The Baptist faith reached this portion of the Michigan Territory in 1826 when a missionary preached to the Potawatomie living in this area. In 1836, a year before Michigan became a state, fourteen settlers met in a frontier home to organize the First Baptist Church.
1836 also marked the launching of Kalamazoo College. With help from the newly formed church, the college constructed its first building and began holding classes. The church’s second Pastor, Dr. James H.B. Stone, was an early President of the college and many of his successors in that office have been active in the congregation.
The current church building was erected in 1853, and modified in 1871 with a gabled roof and a balcony to keep the walls from bowing out. This unique solution has worked for nearly 150 years and the sanctuary remains a place of beauty for worship and concerts. In 1931 a four-story facility with a basement was added to accommodate the growing children’s program.
Like many older, downtown churches, First Baptist has struggled in recent decades. In fact, declining attendance and growing operating deficits brought the church to the brink of closing in January 2015. The church, however, voted to spend its accumulated funds to do something new and different. This led to the hiring of Rev. Dr. David L. Nichols and a bold plan to share the building with nonprofit organizations. In the following months, some amazing things have happened. See our Facebook page for current news and updates on our story.
Sunday 10:30 a.m.
Church Activities ( Many church activities are currently on hold. Please call Church Office for details information)
Contemporary Discussion at 9:30 a.m. Currently on hold
Every Sunday morning in the Clough Room we come together to talk about controversial issues and practice civility toward those who differ from us. Most issues are more complicated than we are led to believe.
Bible Study at 10:30 a.m.
Every Wednesday Pastor Dave discusses the upcoming Sunday scriptures.
Men's Breakfast at 8: 30 a.m. Currently on hold
The third Tuesday of each month (Poor Richard's Cafe, 1105 E.Crosstown, Kalamazoo)
Women's Bible Study at 5:30 p.m. Currently on hold
The third Wednesday of each month ( Professional Offices, 3608 South Burdick Street, Kalamazoo)
315 W. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Monday - Thursday
10:00 a.m. - Noon / 1 p.m. - 4.00 p.m.
Friday by appointment only
CLOSED - Saturday
Only for an Emergency or Pastoral care, Please Call ( 773-983-8782)