First Baptist Church of Abbeville began as Hopewell Baptist Church with written records beginning as early as 1841. The exact location is not known, but it was probably a few miles northeast of Abbeville. An exact founding date is not known, but records indicate that slaves owned by L.Q.C. Lamar worshiped there.
After the Civil War, around 1876, the church split with some members going to Oxford where they formed the Primitive Baptist Church. The remaining members purchased our present lot and the name was officially changed to First Baptist Church of Abbeville.
A building fund was started with $25.00, and six years later the building was completed. It served as a place of worship until 1940, when it was replaced. Sunday School rooms were later added.
In 1950, the old pastorium was built and presented to the church by the Wallace E. Johnson Foundation in memory of Mr. Johnson’s father.
Before 1951, the church had monthly services. By 1951, the church went half-time and by 1954, full-time. In 1955, more Sunday School rooms and bathrooms were added and new pews purchased. 1965 saw central heat installed and two years later, the church was bricked and air-conditioned. The sanctuary was later carpeted, and a choir loft was built. In 1974, a fellowship hall was built. It was later turned into a nursery and toddler building. To add to the worship experience, an organ was purchased.
In 1981, our present pastorium was built along with our present sanctuary. The old sanctuary was turned into Sunday School rooms and pastor’s office. In 1992, our fellowship hall was built and more Sunday School rooms added. Our parking lot was paved using donations and money from many quilting bees held at Mrs. Mable Roy’s home and Wednesday night meals provided by the Brotherhood. The CLC was added in 1999. A house and lot adjoining our church were purchased in 2000 to provide housing for our full-time Youth/Education Minister. With a later acquisition, we now own the land all the way to the corner of First Avenue and East Long Street.
In 2002, we completed an ambitious renovation of the Sanctuary doubling our seating capacity and our choir loft along with a new choir room.
At the present time, FBCA is in Phase 1 of a 3-Phase project to turn the land on the east side of the property into a multi-faceted park and recreation center for the church and the community.