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History of FBC

On August 20, 1939, Macedonia #1 Baptist Church granted a blanket letter to 85 of its members who wanted to organize a new church in the town of Geraldine, Alabama. That afternoon this group met in the school auditorium and organized the First Baptist Church of Geraldine with 85 charter members.

A council, consisting of 7 pastors and 14 deacons from several churches in the DeKalb Baptist Association, assisted in the organization of the new church. Deacon J. Valdor Curtis served as moderator of the council, and Rev. J.A. Minnix served as clerk.

The Macedonia #1 Baptist Church, in granting these letters, stated in its resolution, "We are thankful that no dissension exists within this body but to the contrary, that all are in peace and doing each for himself or herself as seemeth right." After the council declared the First Baptist Church of Geraldine duly organized and constituted, the new church then elected deacon B.T. Wilbanks as acting moderator and Byron Lang as church clerk. The church further voted to elect to the deaconship the following brothers, all of whom were already ordained deacons: W.E. Glazner, M.A. Grogan, F.B. Hall, A.J. Smith, and B.T. Wilbanks.

Beginning Sunday, August 27, 1939 and continuing through August 1940, church services were held in the Geraldine Masonic Lodge. On October 1, 1939 the church called Rev. Ralph E. Ables, Sr. as its first pastor. Rev. Ables led the church in building the original church building, which had a sanctuary upstairs and classrooms downstairs. The first services were held in this building on September 1, 1940.

WMU, Sunday School, Discipleship, and Youth Auxiliaries have been a part of FBC since its beginning, and every summer since its founding the church has sponsored a Vacation Bible School. The church also supports world missions through the Cooperative Program of the SBC as well as individual missionary causes. In addition, we actively participate in and financially support the ministries of the Dekalb Baptist Association.

The church campus has undergone a vast change in the past few years. In 2005 the church sanctuary and front entrance were remodeled and expanded, and many other renovations were made throughout the original church building. A gymnasium, fellowship hall, walking track, student center, library, conference room, and educational space were completed in 2008.

The Geraldine-area tornadoes of April 2010 and the statewide tornado outbreak of April 2011 were devastating, but they nonetheless opened new doors of ministry. FBC utilized its new facilities to minister to the community. Volunteers from FBC cooked, served, and delivered food for several weeks while local families were rebuilding. Hundreds of SBC Disaster Relief volunteers from across the southeastern U.S. were housed in the gymnasium, fed and met in the Fellowship Hall, and showered at church facilities.

Thankfully the church has continued to grow and the decision was made to expand the sanctuary and to remodel the basement in 2019. This expansion allowed us to add approximately 150 additional seats to the sanctuary as well as expand the choir and stage. This addition was completed without any debt and under budget. To God be the Glory!

International missions have always been at the heartbeat of FBC. FBC has established long-term partnerships with Good Shepherd Ministries in Haiti and Operation Christmas Child. As well as other short-term mission trips in the United States and various other countries.

FBC has a rich history and an even brighter future. Being led by the Holy Spirit, rooted in the Word of God, and obedient to Christ’s Great Commission has been this church’s foundation since the beginning! Looking ahead, FBC will continue to “Grow Together” in discipleship and in fellowship, and continue to “Go Together” in missions from the neighborhoods to the nations. To God be the glory!

FBC's Pastors:
Ralph Everett Ables, Sr., May 1939 - April 1952 (12 Years, 11 Months)
John Milford, May 1952 - July 1952 (3 Months)
Olen Ray, August 1952 - December 1952 (5 Months)
E.W. Arnold, January 1953 - September 1954 (1 Year, 9 Months)
Sam R. Malone, October 1954 - February 1961 (6 Years, 5 Months)
Chester T. Poff, March 1961 - June 1963 (1 Year, 9 Months)
J.O. Forrester (Interim Pastor), June 1963 - September 1963 (4 Months)
R. Hunter Parrish, September 1963 - November 1965 (2 Years, 2 Months)
F.W. Hembolt (Interim Pastor), December 1965 - December 1966 (1 Year)
Bob Pruitt, January 1966 - December 1969 (3 Years, 11 Months)
F.W. Hembolt (Interim Pastor), January 1970 - March 1970 (3 Months)
Emory Charles Jones, April 1970 - November 1985 (15 Years, 7 Months)
Oscar Davis (Interim Pastor), December 1985 - March 1986 (4 Months)
Larry Layne, April 1986 - November 1987 (1 Year, 7 Months)
Oscar Davis (Interim Pastor), December 1987 - July 1988 (8 Months)
Paul Murphy, August 1988 - November 1997 (9 Years, 3 Months)
Roy Batemon (Interim Pastor), November 1987 - May 1998 (7 Months)
Mark Carr, May 1998 - August 2000 (2 Years, 3 Months)
Chris Andrews (Interim Pastor), September 2000 - August 2001 (11 Months)
Mel R. Johnson, September 2001 - February 2009 (7 Years, 5 Months)
Emory Charles Jones (Interim Pastor), March 2009 - September 2009 (7 Months)
Kirk D. Griggs, October 2009 - July 2014 (4 Years, 9 Months)
Emory Charles Jones (Interim Pastor), July 2014-May 2015 (10 Months)
Andy Brown, May 2015 - May 2023 (8 Years)
Max Roden (Interim Pastor), June 2023 - Present