Who We Are
Don’t let the word “Baptist” fool you. We aren’t perfect at it, but we take grace seriously and believe that we are called first and foremost to love God and love neighbor. An old church slogan once touted “First Things First.” For us, the “first things” are grace and love. All the rest is secondary to that. At First Baptist Church, we are grateful to have been included by Christ at Christ’s table, and we believe it is our job to pull out a chair for you, too.
In mind and heart, we believe deeply in Christian education and formation. We use all the best tools of modern scholarship. We read current theological literature from all the best schools. We prize open-minded inquiry as the basis for genuine spiritual growth. With respect to beliefs, we are a diverse bunch, and we love making space for the real questions of real people.
Since the beginning, First Baptist Church has cared deeply for Middlesboro. The congregation and the city were both born in 1889; you might say we grew up together. Serving our neighbors in need is in our DNA, and we are always inventing new ways to do good, especially right here at home. From children experiencing hunger to seniors trying to keep the lights on; from successful professionals to juvenile and county inmates; from persons experiencing poverty and homelessness to persons who have thus far been spared such hardships–we see them all as God’s beloved whom God calls us to love.
Our mission statement is, “The purpose of First Baptist Church is to bring glory to God through worship, the lost and unchurched to God through outreach, people closer to God through discipleship, and to one another through fellowship, and Christ to our community through ministry and service.
Being Baptist at FBC
Our church is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Kentucky. These open-minded and more progressive Baptists reflect who we are and who we are becoming as a congregation. First Baptist Church has evolved over the past 40 years in an alternative Baptist fellowship distinguished by the practices of open communion, the ordination of women and men to ministry as deacons and pastors, and the acceptance of believer’s baptism regardless of modality.