In 1908, the late Reverend Isaiah Strothers and his wife, Ida, founded the First Baptist Church. The church began as a mission in a one-story structure on Loway Street in North Fairmount Heights, Maryland. Reverend Mouton served as the assistant. The first members were Brothers W.F. Lloyd and John T. Lloyd. Miss Ruth E. Lloyd joined the church and was baptized in 1911.
On November 12, 1912, the church was set apart as a recognized Baptist Church and moved to a new building on Fairmount Avenue. The first trustees were Brothers Walter S. Crowse and Sidney Pitman. Trustee Pitman drew the plans for the church.
The first church clerk was Mrs. Wilby Evans. The first deacons were Brothers Samuel Reynolds and John Madison. The first chairman of the Deaconess Board was Mrs. Carrie Turner. The first Sunday school superintendent was Brother John Harris. The first choir established was the Senior Choir.
After great pastors leading the church through the years, Dr. Bernard Winchester, Jr., was called by First Baptist Church on January 1, 2002 to serve as pastor-elect until July 13, 2002. He was then elected as the pastor and installed on October 6, 2002. Pastor Winchester’s accomplishments during his first year as Pastor of First Baptist Church include:
- The Pastor initiated an outreach program, canvassing in Fairmount Heights and the neighboring communities, to “win souls for Christ.”
- On June 29, 2002, God placed on Pastor Winchester’s heart to hold a “Golden Age Fellowship” dinner for the church’s seniors.
- On July 26, 2003, Reverend Mines was honored with a banquet and dedication of the church’s lower sanctuary as the Joseph C. Mines Fellowship Hall.
- The “Finding My Place” initiative was instituted to encourage Church members to set goals, objectives and directions, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that the vision that the Lord has given Pastor Winchester will illuminate throughout the Church and the community.
- In 2010, Established the “Feeding the Homeless” ministry. He personally oversees this ministry and assists in feeding and praying for the homeless, along with lady Winchester, each 3rd Saturday of the Month.
- A Minister of Music was selected, Brother John P. Cunningham, Sr., who established a praise team—the “BW Vessels of Praise.” In 2015, Minister Jorel Robinson was selected as the Minister of music. Preceding him, in 2016, Pastor selected the Stella Award Winner, Minister Isaiah Thomas, as the Minister of Music.
- The Church house located at 809 – 58th Avenue was renovated for use as a Youth Development Center and in 2016, the house was established as a rental property for income.
- The Church was setup with the Audio Visual system in 2017. This allows for recording and live-streaming the morning worship services.
Throughout the years, the church has received numerous awards from the Governor’s office and Prince George’s County officials for its activities within the community, based on the church’s Drug Prevention Program. We also have received awards and honors for our support of and participation with other institutions, including: The Lott Carey Missions, Shepard’s Cove Women’s Shelter in Beaver Heights, Maryland, Border Babies of Washington, D.C., Grant Park Care Center in Washington, D.C., Regency Nursing Facility (renamed in 2003 The Millennium Nursing Care Center), and the S.H.A.R.E. – Food Distribution Network.