Who We Are
Located in historic downtown Wilmington, NC, First baptist Church has served as a beacon of hope in this community since 1808. The sanctuary in which we continue to worship was completed in 1870. We are a church that embraces its heritage, but is also looking ahead to the things God has in store in the future. We take seriously our mission statement of 'becoming and helping others become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ'.
While remaining an autonomous Baptist congregation, we are affiliated with the national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship as we partner with other Baptist churches in missions across the nation and around the world. We also work specifically with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina in an effort to better serve our state.
We invite you to explore our site, then visit us on Sunday morning to experience for yourself our friendly people, inspiring worship and opportunities to serve the living God.
We understand that visiting a new church is exciting, challenging and sometimes scary. "Will I know anyone there? What is worship like? What should I wear? Where should my children go? Where do I park?" Please don't let these or any other questions prevent you from the blessings of finding a new church home! As with any situation, we are most comfortable when we know what to expect. Take a look at our FAQs below to find answers to common queries. If you are unable to find the answer, please contact us and we will be happy to address your question.
Will I know anyone there?
First Baptist is a large church. Most likely, you will see friends, neighbors and/or business associates. If you are new to the area, church is the optimal place to make new friends, allowing you to involve yourself in your new community in fulfilling ways. Attending worship for the first time? Our greeters will meet you in the narthex and our ushers will assist you in finding a seat. They will also assist you with finding the nursery for your children, if that is necessary. Our Welcome Center is located at the WLI entrance (through the courtyard). There you will find folks who can help you find a Sunday school class, direct you to our nursery and children's Sunday school areas, and assist in answering your questions.
What is worship like?
We welcome all who wish to come and worship God. First Baptist has two different, yet equally dynamic and spiritual, worship services. The Journey service is held at 8:50 a.m. and is the more casual of the two services. Our praise band, deepwater, utilizes contemporary music to usher us into the presence of God, and then we enjoy a practical, multi-media presentation from our pastor. Worshipers can feel free to raise or clap their hands to the music as an expression of praise to God. Some prefer to stand quietly, embracing the wonder of His awesome presence. You are welcome to worship the living God in a manner authentic to you.
Traditional Worship is held at 11:00 a.m. and follows a time-honored style of praise and worship to God. Our Chancel Choir leads a worship time filled with familiar hymns. We join our voices in the call to worship and the Lord's Prayer and our pastor brings the sermon. Following the Traditional service, a visitors' reception is held in the church parlor, allowing folks to meet the church staff and FBC members.
What should I wear?
Although we know that God isn't really concerned about our outer appearance, we understand that most of us want to "fit in" when we are going somewhere new. The 8:50 a.m. Journey service is our more casual, contemporary gathering and that is reflected in the attire seen there. Most folks show up in "business casual" clothing, while some are more comfortable in jeans and flip-flops. Others prefer Sunday attire of dresses for the ladies and coat and tie for the men. Pastors wear street clothing during the Journey, as does the praise band.
At the Traditional Worship service, most women wear dresses or suits and men are in coat and tie. The pastor, choir director, and chancel choir all wear robes.
Where should my children go?
We provide nursery service for children birth through four-years-old for both the Journey and Traditional worship services. Our nurseries are staffed with caring professionals and church volunteers. We strive to provide safe, creative and developmentally appropriate activities for small children while their parents participate in worship. A pager system is used in the infant, crawler and toddler rooms. Parents are given a pager when a child is dropped off in the nursery. If a parent is needed for any reason, they will be paged by those serving in the nursery. We have a sign in system when you drop your child off. Parents are given a ticket that corresponds with their child's nametag, and that ticket must be presented in order to pick up their child up following service.
Where are the restrooms?
Restrooms are located adjacent to the Welcome Center, in the lower level of the connector building and on the second floor of the Education Building (children's Sunday school area).
Where do I park?
Parking is a challenge in downtown Wilmington! With only 23 parking spaces available in our parking lot, and 14 of those spaces reserved for handicap parking only, we know that is only by God's grace that over 800 folks enter our sanctuary each Sunday morning to worship Him! Members and visitors can typically find parking available in the following locations:
•Bellamy Mansion Museum (enter on 5th Street)
•First Citizens Bank (enter on Market or 4th Streets)
•Several law offices are located on 5th Street and on Princess Street
•Parking garage beneath the JoAnn Carter Harrelson Center (previously the NHC Law Enforcement Center)