A Brief History
AD 30 - 2007
FIRST MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH began in the fall of AD 30, when the Lord Jesus Christ began to call out disciples to follow Him in His personal ministry here on Earth. Our history is long and can be traced in a Trail of Martyr blood. We were first known as Christians in Antioch. This term of sarcasm was later replaced with dozens of others. We have been labled by the popular religionist as ANABAPTIST because we have never received their infant sprinklings as genuine baptism. Our faith in what the BIBLE teaches requires a person to FIRST be a believer, ie born again, BEFORE they are Baptized. We have believed since the days of our Founder, The LORD Jesus Christ, in the Immersion of Believers as Baptism. We are not REBAPTIZERS. We are Baptist.
Through out our history we have been called Donatist, Monatist, Paulianist, Navatianist, Waldenses. All of these names and others, but always Anabaptist. It was in England in the 1500s that the "ana" was finally froped and we begin to be known as Baptist.
A History of First Missionary Baptist Is a little more specific.
The First Missionary Baptist Church of Duncanville Texas was originally the Prosperity Avenue Baptist Church. This church was organized March 6, 1949. The first record book an entry dated March 6, 1949 indicates there were 24 charter members. These charter members included: T. M. Goodson, Helen Goodson, A. L. Snell, Mrs. A. L. Snell, Annie Mae Moffitt, Windell Moffitt, James Daniel, Margie Daniel, Gordon C. Reed, Frances Reed, G. B. Feaster, Laura Feaster, N. J. Walker, Loy Verne Walker, Clyde Vaughn, A. L. Vaughn, J. D. Spurger, Nell Spurger, V. T. King, Ben Smith, Vema Jo Smith, Joe King, Daisy King, Elsie Beth King. The church first met in the home of Aubrey Snell in the South Oak Cliff area of Dallas Texas. The first record book does not indicate who was the pastor, but according to T. M. Goodson, Emmett White was elected and evidently served until 1951. Walter Rippetoe served as Pastor from February 1951 to September 1959. Oscar C. Hill, Jr. served from November 1959 to September 1960. The next Pastor was R. T. Stevens who served from January 1961 to January 1964. C. L. McCall became pastor in April 1964 and served until 1969. Randy Penny served for about a year during 1969-70. More recently, our long-time Pastor C. E. Patton served from August 1970 until June 1989. Jerrell Head followed Brother Patton. He served from December 1989 to June 1995. Bro. Pervis Williams served as pastor from July 1995 to May 2004. During breaks between regular pastors, there have been interim pastors. Lamar Hill served for two periods. Lealon Williams, J. Robert Boone, and Gordon Riley also filled-in for short periods. Gordon Riley later served as our missionary at our Meadowbrook Mission, which is currently an organized independent church. Our current pastor, Dr. David Forgason started his ministry with us August 15, 2004.
T. M. Goodson was one of the early deacons. Records indicate there were several deacons who were ordained in January 1961. These were Raymond West and Walter Jameson. Gerald Goodson was ordained after the church moved to Duncanville. A few have joined the church having already been ordained as deacons. Darryl Fulfer and Bill Crow were ordained at Temple Baptist Church in 1974 before moving to First Missionary some years later. The church again ordained deacons in September 1993. These were Jack Willingham, Jimmy Dernie, and Charles Gilbert.
Our records indicate three men were licensed to preach by the church: Larry Gaddis in 1962 and Gary Fulfer in 1964, and Jose Cleofas Zuniga (Mexican Missionary) in March of 1994.
Some music directors of note have been Jack Taylor, Billy Joe Morgan, Bruce Haygood, and Gary Fulfer (for two different periods). There were others who have served also. Among musicians were Kathleen Fenton, Peggy Seagroves, Jan Hinsley Crow (first elected in 1961 and now as the assistant), Alice Beach, Barbara Goodson (current pianist), and Jana Crow Dennie (former organist). There have been a few others.
Among educational directors for the youth were Lamar Hill, Lealon Williams, Dale Younce, Gary Fulfer, James Roseberry (co-directors), Rob Hively, and Chris Zeller.
When the church descided to move to Duncanville, the church elected a Land and Building Committee. Serving on the Land and Building Committee to search for land for the move from Oak Cliff were John Powers, Raymond West, Walter Jameson, James Roseberry, Gerald Goodson, Clyde Golden, and Billy Joe Morgan. They did a good job in finding our present location. Efforts to move began in 1964. The church first met at the present site in January 1966. This is when the church changed the name to First Missionary Baptist Church of Duncanville. The Youth House was used as the meeting place until the present building (first section) was completed. The present building was completed in stages: the auditorium, rooms by baptistery, and offices; the lower Sunday school wing; and finally the upper Sunday school rooms and fellowship hall. Once the Sunday school wing was in use, the fellowship room became the children's singing area. The Youth House continued to house Sunday school rooms until the Sunday school wing was added and it was not designated "Youth House" until after the upper story was added.
We have supported missions through the years. Also we have had mission endeavors of our own in Lewisville, Clarksville, Arkansas (Bro. George Farquhar), Mabank (Bro. C. E. Patton), Mexico (Bro. Jose Cleofas Zuniga), and Quinlan.
First Missionary Baptist Church is a mirror of all those who have served our Lord Jesus Christ as members of this body - past, present and future. Our prayer is that we will never cease growing in our Lord, collectively and individually. May the Lord use this church for His honor and glory until he returns for His people.