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."