FBC Mart is a church that focuses on “Loving God, Loving People, Growing Disciples” - a mantra integral to this historic church from its inception, a church which has been part of the greater Mart community since its founding in 1878. Through these 140+ years of ministry and involvement, we have sought to love, honor and serve God.
Passion and Consistency
We have a passion for worship and the study of God’s Word, the Bible. We humbly seek to honor and glorify the Creator with meaningful hymns and songs of praise, prayer, teaching and preaching.
We are known for our genuine love of people. Everyone is invited to join us as we serve God and meet people’s needs.
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus commands his followers to go, teach, and make (grow) disciples. We support local, state, national and world missions through training and financial support. Our generous support of missions demonstrates our desire to honor and serve God. Many of our youth have surrendered to the call of ministry through the years.
Our ministries provide a place for everyone in your family to participate and serve. Join us as we honor and glorify God.
Faith in Action
We believe that God created us to be in a loving relationship with Him, and in a loving relationship to our neighbor, with an overarching purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ our Lord.
We are loving God when we are giving Him all that we are in mind, body, strength, and soul as living sacrifices to Him. We express that love through obedience to His Word; heartfelt worship; sharing His gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord; and sacrificial service.
We love people by loving them as God has loved us. God loved us by taking us where we are; forgiving us of our sin; and recreating us in His image. We believe that this is the message of hope that the world needs. We reach people where they are and share where Christ can take them. Our desire is to come alongside the broken, the hurting, and those burdened with sin to share the message God has given us in Jesus Christ His Son.
We are growing disciples by fulfilling the Great Commission which Jesus commanded us to embrace in Matthew 28:19-20. We must go throughout the world reaching people for Christ. We must reach them wherever they are and in whatever circumstances we find them as we go through our daily lives. We may reach those in our homes, in our neighborhoods, communities, state, nation or in foreign lands. We share the Gospel with them and lead them to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. After they come to Christ we teach them what it means to follow Christ and live in a mature relationship with Him.
What We Believe
- There is one God, who manifests Himself in three persons - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, died for our sins, was buried, and physically rose from the grave. He is the only way of salvation and eternal life.
- The Holy Spirit indwells every true believer, convicting of sin, sanctifying, and bestowing spiritual gifts which are to be used for ministry.
- The Bible is God's true Word. It is error-free and fully capable of attaining the purposes for which God intended. The Bible, not individual preferences, is the final authority in this body of believers.
- Men and women are created in the image of God, but through the fall of man, all are now sinful and in need of personal salvation provided by Jesus Christ.
- Jesus Christ is coming back to take to heaven those who have placed their faith in Him as Lord and Savior. Those who reject Christ stand eternally condemned to a real place called Hell.
Good works will never save an individual, but good works are a result and outward sign of one turning to true faith in Christ.
Bro. Jim Ingram
Jim Ingram grew up in Hampton, Virginia, during his grade school and high school years. He received a full football scholarship to Virginia Military Institute, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in Modern Languages in 1972. After college, he worked in banking, then sold investments and insurance. He was called into the ministry at age 28 while working in a Crusade in London, England. When he returned from England, Jim turned over his business to a colleague and enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated with a master of divinity degree in 1983. Jim met Kathy Wadley while in Seminary and they married in 1980. They are the parents of 3 children.
Jim pastored the Riverdale Baptist Church in Hampton, Virginia, following his schooling. During this time Jim and Kathy both sensed a call to be missionaries but realized that they needed additional ministry experience. Jim accepted a position with a church in Little Rock, Arkansas where he served until 1989. At that time, Jim and his family were called to serve as missionaries for two terms in France. After leaving France in November, 1995, Jim became pastor of First Baptist Church, Osceola, Arkansas. He also served as pastor of First Baptist Church Cullendale in Camden, Arkansas, and First Baptist Church in Bastrop, Louisiana, before coming to First Baptist Church Mart in October 2014. Since their arrival in Mart they have been blessed with the arrival of grandchildren. They enjoy the rural lifestyle of Mart and the Waco area where one of their daughters live.
Minister of Music & Education
Dennis Herring is a native of Waco and Robinson. He graduated from Robinson High School in 1974 and married Carolyn Richards in 1977. They have two children, Amanda Herring Wolfe and Eric Herring.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Dennis began a puppet ministry while teaching in the Youth-High School Sunday School department. Dennis continues with his puppet ministry on an as-needed basis.
Dennis’ love for music began when he participated in a musical in the 7th grade. In the 1990s he was part of a quartet called Living Water. In early 2000 the group transitioned into a trio and now a duet. Dennis and Carolyn have been members of First Baptist Church Mart for six years and he has served as Volunteer Music Director since September 2016.
For more than 140 years, First Baptist Church of Mart has been loving and serving God. Its mission has always been “Loving God, Loving People, Growing Disciples.”
When only 10 families were living in the area that became known as Mart, those early settlers felt the need to meet together for religious worship. In January 1878, in the home of Albert Breland, Reverend C.C. Hardwick preached the first sermon.
Per church minutes, Reverend Hardwick used Mark 1:3 as his text. “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” Brother Hardwick told those at the first service that they were now in the wilderness, and their first duty was to prepare a way for the congregation to worship God.
On April 28,1878 eighteen Baptists led by Reverend Thomas D. Suttle met under a large elm tree at the present site of the Mart Cemetery to organize the first church in what became the city of Mart. It was near this tree that the first building was constructed. This building also served as the first schoolhouse in the area. The congregation relocated in 1883 and again in 1906 to its present location. The buildings have been renovated many times.
Two historical markers were erected in 1978: one under the tree where the church was organized and a second where the church has met since 1906.
Impacting a New Community
In October 1885, Sunday School for all members was established. As the church grew and ministered, a group of women came together in 1887 to begin a local chapter of what would become known as the “Women’s Missionary Union (W.M.U.).” The object of W.M.U. was to “aid the Mart Baptist church in her great work of preaching the gospel at home and abroad and to carry on and assist other benevolent work as may seem good to its members.” By 1906 the church had organized Young Women’s Auxiliary (Y.W.A.s), Girls Auxiliary (G.A.s), Royal Ambassadors (R.A.s), and Sunbeam Band.
FBC Mart has always loved missions. For many years, the church has reached out to the community through Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, youth and children’s ministries, and Wednesday night activities.
FBC Mart continues to adapt to the shifting needs in a rapidly changing world. New technologies and changing demographics in a small rural community challenge us to hold firm to our faith in God. We must never forget that in the midst of a rapidly changing culture, God's unchanging Word is still the norm. Acts 4:12 says "... there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name (Jesus Christ) under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."