About First Baptist
Welcome to the First Baptist Church of Opelousas, a church rich in history and with a vision of ministry for the future. We believe God planted us here to be a beacon of light to every person who lives in this area; to present you with the claims of Jesus Christ for your life, and lead you to grow to maturity in Christ if you choose to become a believer.
We have spiritual growth opportunities for every member of your family, and you can be as active in serving the Lord here at First Baptist as you want to be. You will not find a more friendly, loving, and compassionate group of people than those of First Baptist. You will enjoy our blend of traditional and contemporary music, and be challenged weekly from the proclamation of God’s Word.
We also offer dynamic growth opportunities in small group Bible study and discipleship courses as well as youth ministry, children’s ministry, both men’s and women’s ministry, Wednesday night activities, and many, many other spiritual growth and ministry opportunities.
We invite you to come and discover your God-given spiritual gifts and employ them in service here at First Baptist in the Body of Christ. I would love the opportunity to serve as your pastor. Pray about God’s leadership in bringing you to join the “family” of First Baptist Church of Opelousas!
We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired and inerrant Word of God and the basis for our beliefs. This church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000.
We voluntarily band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The ordinances of the church are believer’s baptism and the Lord’s supper.
Fifty-nine years after the city of Opelousas had been incorporated, and fifteen years after the end of the Civil War, the First Baptist Church of Opelousas was founded November 6, 1880. Following a series of revival services held at the courthouse by Dr. W.C. Friley, then Corresponding Secretary of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, and Rev. Edward Kelley, a small congregation was formed. Four known charter members were Mrs. E.J. Lassiter, W.L. Truman, Mrs. Sarah Summerlin, and Mrs. Addie Thompson. The Louisiana Baptist Convention gave assistance for 40 years, until the struggling new church became self-supporting in 1920.
The first wood frame meeting house was erected on Bellevue Street in 1883. The cornerstone bore the inscription: “Erected by the State Mission Board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. W.C. Friley, Cor. Sec., J.P. Everett, Pres.” The sanctuary was enlarged and Sunday School rooms added in 1925 under the leadership of Rev. S.O. Oliver as pastor.
First Baptist Church of Opelousas has planted sister churches in the towns of Port Barre in 1925, Sunset in 1944, Washington & Arnaudville in 1955, and in Milton & Washington once again in 1994. The church has had a history of continually seeking the Lord’s leadership in establishing new works in areas where there is no evangelical witness. It has been a labour of love that “plants trees that will produce fruit of which [the church herself] will never eat, but [those who come after] will.”
The brick church building that remains on Bellevue Street was built in 1952 under the leadership of Rev. George Nichols as pastor. The brick structure was constructed by Herbert Amy, Sr. His son, Herbert Amy, Jr. and son-in-law, Gerald Prejean, both can recall with fond memories the construction of that church building. In 1956, an addditional lot was purchased , extending the church property to North Street. A brick parsonage was built on Holly Drive in 1965 followed in 1967 with the completion of the current home of the Minister of Youth.
Thirteen acres of land in the Park Vista subdivision was purchased with the intent to build a new church with increased space for recreation and parking. However, in the early 1980s, a severe economic downturn caused many families to move to other locales for employment, and the need for building a larger church was no longer pressing.
In 1992, Dr. Perry C. Hubbs came as the 31st pastor of First Baptist Church of Opelousas. The Lord blessed his ministry and First Baptist under his leadership with congregational growth to the extent that multiple worship services were required and there was a desperate need for more educational space at the Bellevue Street property. With an ever-growing Sunday School and a steady influx of baptisms and new members, the need for a new church building with increased space became pressing once again. This growth trend prompted the church to sell the Park Vista property and purchase land along I-49 South as demographics revealed the growth of residence and commerce to the south of Opelousas.
Ground-breaking for the current facility took place in November of 2001. Construction began in January of 2003. The fellowship of First Baptist Church worshipped together in the new facility for the first time on December 7, 2003. As God leads this body of born-again believers into the future, we trust that future will be just as bright as the witness of God’s faithfulness.
What is a “Simple Church?”
“Simple Church” is a congregation that is committed to intentionally discipling people through a straight-forward and strategic process to determined levels of spiritual growth. It’s design and purpose is to move people through stages of participation and spiritual growth from being basically a “spectator” to a mature “disciple-maker.”
The “process” is also our Mission Statement:
Connecting to God, Connecting to Others, Connecting to Serve
1 Corinthians 3:12
Based upon 1 Corinthians 3:12, we as believers are to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, in order to grow to spiritual maturity and produce fruit represented by gold, silver, and precious stones. Following is an explanation of each of these levels of commitment and participation.
I. Connecting to God
Any event the church offers (like worship) that connects a person to God in and through the Church.
II. Connecting to Others
Every believer is encouraged to grow spiritually in Christ by being involved in a small group Bible study with other believers, whether that is through Sunday School, Discipleship, and/or other groups. Growing to maturity in Christ is a life long process, however, maturity is recognized at the next level.
III. Connecting to Serve
All believers are expected to discover their spiritual gift(s) and passion for service by finding their place of ministry in and through the Body of Christ, the Church. “Ministry” is directed towards other believers and edifies the Church. Mature believers are also expected to be on “mission” to share their faith with the unchurched and unbelieving locally, nationally, and abroad. A “gold” level believer goes full circle by winning another person to Christ and mentoring this new believer through the process that he himself has gone through. The goal is that that new believer would ultimately become a “gold” level believer, and continue the process.