-1954
James P. Craine.....1955-1968
Harold Allen.....1968-1986
Phillip A. Cooley.....1986-1993
Mark Drake.....1994-1996
James Fitch.....1997-2004
Larry Yarborough, Jr. .....2005-2015
Travis Fleming.....2016-