A Glimpse Into FBA's Past
Built by Faith as a Fellowship of Believers
David Gonto Daniell was sent by the Baptist State Convention to the tiny railroad town now known as Atlanta. He gathered 16 men and women together and First Baptist Church Atlanta was born. They met where they could find space, usually in a small one-room school house. In June, they dedicated their first church building on the corner of Walton and Forsyth in downtown Atlanta. Unfortunately, the building was heavily damaged during the Civil War, and many members were wounded or killed. Even still, the members trusted in God to provide a new building.
God was faithful and the congregation dedicated a new building on the same lot, debt-free.
At this point, the church had grown and was in need of a new building. Because of Atlanta’s growth, they were now surrounded by the business district and wanted to move to the suburbs north of Atlanta. They sold the Walton and Forsyth site for $81,000 and purchased a lot in the residential area across the street from the Governor’s Mansion on the corner of Peachtree and Cain streets.
The new building opened for worship on June 3.
By this time, once again, the church had outgrown the building and was surrounded by the business district. Sunday school had grown so much that some parents sent their children to neighborhood churches because there was no room for them at First Baptist. When the site had been bought it was in residential area, but now the business area was closing in again, leaving no room to grow. To accommodate the current membership and provide room for growth, the church purchased an entire city block in the new residential area north of the business district at Peachtree and Fifth streets.
The sanctuary was completed. Many people thought the building would take care of the needs of the church forever.
Dr. Charles F. Stanley was called to be the senior pastor of First Baptist Church Atlanta. The church continued to experience tremendous growth under his teaching and leadership. By 1988, the membership had outgrown the available space again.
First Baptist Church Atlanta purchased 55 acres from the Avon Corporation in the Dunwoody area with plans to renovate the building to meet its expanded needs as a congregation.
The congregation moved to this current location, 4400 North Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA, in April.
First Baptist Church Atlanta works continually to use the building to meet the congregation’s needs. Since moving into the current location, the following renovations have been made: providing the Student Ministry with a gym and café area, expanding classroom areas in the Education wing, renovating the Children's Ministry area and building a Welcome Center for the thousands of visitors who come to First Baptist Church Atlanta each year. The Worship Center has also been renovated; the current Worship Center was completed in January 2006.