Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
BRIDGE CITY —
A local church which can trace its origins back more than 130 years will receive a special honor this Sunday.
First Baptist Church in Bridge will be recognized by the Texas Historical Commission and will receive an official Texas Historical Marker. A dedication ceremony will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 14, at First Baptist Church, which is located at 200 W. Roundbunch in Bridge City. A reception and worship service will follow and the public is invited.
“A group of people started researching the history of the church, while also researching the history of Bridge City, and found out we were the first church to form in Bridge City,” said Pastor Bob Boone. “I’ve been here for nine years and I was surprised to learn that. It’s been very exciting.”
First Baptist Church in Bridge City was formerly organized in 1940. However, information which had been gathered and verified indicated worshippers had been meeting for services in the area since 1877 when the community was originally known as Prairie View.
According to information provided by First Baptist Church, the catalyst for forming a church began when Central Baptist Church of Port Arthur led a Vacation Bible School service for the community. Residents of the area organized and formed a Sunday School.
Originally known as Blandale Baptist Church, the first pastor of the church was Rev. J.B. Perry. Once the community changed its name from Prairie View to Bridge City, the church opted for a name change as well and became known as Bridge City Baptist Church. In 1948, another name change took place to what we now know First Baptist Church of Bridge City.
Boone said the church was organized with 28 charter members in 1940, but originally met at a location on Bland Street. A new sanctuary was built in 1953 at what is now the church’s current location at 200 W. Roundbunch.
Since its beginning, First Baptist Church has had 10 pastors including Boone. He is looking forward to Sunday’s special ceremony as special guests have been invited.
“Our church began a long time ago, and we have some special coming in Sunday who now live elsewhere,” Boone explained. “It will be exciting because we have a few charter members left who plan on being here.”
Boone said the ceremony will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, and will be followed by a reception and then a worship service which will include a special presentation of a historical DVD about the church.
“This is something really special,” Boone added. “It’s a video about the church, and it has information and pictures of all the pastors and the years they were here and a history of the buildings. It’s something that many people will find interesting.”
For more information about First Baptist Church of Bridge City, visit www.fbcbc.org.