In the days immediately following the War between the States, all who desired to worship as Baptist in Fort Mill and vicinity had to travel to Flint Hill Baptist Church. At the time it was a long, hard journey over extremely bad roads in a horse and buggy. Consequently, under the leadership of Rev. J. A. Gaines, who held a meeting in Fort Mill in October, 1870, the Fort Mill Baptist Church was organized in the old Fort Mill Academy. The Academy was located at the corner of Tom Hall and Monroe White Streets, where the telephone company now stands. There were 14 charter members.
The small congregation appealed to the Home Mission Board for help in erecting a church building, but was denied the request on the grounds that the Flint Hill Church adequately served the community. Thrown on their resources, the group secured from Mr. Monroe White a lot at the intersection of what was known as Banks and Church Streets, and is now known as Monroe White and Confederate. The first church was a small, one room building with one aisle and no baptistry.
Being weak financially, the Fort Mill Baptist Church shared pastors with Flint Hill, Rock Hill, Yorkville and Pleasant Valley. Many descendants of the early church members can share the fact that their ancestors were willing to mortgage their homes and sell their cattle in order to meet the obligations of the church.
In April, 1895 the church unanimously adopted a plan to erect a wooden building, 36 by 56 feet on the lot just above the present location with a seating capacity of 380. In October of the same year the new church building with two aisles and a built-in baptistry was dedicated. The contract with the Spratt Machine Company showed the cost of this building to be $1,199.00 plus $4.00 for hanging the bell. Mrs. W.B. Meacham assumed the responsibility for the payment of this loan.
In March, 1928, the second building was destroyed by fire. Later that month a contract was let to A.E. Clemmer of Lowell, NC for a new building at a cost of $38,000.00. Friends and members gathered on April 4 for the groundbreaking, with gratitude in their hearts that the financing of the project was a reality.
On Sunday, November 3, 1929, the new brick structure was formerly opened, with a tremendous crowd present. In 1930, the name was changed from Fort Mill Baptist Church to First Baptist Church of Fort Mill.
In September of 1984, the ground was broken for a new Fellowship/Education/Office building. The new building was dedicated in September of 1985.
On March 19, 1993, fire destroyed our education building and heavily damaged our Sanctuary. By August of 1993, a Building Because We Care II campaign was launched. September 17, 1993 we returned to the Sanctuary and we had a groundbreaking for the new Education Building/Daycare. On August 17, 1994 the new Education Building opened.
On February 3, 1999 the long-range planning committee, under the leadership of L.A. Graham, began to develop a strategy for meeting the needs of a growing congregation. In late 2000, the Adam’s Group Architects were enlisted to help develop a master plan for the most effective use of our campus. On Sunday, November 11, 2001, the congregation voted to adopt a master plan and to proceed immediately with construction of phases 1 and 2 – expanded parking lots and a new multi-purpose facility. Parking lot construction began in the September of 2002. In the fall of 2002, the church family entered into a Sharing To Build…Building To Share Capital Stewardship Campaign in which $1.4 Million dollars was pledged toward the construction of the first phases of the master plan. On Sunday, June 1, 2003 we held a groundbreaking celebration for the multi-purpose building. We moved into this new worship space in November 2004. The basement area and second floor of the worship center building were completed and occupied in August of 2006.
Our rich history and heritage of faithful service to God in this place is an inspiration for us to remain faithful in our own generation. May those who come behind us find us faithful.