Historic Markers Across Alabama

First Baptist Church of Wetumpka

Marker ID: AHC 
Location: At the church, 205 W Bridge Street, Wetumpka, Alabama
County: Elmore
Coordinates: N 32° 32.343    W 086° 12.595
  32.53905    -86.20991666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMF6A8


Side 1:
Baptists settlers scattered along the Coosa River Valley established the church May 26, 1821. For the first twenty years, it was mostly known as the Coosa River Baptist Church. Migrating members sought several locations for the church, finally settling along the banks of Calloway Creek. In 1827, John Gray, church clerk and deacon, temporarily relocated the meeting house near a spring on his property. The frontier church grew successfully, but a few members moved to Wetumpka in 1836 due to some doctrinal differences. In 1837, the congregation united with a small church in town and became the Coosa River Baptist Church of Wetumpka.

Both the church and the town suffered loss in the 1840s. In 1843, when a fire ravaged the west side of town, the church building burned to the ground. The congregation secured another meeting place in a (business house??) on the east side of the river. It, too, burned when a fire swept through downtown Wetumpka in 1845.

Side 2:
In 1846, the congregation acquired the present site from S.P. Storrs and began construction on this building on a pay-as-you-go plan. That year, the congregation met there after the ground floor rooms were completed. In 1847, they changed the name to First Baptist Church of Wetumpka. The congregation held its first service in the completed sanctuary on July 11, 1852.

The building changed very little until 1909, when they added decorative features to the sanctuary, new pulpit furniture, (stained?) glass windows, electric lights and new pews.

In 1928, they added a three-story Sunday school addition to the rear of the building. In 1932, the congregation remodeled the sanctuary to install a new pipe organ. They expanded the educational facilities in 1959 and constructed a new sanctuary in 1967. In 1992, they added more educational space and a fellowship hall.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2008

End of First Baptist Church of Wetumpka