Historical OverviewIn 1941, Dow Magnesium Corporation was successful in getting the United States government to build 100 duplexes to house the employees of the government-owned, Dow operated, magnesium plant. On the same day that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, the first load of lumber was unloaded in the swamp near the Abner Jackson Plantation.
The first families moved into the duplexes in January 1943. On May 1, 1943, a meeting was conducted by Rev. John Taylor in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Lee. Five families were present that night as Lake Jackson Baptist Church became a mission of Freeport First Baptist Church.
In August a well-attended revival was conducted by Rev. Taylor at the Community House. One month later First Baptist Church of Lake Jackson was formed with 121 charter members. Church members took a religious census of the new town. Rev. D.P. Rogers, the first pastor, went house to house inviting people to First Baptist Church, which met in the school at the corner of Yaupon and Winding Way.
According to the original city plan, the triangle on which the church now stands was set aside for three churches. Members of our church negotiated with Dow to purchase one-third of the triangle. The Rev. Jessie Davis led the groundbreaking ceremony in 1944 for our first sanctuary, which was completed in 1947.
The Rev. Noah Phillips came as pastor in 1948. Under his leadership Sunday School space, offices and a reception area with kitchen were built with volunteer labor using lumber salvaged from military barracks near Bastrop.
Shady Oaks Baptist Church, started as a mission of FBC, was organized in 1953 with many of the 59 charter members coming from the First Baptist Church congregation. It serves the community today as Second Baptist Church.
The Rev. Newman R. McLarry pastored as the congregation outgrew the facilities. Closed circuit TV allowed the overflow crowd to worship in the reception area. The home folk were happy to worship there so that visitors could worship in the sanctuary.
The Rev. John H. Beard, “Brother Beloved,” served as pastor for 12 years. In the mid-1950s, a temporary air-conditioned auditorium (serving in varying capacities until the fire in 1989) was completed. The old auditorium was remodeled into a two-story educational building, and a nursery building was added.
In 1956, donated land was used for a mission church. Willow Drive Baptist Church was organized with 35 members soon after.
Plans for the present sanctuary began in1960. Educational spaces and offices were built at the same time. Dedication was July 22, 1962.
While Dr. James Mahoney was pastor, a new mission building was built for Surfside Baptist Church by men from First Baptist Church. It became a full-time church in 1972 and is now known as First Baptist Church Surfside.
The Rev. D.O. Foster’s loving service as pastor began in 1972. The intercessory prayer ministry began in 1974, new building plans called for a Family Life Center with a gymnasium, parlor and kitchen. The original sanctuary was torn down to make room for the construction of a new educational wing with room for a new library, nursery, and prayer chapel. These buildings were dedicated in March 1979.
Dr. H. James Reimer came as pastor in 1979. During his pastorate the Brazosport Christian School was formed and began meeting in First Baptist Church facilities.
Dr. John Hatch has faithfully served as pastor since April 1982. Three indigenous satellite units were started in 1986 in neighborhoods of the community. The Lighthouse continues as a ministry of First Baptist Church.
In 1989 First Baptist became debt-free. This has continued through the renovation of the worship center, the building of new education space, and the remodeling of older buildings. Also in 1989, a ministry to the Koreans in the Brazosport area was begun.
The 1989 loss of three buildings to an electrical fire prompted the acceleration of plans to build educational space. In 1991, the congregation voted to build a three-story educational building and do limited remodeling, to the extent that funds were provided. The building was occupied in the summer of 1993.
Since 1998, First Baptist Church’s support of missions near home and around the world has reached new levels of direct and financial involvement. A fourth missions offering funding projects in which church members directly participate, was initiated in 1998. The three offerings for international, North American, and state missions increased as well. During 2000, the church funded and constructed a house at 402 Winding Way. The Colvin House is a residence for Southern Baptist missionary families while on stateside assignment.
Perhaps most notably, in 2001 First Baptist Church again commissioned and sent out a significant group of its members to begin a new mission congregation, pastored by then Minister of Youth Greg Pickering. Brazos Pointe Fellowship constituted as an autonomous church in January 2002. Until mid-2005, the Brazos Pointe congregation met in nearby Lake Jackson Intermediate School. It currently meets in a former storefront on Dixie Drive in Clute.
In 2009, Dr. John A. Hatch, pastor for 27 years, retired from the pastorate at FBCLJ. With much appreciation to Bro. John and Mrs. Alice, our church family bid farewell to our friend and shepherd. In April of 2009, FBCLJ embarked upon a transition not frequently experienced in its 66 years. Over the next twenty-eight months, the church utilized one interim pastor and one transitional pastor as well as pulpit supply from other ministers and from our own staff.
On August of 2011, FBC called the tenth senior pastor in its history, Chad Alexander. Bro. Chad and his family came to Lake Jackson from Liberty City, Texas.