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In view of the Carrabelle River and just off Highway 98, The First Baptist Church of Carrabelle has been a beacon of light to many who come through and live in the Panhandle of Florida. The church is traditional in worship with a casual flair that is typical of the coastal area. Our invitation is to come experience the love of Christ through genuine fellowship around the Word of God. Our goal is to change the world one heart at a time beginning right here in Carrabelle.
In 1887, with much faith and prayer, the Salem Baptist Church was established. Before then, there was no organized Baptist Church in Carrabelle. The church was accepted into the Florida Baptist Association during that same year.
The meeting place of the first church was located in a wooden, one-room school house approximately 3 blocks east of the present church site. A small group of dedicated Christians worked diligently to erect the first building. It was almost completed when two small boys accidentally set fire to shavings and the building was destroyed. From the ashes of the original building, rose a church which was to stand until it was destroyed by “The Storm” in 1899.
A site further from the water was donated and the church was rebuilt. The church today is located at the same location. In May, 1900, the church building was completed.
Through the following years, the people remained steadfast in their faith and by 1935, the membership numbered 185. The pastorium was built in the late thirties.
In the early 1940s, the name of the church was changed to First Baptist Church of Carrabelle. During this time, a U.S. Army facility, Camp Gordon Johnston was built close by. The church had the opportunity to witness to hundreds of men stationed there and many men with their families made this church their home.
In 1957, the church voted to adopt a new building program. Construction began on a new auditorium and education building in April, 1959. The dedication of the new facility took place on December 6, 1959. The church began a remodeling program for the pastorium and pastor’s study in 1973.
The hearts of the church family, as well as the community were torn on Christmas Eve, 1982, when once again they stood and watched as the sanctuary and fellowship hall were destroyed by fire. New construction began shortly thereafter and dedication of the new building was held on September, 1984.
God blessed the church under the leadership of God’s men with the message of salvation that reached Carrabelle and the surrounding communities. Missions and mission works have been a part of the ministry of FBC. The church has been blessed and helped many souls who passed through its doors. A monument displaying the Ten Commandments and The Plan of Salvation was placed outside near the SW corner of the sanctuary as a reminder of the importance of God.
Through the 126 years there have been 52 pastors. At present, we have five active deacons and a church council of seven church members that represent the different functioning bodies of the church.