How did FBC start?

On a warm spring day two school teachers and mutual friends, Saphronia Harvey Clark and Clara Westlake Telford, were discussing the need to start a Bible hour and singing time in their school room. they decided to form the Union Sunday School and their first public affair was a picnic on May 1st, 1869. A beautiful banner was later created and carried in a parade and now has been donated to FBC. the Sunday school grew quickly and on the first Sunday in May 1874 with 16 members present, the REverend WT Green preached the first official sermon at Kern Hall on Main St., part of the I.O.O.F. Hall. Later in the year a lot was purchased on W. Alisal and God made the way for a church to be built in 1875 at a cost of $2,400.00. The following is an official list of pastors who presided over FBC beginning in 1875:

CB Post   1875
WT Green    1875 (1st official pastor)
SC Price   1875 (2nd official pastor)
Joseph Beaven   1876-1881
SE Keitch   1882-1885
Egbert Hatch   1885-1896

While under the pastorship of Rev. Hatch the lot on W. Alisal was sold for a sum of $950 and a lot was purchased at the corner of Monterey and San Luis St. for $1,200. The church building on west Alisal was picked up and moved to the new location where it underwent renovation and a beautiful new steeple was added.

JC Jenkins   1897-1898
RD Clark   1898-1899
MB Wolf   1899-1905
William Thomas   1905-1907
TJ Salsman   1907-1909
WW Huff   1909-1912
AE Patch   1912-1917
FC Lovett   1917-1919
LH Sanborn   1919-1923
WH Gibson   1923-1929
LD Logee   1929-1936

While under the pastorship of Rev. Logee the church and lot at Monterey and San Luis Sts. sold to the Firestone Corp. for $29,000. A new lot and building was purchased on the corner of California and Winham St. for $3,400 in 1935. Six years later a home located at 140 Winham St. was gifted to the church by Mrs. Jane Sarles in memory of her daughter, Myrthe, and granddaughter, Wilma, to be used as a parsonage. It later was used as a children’s Sunday school house and nursery.

CL Trawin   1936-1939
WC Ericson   1940-1942
Francis Dodson 1943-1953
Stanley Brown   1954-1959

In 1961, the church voted to seek a new building site and finally in 1964 secured a four acre site at the corner of Blanco Rd. and San Vincente Ave. for the sum of $76,000. Payment for this property was completed in January 1967. Although plans for building had been presented several times since completing payment for the lot, it seemed it was not yet God’s time to go ahead. Now, once again the possibility of building more adequate facilities was under consideration and in 1975 FBC held its first service at its current site.

Carl Jones       1960-1971
Fred Fels         1971-1984
Joe Walton      1984-1987
Ken Feske       1989-2006
Dave Stroder   2007-2015
John Bosic       2016-

First Baptist Church has a wonderful and rich history filled with the love of God and a heart for missions, evangelism and an outreach for our community. Our founders had a vision, and through revivals and tent crusades, not only in Salinas, but all the way down the Salinas Valley as far as Soledad, by and horse and buggy in the beginning, that vision has been playing out through the generations. During WWII after a lively revival or Singspiration, soldiers from nearby Fort Ord would often be invited to go home with a host family to be treated to a meal and later returned home to the base. Sometimes as many as 100 or more soldiers would be invited to different homes.

Now in 2015, we feel the core of FBC continues to be to share the Gospel to all who will listen and to minister to those in our community who have needs. We have a loving and concerned body that has stayed the course through generations and with God’s guidance we will continue to grow in the love and wisdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you have any questions about our history or about where we’re going in the future, you are encouraged to contact our Pastor or Elders.