FBC Mahomet History
In 1839, Elder L. D. Newell of the American Baptist Home Mission Society organized the Bethel Baptist Church, now known as the First Baptist Church of Mahomet. A group of nine people adopted the Articles of Faith and the Covenant to organize on Sunday, June 23, 1839. The first membership drew from a 30 mile area around the church location, then at Farmer City. The move to Middletown (now Mahomet) was a more central location and saw attendance increase. By September 1839, the church boasted of 71 members. The first meetings were held in homes, but as the growth presented problems for meeting in small buildings, the first house of worship was built sometime around 1840.
The present structure that houses FBC was built in 1867. As the need to house more believers arose, an addition was built on the north of the building in the early 1900's and a Christian education wing added in 1976. Bricks from a demolished hotel-tavern in Tuscola were cleaned and used in this construction. As Baptists baptize by emersion, there are many who were baptized in the nearby Sangamon River and some local gravel pit ponds. Sometime between 1900 and 1910 an indoor baptistery was added to the church. It was a wood structure with a lead lining, and had a beautiful painting of the River Jordan on the wall behind. This was replaced with a fiberglass baptistery complete with heater in 1989. A large wooden cross now graces the wall behind the baptistery.
Many significant events in the church and community have helped shape FBC into the diverse, accepting church it is today. Our members include those whose theological backgrounds encompass the gambit of denominations including Roman Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran and Presbyterian, as well as Baptist. In a day when demands are strong, time is short and personal stress is on the rise, we seek a place where people can be real; a place of honest reflection and candid searching, a place where God can be God and people can be what they were created to be. Although we don't pretend to have all the answers to life's questions, we are open to those who ask them. Not all of us will agree on every point of doctrine, nor does everyone practice the same spiritual gift. This, however, is the beauty of being the Body of Christ; diversity in unity. We hope to live up to our mission statement and serve Jesus as is pleasing to Him.