During the 1840s and 1850s, Lancaster Baptists met periodically in private homes. On Sept. 29, 1867, fourteen charter members gathered to organize the Missionary Baptist Church. They worshiped first in the Masonic Hall, a two-story frame building that also housed three other denominations and the community school. Early baptisms were held in Ten Mile Creek. In 1873 the congregation bought a lot at E. 2nd and State Street and erected the first church building in Lancaster, a structure shared for a time with the Methodists and Presbyterians. The bell that hung in the steeple of that frame edifice is now displayed in the church yard. The Ladies Aid Society, formed in 1877, helped purchase an adjacent lot for construction of the first parsonage in 1887. This fellowship became the First Baptist Church of Lancaster in 1902. A new church building was erected in 1902-03 on this property at E. 3rd and Henry Street, purchased from Lancaster Lodge No. 160, A. F. & A. M. The pulpit and stained glass windows were transferred from that sanctuary to the present structure, built in 1951-52. Other physical facilities were added as the First Baptist congregation expanded its membership and community services.
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