HISTORY of FBCL

First Baptist Church of Lakewood was originally organized under the name of First Baptist Church of Lake City on July 25, 1952. C. H. Green, area missionary for the Baptist General Convention of Oregon-Washington, led in the establishment of the church. There were fifteen charter members. The Rev. Austin Lovin was sent by the convention to act as supply pastor and was later called and became the first pastor of the church on September 7, 1952.

Worship services were conducted for several months in a rented store building on Veterans Drive. After much prayer, a lot was purchased and ground broken in February 1953. The men of the church constructed a building thirty by sixty feet in just two months. It was soon evident that this would not be adequate, so a second unit was completed in August 1954. In June 1955 a parsonage was purchased and additional worship space added.


After a thorough study, it was found that the church’s growth had been limited because of inadequate space, so the church voted to find a new location in order to serve the total needs of the community. The new location, near Clover Park High School, was selected in 1962 and the name was changed to First Baptist Church of Lakewood. The church grew and the new building was soon filled to capacity. In the fall of 1964, dual morning worship services were instituted. The summer of 1966 saw the church enter into a capital funds drive to proved a fellowship hall and six new departments. Construction began in August of 1967 and was occupied on January 7, 1968.

The First Baptist Church of Lakewood has had a vital part in the development of other churches in the area. Trinity Baptist Church of Lakewood and South Hill Baptist Church of Puyallup are both results of direct mission efforts by the Lakewood congregation. Trinity Baptist Church was started in January of 1967 in a Grange Hall.

In 1975, a new area mission ministry was opened to First Baptist Church through a language work. In cooperation with the Home Mission Board, First Baptist Church of Lakewood’s ministries to the Korean and Japanese populations experienced phenomenal growth beginning in 1977. Out of this effort the Korean Baptist Church of Tacoma was formed in 1986. Today this church is one of the largest Korean Baptist Churches in the United States.


In 1985 the church voted to purchase 15 acres from the Clover Park School District adjacent to the church with the dream of one day building a regional church.

In 1995 Lakewood incorporated as a City and soon thereafter began a comprehensive plan for the urban center of the city. That included looking a possible sites for the development of a new City Hall. The property the church owned was one of a number of possibilities. However, after conducting a study of the future needs of the church, FBC told the city they were not interested in selling more than five of the fifteen acres. In 1999 the church voted to sell 5 acres of this land for the development of a Senior Adult Retirement Facility. Under the leadership of the church, 168 Senior apartment units were erected and from that sale funds were used to prepare the property for future construction. As the church continued to grow the church began preparations for a future relocation to the new property.

During this same time (July 1999) First Baptist Church of Lakewood sponsored a new church plant in Puyallup called High Pointe Community Church. This new church became one of the fastest growing churches in the North West and is currently running over 800 in regular attendance. In December of 2001 FBC voted to sponsor another church start in Orting called River Chase Community Church. They are currently running over 200.

In July of 2002, the church celebrated its 50th anniversary with a ground breaking ceremony on the adjacent 10 acres. Due to sale complications of the existing property to Grace Slavic Baptist Church, actual construction didn’t start until June of 2004.


First Baptist Church moved into its present building on February 20, 2005. 

The real story of First Baptist Church of Lakewood is not really in buildings, preachers, figures, or programs but its people. From many races, five continents, and 50 states, its membership has formed into a fellowship of believers. At one time the church body had members of at least seven different races, and in one service there were people from 40 different states, and four continents. Through the military transfers, its members travel to all parts of the world. If any single church ever had the opportunity to literally carry out the great commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is First Baptist Church of Lakewood. God has given us the vision of influencing our community and our world for Christ.

CONTACT INFORMATION: QUICKLINKS:    

Address:
5400 112th St SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
(Click
HERE for Directions)

Tel: 253-582-1000
Fax: 253-582-2065
Email:
info@fbclakewood.org

Sunday Services:
9:30 & 11:00 AM

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