History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

First Baptist Church 1852

Main St. - Heritage Room Collection
Lafayette (Main) Street 1880- Heritage Room Collection
1878 Church - NC Postcard Collection UNC
Brief History of First Baptist Monroe
from the church website

Monroe was incorporated in 1848, and it wasn’t long before the citizens began to feel the need to establish a Baptist church. First Baptist Church Monroe was organized on October 22, 1852, and started with nine members. Since that humble beginning, First Baptist has had four houses of worship. The very first one was actually within the boundary of the Monroe city cemetery and was used for twenty-six years. In 1878, a brick building was built on Main Street. It is interesting to note that this was the first brick building that was built in Monroe. This building was destroyed by a fire in 1885 that started in another building and spread to the church building. The church building was rebuilt in 1886.

The site at the end of Main Street known as the Morrow property was purchased in 1949. The educational building was completed in 1956, and the sanctuary was finished in 1957. There were renovations done to the educational building in 1987, and the Family Life Center was dedicated on October 26, 1997. For most of our proud history, First Baptist has stood as a beacon of hope on Main Street in Monroe.

The first parsonage was located on South Parker Street, and mention of this site is given in the Associational Minutes of 1861. In 1894, a house on the corner of Crawford and Windsor Streets was bought and remodeled to be used as a parsonage. This parsonage was sold in 1944. A home on Lancaster Avenue had been given to the church in 1941 with the only stipulation that it be used as a parsonage for twenty-five years.

The Woman’s Missionary Union was organized in 1897 and has educated the members of our church through the years about missions.

1878 Church - Heritage Room Collection
Interesting Facts and Trivia Found in our History

--The membership roster on November 24, 1852, listed two members who were slaves. Their names were America and Willis.
--A Sabbath-Day School was begun in 1861. This later was called Sunday School and is now called Bible Fellowship.
--On April 18, 1867, the Rev. W.C. Owens was called to take charge of the church, which he agreed to do if the church would buy him a horse to ride from his home to the church. The church decided to postpone their consideration of him.
--In 1880, the pastor’s salary was $300 per year. In 1852, the pastor had received $3 for Saturday and Sunday.
--The first election of deacons that was recorded was on May 6, 1883. In 1912, the method of election was changed to lifetime instead of a periodic term but then changed back to a rotation system during the 1920s.
--In August of 1900, the pastor was paid a monthly salary of $50. Other payments were $5.45 for incidentals, $4 for sexton, and phone bill of $1.
--In the 1970s, the Deacon Family Plan was implemented, and the first female deacon was elected. Her name was Virginia Smith.

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