There are those who believe our church was first organized in the Long Creek Community in 1849. Early settlers in the 1840's through 1860's settled either in the Long Creek areas northeast of the present Mesquite, or west in the Scyene area. There was no Mesquite at that time. Samuel Coats and his wife, Nancy (Jones), leaders in the Long Creek Community, took the initiative to organize a Baptist church there in 1849.
Because there were so few settlers in the area, the Coats family sent word to friends from Rowlett to Haught's Store and from East Fork to White Rock Creek, inviting them to help establish a Baptist Church. They met at the Coats' home and organized Bethany Baptist Church. The church disbanded in 1871, but the remaining few met in homes. We believe First Baptist Church began in 1849 as a continuation of the Bethany Baptist Church.
The first building was acquired in 1877, when, on September 1st, W. H. Thomas sold a 1.47 acre tract of land to the church for a sum of $1.00 and "God's blessings on the church." A forty by eighty foot building was constructed near the railroad on the south side of what is now our parking lot. The Baptist Church of Christ at Mesquite met one weekend a month. Many times Brother L. S. Darling would preach. Darling was the sixth Mayor of Mesquite (1902), and president of First National Bank (1905). The first Sunday School is mentioned in 1896.
The first church structure was adequate for twenty-eight years. The first record of Wednesday night services was 1915. The old building was torn down and a new building was completed in 1914. A wing with basement and an addition to the church was completed in 1927. The first full-time pastor was L. B. Jenkins in 1929.
The church voted in 1935 to affiliate with the Baptist General Convention of Texas instead of continuing their affiliation with the Missionary Baptist Convention of Texas. In 1941, the church purchased two Civilian Conservation Corps. buildings and moved them to the church property. The first annual budget of record was $2,600 in 1939.
A fellowship hall and educational building were added in 1950; these structures on the south side of Kimbrough Street were torn down when the new sanctuary was built on the north side. On September 4, 1960, they moved into the present sanctuary. In 1961 the Children's Building was built. They moved into the current west wing in 1978, this space includes educational space and office space. In 2002, the church voted to do a $1,500,000 remodeling to all existing facilities, as well as adding a bus barn. First Baptist Church has been blessed by the spiritual foundations our pioneer members have laid and with the sacrifices they have made. They have left a great heritage we should not forget.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.