FirstLife Blog

As Life Changes: Dave Ward's Story

Posted by Patrick Walsh on

Dave Ward, First Baptist’s Minister Emeritus, is iconic, having served as Minister of Seniors for 54 years. He and his lovely wife, Jo, have contributed immeasurably to the life and fellowship of our church. His life story is fascinating. The following interview provides glimpses into his...

First Baptist - Mother of Mission

Posted by Don Rairdon on

First Baptist Knoxville began as a Child of Missions yet quickly evolved into a Mother of Missions. Through its mission work, First Baptist Knoxville started four major area churches: Broadway Baptist, Deadrick Avenue Baptist, Calvary Baptist, and West Hills Baptist. Broadway Baptist: In the...

A Mind for Missions

Posted by Susan Roberts on

We need to be more missions-minded... This phrase, oft-repeated by a long-time friend, has always grated on my nerves. Perhaps because of the sanctimonious way in which it is invariably delivered, I immediately dismiss it with an inward eye-roll. It could be that this gut response is a holdover...

First Baptist Knoxville - A Child of Missions

Posted by Don Rairdon on

"The Fervor for Missions Brought this Church into Being" In “A Fountain-Head of Hope – A Story of a Hundred Years of the Mission Work of the First Baptist Church of Knoxville, Tennessee” Dr. Charles Trentham, who was pastor of First Baptists Knoxville from 1953 to 1974...

Faith & Flower Arranging

Posted by Elizabeth Pemberton on

Many elements make up a worship service, most of which the congregation is already accustomed to. We can look up the scripture. We recognize and know who is delivering the sermon. We are given the names of music composers and arrangers in the Order of Worship. There is one aspect of worship...

1873 Through the Second Church's Dedication

Posted by Linda Walsh on

“The history of the First Baptist Church of Knoxville, when it shall be fully written, will present pictures of an [sic] humble beginning, a varying progress, an alternation of light and shadow, of strength and weakness, combined with examples of unswerving fidelity, and of a...

Emerging from the Ruins of War

Posted by Linda Walsh on

Describing Knoxville in the Civil War’s aftermath, historian Jack Neely noted, “Progress was slow, especially at first. With its raw trenchwork, muddy streets among shot-scarred and army-abandoned buildings, postwar Knoxville could appall some visitors, who remarked that Knoxville...

Two Churches, One Foundation

Posted by Linda Walsh on

During East Tennessee’s antebellum years, the Black population was smaller than the rest of the state’s, primarily because of the absence of large-scale plantation-based agriculture. Both enslaved and free Blacks lived and worshipped in Knoxville.1 Of Knoxville Baptist...

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